The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is Petitioner Jermel Pope's Petition to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 ("Section 2255"). For the reasons stated herein, the Petition is denied without an evidentiary hearing.
On April 22, 2008, Petitioner Jermel Pope (hereinafter, "Pope" or "Petitioner") was indicted for knowingly transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Illinois with the intent that she engage in prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2421. On February 18, 2009, Pope pled guilty. At his sentencing hearing, this Court sentenced Pope to a term of 100 months' imprisonment, followed by three years' supervised release.
Pope appealed to the Seventh Circuit arguing "that his sentence was procedurally unsound because the district court did not conduct a meaningful analysis of his request for a 46-month sentence" and because the district court "failed to explain why it chose a 100-month sentence instead." United States v. Pope, 370 Fed.Appx. 735, 737 (7th Cir. 2010). The Seventh Circuit rejected that argument, affirming Pope's sentence and determining that this Court adequately analyzed the § 3553(a) factors, and sufficiently explained its reasoning for imposing the 100-month sentence. Id.
After his unsuccessful appeal, Pope petitioned for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. On October 18, 2010, the Supreme Court denied Pope's writ. See Pope v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 429, 430 (2010).
On October 12, 2011, Pope filed the instant habeas petition to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 ("Section 2255").
Under Section 2255 a prisoner may petition the court which imposed his sentence to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence on the basis that the sentence imposed is in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law. See Oliver v. United States, 961 F.2d 1339, 1341 (7th Cir. 1992). To receive relief under Section 2255, a prisoner must show a "fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice." United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979).
Alternatively, if a prisoner can show the trial court made "an omission inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure" relief can also be provided. Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424, 428 (1962).
Pope separates his Petition into four distinct arguments. He argues (1) that he was denied effective assistance of counsel; (2) that the Court applied the wrong sentencing guidelines; (3) that his sentence was unreasonable and unsupported by 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a); and (4) the Court improperly enhanced the sentence based on a miscalculation of criminal history points.
A. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a petitioner must make two showings. First, the petitioner must establish that his attorney's representation was objectively unreasonable as measured by prevailing professional norms. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-88 (1984). "This requires showing that counsel made errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the "counsel" guaranteed [to] the defendant by the Sixth Amendment." Id. Second, the ...