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Isom v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division

October 15, 2013

CHAZZIE T. ISOM, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent

Chazzie T Isom, Petitioner, Pro se, MARION, IL.

For United States of America, Respondent: Ronda H Coleman, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTY, Urbana, IL.

OPINION

Page 861

MICHAEL P. McCUSKEY, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

On October 4, 2012, Petitioner, Chazzie T. Isom, filed a pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1). Petitioner was granted additional time to file an affidavit in support of his Motion, but did not do so in the time allowed. On February 26, 2013, the Government filed its Response to Petitioner's Motion (#5). On March 4, 2012, Petitioner filed a pro se Motion to Amend (#6) and attached an affidavit and a letter to the court.

This court has carefully and thoroughly reviewed the arguments of the parties and the documents provided. This court has also reviewed the record in the underlying criminal case. Following this careful consideration, this court rules as follows: (1) Petitioner's pro se Motion to Amend (#6) is GRANTED; (2) Petitioner's pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1) is DENIED; and (3) because Petitioner has not made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right, a certificate of appealability is DENIED.

I. FACTS

A. CRIMINAL CASE

On February 3, 2009, in Case No. 09-CR-20012, Petitioner was charged by indictment with one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base (crack), a Schedule II controlled substance. John Taylor of the Federal Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent Petitioner. On March 24, 2009, the Government filed Notice of Prior Conviction pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851(a)(1) and stated that Petitioner had a prior conviction of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance in Kankakee County. On June 2, 2009, the Government filed a Superseding Indictment and added two counts of knowingly and intentionally distributing five grams of more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base (crack). Petitioner appeared before this court with his counsel on June 11, 2009. Petitioner was arraigned on the superseding indictment and the case was set for trial on September 14, 2009.

Petitioner's jury trial commenced on September 14, 2009, and the jury found him guilty of the three charges against him on September 16, 2009. A sentencing hearing was held on January 8, 2010, and Petitioner was sentenced to a term of 262 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Petitioner appealed, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed on March 14, 2011. United States v. Isom, 635 F.3d 904 (7th Cir. 2011). The United States Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for a writ of certiorari on October 3, 2011.

On October 1, 2012, Petitioner filed a pro se Motion for a reduction in his sentence. This court appointed the Federal Public Defender's office to represent Petitioner regarding his Motion. On November 15, 2012, this court entered an Order and reduced Petitioner's sentence to 240 months pursuant to the retroactive amendments to the crack cocaine guidelines.

B. 2255 MOTION

On October 4, 2012, Petitioner filed his pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1). Petitioner claimed that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. He stated:

The petitioner requested that counsel seek and negotiate a plea in this case. Counsel ignored the petitioner. The petitioner ...

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