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United States v. Coleman

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

August 14, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
QUADALE D. COLEMAN, Defendant-Appellee QUADALE D. COLEMAN Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellant

Argued April 25, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 3:07-cr-00080-wmc-1 -- William M. Conley, Chief Judge.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 3:10-cv-00736-wmc -- William M. Conley, Chief Judge.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellant (12-2621): Michael A. Rotker, Attorney, Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

For Quadale D. Coleman, Defendant - Appellee (12-2621): Adam Stevenson, Attorney, University of Wisconsin, Law School, Madison, WI.

For Quadale D. Coleman, Petitioner - Appellee (12-2762): Adam Stevenson, Attorney, University of Wisconsin, Law School, Madison, WI.

For United States of America, Respondent - Appellant (12-2762): Meredith P. Duchemin, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Madison, WI.

Before KANNE and ROVNER, Circuit Judges, and DOW, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 707

ROVNER, Circuit Judge

On August 8, 2007, Quadale D. Coleman pled guilty to the charge of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(a)(1), which involved 121.989 grams of crack cocaine. The offense subjected Coleman to a statutory imprisonment range of a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years. The sentencing proceedings in the district court revealed a criminal history that included past convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in Dane County Circuit Court, and for sexual assault of a child in violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.02(2) in Dane County Circuit Court. Based on those convictions, the district court determined that he was a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines (the " Guidelines" ) as a person with two convictions of either crimes of violence or offenses involving a controlled substance. That designation increased the sentencing range under the Guidelines from a range of 140-175 months to a range of 188-235 months. In an amended judgment, the district court imposed a sentence of 225 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.

Subsequently, the Supreme Court's decision in Begay v. United States, 553 U.S. 137, 128 S.Ct. 1581, 170 L.Ed.2d 490 (2008), and our decision in United States v. McDonald, 592 F.3d 808 (7th Cir. 2010), altered the terrain as to the determination of career offender status. Begay held that the residual clause of the crime-of-violence definition encompasses the types of crimes that categorically involve purposeful, violent and aggressive conduct. 553 U.S. at 144-45, 148. The Court cautioned that " [i]n determining whether [a] crime is a violent felony, we consider the offense generically, that is to say, we examine it in terms of how the law defines the offense and not in terms of how an individual offender might have committed it on a particular occasion." Id. at 141, citing Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575, 602, 110 S.Ct. 2143, 109 L.Ed.2d 607 (1990). In McDonald, we held that pursuant to Begay, a conviction for second-degree sexual assault of a child in Wis. Stat. § 948.02(2), which prohibits " sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years," is not a " crime of violence" for purposes of the career offender designation in § 4B1.1 of the Guidelines because it is a strict liability offense. 592 F.3d at 813-14. Based on that caselaw, Coleman filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 asserting that he was improperly considered a career offender and sought resentencing. The district court granted

Page 708

the motion and recalculated the Guidelines range excluding that career offender designation. The court also concluded that a reduction in the base offense level was appropriate because the Guidelines range for that drug offense had subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission, and therefore determined that the proper range was 120-150 months instead of the 140-175 month range that the original court would have applied absent the career offender designation. The court sentenced Coleman to 120 months imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release. The government now appeals both the district court's order granting Coleman's motion to vacate his sentence under ยง 2255(a) and ordering resentencing (No. ...


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