United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division
TYRONE C. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
HAROLD A. BAKER, District Judge.
On September 11, 2014, Petitioner, Tyrone C. Williams, filed a pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1). On November 26, 2014, the Government filed its Response to Petitioner's Motion (#5).
This court has carefully and thoroughly reviewed the arguments of the parties and the record in this case, including the edited and unedited DVD. Petitioner's statement to police. This court has also reviewed the record in Petitioner's criminal case. Following this careful consideration, Petitioner's pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1) is DENIED.
On September 1, 2009, Petitioner was charged by indictment, in Case No. 09-CR-20066, with one count of possession of five or more grams of a substance containing cocaine base (crack) with the intent to distribute it. The Government subsequently filed notice that Petitioner could qualify for an enhanced sentence due to four prior felony drug convictions. Petitioner's jury trial began on January 31, 2011. The evidence showed that, on July 16, 2009, Petitioner was a passenger in a car which was stopped for speeding. The driver consented to a search of the car and four bags of crack cocaine were found. The Government played an edited DVD of Petitioner's videotaped statement to David Dailey, a police officer with the Decatur Police Department. Petitioner's attorneys agreed to the edited DVD being played for the jury. A transcript of the interview was provided to the jury. The jury was instructed that the "recording is the evidence and the transcript is provided to you only as a guide to help you follow as you listen to the recording." The jury was further instructed that "[t]he transcript is not evidence of what was actually said. If you notice any differences between what you hear on the recording and what you read in the transcript, you must rely on what you hear not on what you read."
The DVD played for the jury showed that Dailey advised Petitioner of his Miranda rights. Petitioner agreed to waive his rights and continue the interview with Dailey. A written form setting out the Miranda rights was admitted into evidence. The form stated:
1. You do not have to make any statement at this time and have a right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a Court of Law.
3. You are entitled to an attorney before any interview and to have an attorney present at the interview.
4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
5. The above rights have been read to me and by me, and I fully understand those rights. Understanding the above rights, I do agree to speak with officer(s) interviewing me.
Petitioner initialed each of the five statements and signed and dated the form. Petitioner then stated that he had traveled to Chicago the day before with the driver of the car and had obtained the crack cocaine while in Chicago. Petitioner stated he was en route back to Decatur where he would eventually distribute the crack cocaine.
On February 3, 2011, the jury found Petitioner guilty of the offense charged. At sentencing on March 31, 2011, the court imposed a sentence of 120 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and eight years of supervised release. This was the statutory minimum sentence, based on the drug quantity and Petitioner's prior felony drug convictions. The court denied Petitioner's request to apply the provisions of the Fair Sentencing Act, which was effective August 3, 2010, based upon the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Fair Sentencing Act did not apply retroactively to offense conduct that had occurred before the Act's effective date.
Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal. Petitioner's appellate counsel moved to stay briefing in the Seventh Circuit while Dorsey v. United States was under consideration in the United States Supreme Court. Appellate counsel advised the Seventh Circuit that he did not believe he could "raise any non-frivolous issue, except for possibly the Dorsey issue." On April 17, 2012, the Supreme Court decided Dorsey. Dorsey v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2321 (2012). The Supreme Court held that the Fair Sentencing Act applied to offenders, like Petitioner, whose crimes preceded the effective date of the Act, but who were sentenced after that date. Id. at 2335. After the Supreme Court decided Dorsey, and upon ...