Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Adams v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

August 25, 2016

MICHAEL ADAMS, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Crim. No. 11-10037

          ORDER AND OPINION

          James E. Shadid Chief United States District Judge

         This matter is now before the Court on Petitioner Adams' § 2255 Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's Motion [1] is Denied.

         Background

         Petitioner Adams filed this § 2255 action seeking to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2251 (2015). Adams pled guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) on July 22, 2011. Because he had at least one prior conviction for armed robbery and two prior convictions for robbery, he qualified for sentencing as an Armed Career Criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (the “ACCA”).[1] On December 2, 2011, Adams was sentenced to 180 months' imprisonment concurrent to his undischarged state sentences.[2] He now argues that after Johnson, because his convictions for robbery are not enumerated in the ACCA, they fall under the residual clause and are no longer deemed violent felonies capable of supporting his sentence. The matter is fully briefed, and this Order follows.

         Standard of Review

         A petitioner may avail himself of § 2255 relief only if he can show that there are “flaws in the conviction or sentence which are jurisdictional in nature, constitutional in magnitude or result in a complete miscarriage of justice.” Boyer v. United States, 55 F.2d 296, 298 (7th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 268 (1995). Section 2255 is limited to correcting errors that “vitiate the sentencing court's jurisdiction or are otherwise of constitutional magnitude.” Guinan v. United States, 6 F.3d 468, 470 (7th Cir. 1993), citing Scott v. United States, 997 F.2d 340 (7th Cir. 1993). A § 2255 motion is not, however, a substitute for a direct appeal. Doe v. United States, 51 F.3d 693, 698 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 205 (1995); McCleese v. United States, 75 F.3d 1174, 1177 (7th Cir. 1996). Federal prisoners may not use § 2255 as a vehicle to circumvent decisions made by the appellate court in a direct appeal. United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 165 (1982); Doe, 51 F.3d at 698.

         Analysis

         Adams claims in his § 2255 Motion that his sentence is invalid because the Court found that he was eligible for an enhanced sentence as an armed career criminal based on robbery convictions that no longer qualify under the ACCA. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act violates due process because the clause is too vague to provide adequate notice. Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). In Price v. United States, the Seventh Circuit held that Johnson announced a new substantive rule of constitutional law that the Supreme Court has categorically made retroactive to final convictions. 795 F.3d 731, 732 (7th Cir. 2015). That decision also made clear that Johnson is retroactive not only to cases on direct appeal, but also to cases on collateral review. Id.

         The penalty for an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) is normally up to 10 years' imprisonment. The ACCA provides for this sentence to be increased to a mandatory term of 15 years to life if the defendant has three previous convictions for a violent felony, serious drug offense, or both. 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1); Welch v. United States, __ U.S.__, 136 S.Ct. 1257, 1261 (2016). The Act defines “violent felony” as:

[A]ny crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year ... that-
(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another; or
(ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

§ 924(e)(2)(B); We l s h , 136 S.Ct. at 1261. Subsection (i) of this definition is known as the “elements clause.” The end of subsection (ii)-“or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another”-is known as the residual clause. See Johnson, supra, at __, 135 S.Ct., at 2555-2556. It is the residual clause that Johnson held to be vague and invalid.

         Adams' Motion seeks to invoke Johnson, claiming that his prior convictions for robbery fell within the residual clause of the definition of “violent felony” under the ACCA. The Government argues that the robbery convictions qualified as violent felonies under the elements clause of § 924(e), as robbery “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another.” While Johnson invalidated the residual clause of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.