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United States v. Lawrence

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

December 20, 2016

United States of America,
v.
Brain Lawrence, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Ronald A. Guzmán United States District Judge

         For the reasons stated below, Defendant's § 2255 motion [1] is denied. Pursuant to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases, the Court must consider whether to grant a certificate of appealability. Based on the foregoing analysis, Defendant has not established that reasonable jurists could debate the correctness of the Court's decision. Accordingly, the Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability. Civil case terminated.

         STATEMENT

         On October 22, 2010, “[a]s part of a routine parole compliance check, state parole agents searched convicted felon Brian Lawrence's residence and found cocaine and ammunition.” United States v. Lawrence, 788 F.3d 234, 237 (7th Cir. 2015). On June 7, 2011, Lawrence was charged with knowingly possessing ammunition that had traveled in interstate commerce after having previously been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(2) and 924(e)(1) (Count One), and knowingly possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Count Two), for conduct that occurred on October 22, 2010 in Chicago. Prior to trial, the Court denied his motion in limine to exclude evidence obtained by a drug-detecting dog. After a jury trial, he was found not guilty of Count One and guilty of Count Two. Subsequent to denying his motion for a new trial, the Court sentenced Lawrence to 262 months imprisonment with five years supervised release. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his conviction and sentence on June 2, 2015. See Lawrence, 788 F.3d at 247.

         Facts

         In his § 2255 motion, Lawrence alleges the following claims:

(1) ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to challenge the validity or scope of Lawrence's consent to search;
(2) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to investigate A.C. Kinnard's statement to the government or call Kinnard at trial;
(3) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to offer a rebuttal witness to challenge the dog sniff evidence;
(4) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to challenge the chain of custody of the evidence found in his home;
(5) ineffective assistance of counsel for stipulating to the type and amount of drugs that was found;
(6) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to argue at sentencing that application of § 4B1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines was oppressive and draconian;
(7) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to challenge the term of supervised release as “inappropriate” because the Court did not reference the applicable factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553;
(8) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failing to state on appeal the “particular portion” of the constructive ...

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