United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
RACHAEL S. HOLT, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Crim. No. 13-cr-40067-JPG
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on petitioner Rachael S.
Holt's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. 1). A response from
the Government is not required by the Court. For the
following reasons, the Court denies Holt's motion.
October 17, 2013, Holt pled guilty to one count of conspiracy
to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a) and 846 and to two counts of possessing a
listed chemical knowing it would be used to manufacture
methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(c)(2).
See United States v. Holt, Case No. 13-cr-40067-JPG
(Doc. 36, 13-cr-40067-JPG). On February 12, 2014, the Court
sentenced Holt to 114 months of imprisonment, 4 years on
supervised release, a $300 special assessment, and a $300
(Doc. 47, 13-cr-40067-JPG). The Court found that there were
no aggravating or mitigating role adjustments (Docs. 44 &
53, 13-cr-40067-JPG). The Court reduced Holt's sentence
of imprisonment to 91 months based on the retroactive
application of Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing
Guideline Manual (“U.S.S.G.”).
sole argument in petitioner's § 2255 motion is that
U.S.S.G. Amendment 794, which became effective November 1,
2015, and amended the commentary and notes to U.S.S.G. §
3B1.2 regarding the mitigating role reduction, should be
applied retroactively to reduce her sentence.
Court must grant a § 2255 motion when a defendant's
“sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution
or laws of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
However, “[h]abeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 is reserved for extraordinary situations.”
Prewitt v. United States, 83 F.3d 812, 816 (7th Cir.
1996). “Relief under § 2255 is available only for
errors of constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude, or
where the error represents a fundamental defect which
inherently results in a complete miscarriage of
justice.” Kelly v. United States, 29 F.3d
1107, 1112 (7th Cir. 1994) (quotations omitted). It is proper
to deny a § 2255 motion without an evidentiary hearing
if, “the motion and the files and records of the case
conclusively demonstrate that the prisoner is entitled to no
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b); see Sandoval v.
United States, 574 F.3d 847, 850 (7th Cir. 2009). No
evidentiary hearing has been conducted in this matter as the
records and files clearly demonstrate that the petitioner is
not entitled to any relief.
794 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines became
effective on November 1, 2015. Although Amendment 794 has
been applied retroactively on direct appeal, it has not been
held retroactive on collateral review. See U.S.S.G.
§ 1B1.10(d) (listing retroactive amendments); United
States v. Quintero-Leyva, 823 F.3d 519, 521 n. 1 (9th
Cir. 2016) (holding that Amendment 794 applies retroactively
in direct appeals, but declining to determine whether
“a defendant who has exhausted his direct appeal can
move to reopen sentencing proceedings”). The petitioner
has not cited to any controlling case law that Amendment 794
applies retroactively on collateral review. As Amendment 794
is not retroactive on collateral review, it cannot provide a
basis for relief under § 2255. The Court properly used the
sentencing guideline manual in effect on the date of the
petitioner's sentencing with regard to the
petitioner's participation in the offense. See
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.11.
Certificate of Appealability
denied the petitioner's motion, the Court must grant or
deny a certificate of appealability. See Rule 11(a)
of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the
United States District Courts; 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c).
Section 2253(c)(2) provides that a certificate of
appealability may issue only if a petitioner has made a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
The petitioner has made no such showing. Therefore, the Court
declines to issue a certificate of appealability. Pursuant to
Rule 11(a), the petitioner may not appeal the denial of a
certificate of appealability, but she may seek a certificate
from the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
on the above, this Court:
• DENIES the petitioner's § 2255 motion ...