United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MICHAEL J. JAIMET, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on petitioner Michael J.
Jaimet's motion to vacate, set aside or correct his
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. 1). Pursuant
to Administrative Order 176, counsel was appointed to
represent the petitioner because his motion was based on the
theory that Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), applied to the career offender (“CO”)
sentencing guideline (Doc. 2). Counsel has moved to withdraw
on the basis that, in light of the Supreme Court's
decision in Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886
(2017), she can make no non-frivolous argument in support of
§ 2255 relief for Jaimet (Doc. 4). The Government has
responded to counsel's motion to withdraw expressing no
objection (Doc. 6). Jaimet has not responded to counsel's
motion, although he was given an opportunity to do so.
April 5, 2013, Jaimet pled guilty to one count of conspiracy
to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). At sentencing on August 8,
2013, the Court found that Jaimet was a career offender under
United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual
(“U.S.S.G.”) § 4B1.1 based on two prior
felony convictions for a crime of violence. Jaimet's
career offender status established a base offense level of
32. His offense level was reduced by three points under
U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1(a) to 29 because Jaimet timely
demonstrated acceptance of responsibility for his offense.
Considering Jaimet's criminal history category of VI,
established by his career offender status under U.S.S.G.
§ 4B1.1, this yielded a sentencing range of 151 to 188
months in prison. The Court imposed a sentence of 151 months.
Jaimet did not appeal his sentence.
filed the pending § 2255 motion on September 1, 2015.
The Court conducts its preliminary review of Jaimet's
§ 2255 motion pursuant to Rule 4(b) of the Rules
Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States
District Courts and its evaluation of counsel's motion to
withdraw at the same time. Because it is plain from the
motion and the record of the prior proceedings that Jaimet is
not entitled to relief, the Court will deny his § 2255
motion and will grant counsel's motion to withdraw.
§ 2255 Standard
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, “[r]elief under § 2255 is available
‘only in extraordinary situations, such as an error of
constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude or where a
fundamental defect has occurred which results in a complete
miscarriage of justice.'” United States v.
Coleman, 763 F.3d 706, 708 (7th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Blake v. United States, 723 F.3d 870, 878-79 (7th
Cir. 2013)). 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).
filed this § 2255 motion arguing that his due process
rights were violated when the Court applied the residual
clause of the CO guideline to find his prior convictions were
“crimes of violence” supporting CO status,
increasing his guidelines sentencing range. The CO guideline
states, in pertinent part, that a prior offense is a crime of
violence if it “is burglary of a dwelling, arson, or
extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise
involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of
physical injury to another.” U.S.S.G. §
4B1.2(a)(2) (emphasis added to residual clause).
petitioner's argument relies on Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), which held that the use
of the identical residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal
Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), to increase the statutory
sentencing range is unconstitutional. Id. at 2563.
This is because the vagueness of the clause denies fair
notice to a defendant of his potential punishment and invites
arbitrary enforcement by judges. Id. at 2557. In
United States v. Hurlburt, 835 F.3d 715 (7th Cir.
2016) (en banc), the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals applied the same rationale to hold that use of the CO
residual clause to support CO status, thereby increasing the
guideline sentencing range, is also unconstitutional.
Id. at 725.
however, was overruled by Beckles v. United States,
137 S.Ct. 886, 892 (2017), which held that sentencing
guidelines are not amendable to vagueness challenges. This is
because, unlike the statute at issue in Johnson,
advisory guidelines “do not fix the permissible range
of sentences” but “merely guide the exercise of a
court's discretion in choosing an appropriate sentence
within the statutory range.” Id.
forecloses the petitioner's argument that he is entitled
to § 2255 relief. There was nothing unconstitutional
about the Court's using the CO residual clause to find
Jaimet's prior convictions were crimes of violence
supporting CO status. This is because the Court's
guideline range findings did not fix the sentencing range but
merely guided the Court's discretion within the fixed
statutory sentencing range. For this reason, Jaimet is not
entitled to § 2255 relief.
Certificate of Appealability
to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing § 2255 Proceedings
and Rule 22(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Appellate
Procedure, the Court considers whether to issue a certificate
of appealability of this final order adverse to the
petitioner. A certificate of appealability may issue
“only if the applicant has made a substantial showing
of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2253(c)(2); see Tennard v. Dretke, 542 U.S.
274, 282 (2004); Ouska v. Cahill-Masching, 246 F.3d
1036, 1045 (7th Cir. 2001). To make such a showing, the
petitioner must “demonstrate that reasonable jurists
could debate whether [the] challenge in [the] habeas petition
should have been resolved in a different manner or that the
issue presented was adequate to deserve encouragement to
proceed further.” Ouska, 246 F.3d at 1046;