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Frazer v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division

June 14, 2017

JOHN J. FRAZER, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER

          SARA DARROW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are Petitioner Frazer's application to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, ECF No. 1, and his motion to request counsel, ECF No. 6. For the reasons that follow, his application and his motion to request counsel are DENIED.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Starting at some point in 2011, Frazer began accessing child pornography on his laptop using peer-to-peer file-sharing software. In August 2012, he took pornographic photos of a minor and posted them on a Russian website. The Danish national police discovered the pictures and notified the United States Department of Homeland Security, which identified Frazer. Homeland Security's investigations unit obtained and served a search warrant for Frazer's house. They found child pornography on Frazer's laptop, including the photos he had taken and posted to the Russian website.

         Frazer was charged with the conduct by criminal complaint on August 28, 2012. CR ECF No. 1. An indictment followed on September 19, 2012, CR ECF No. 11, charging Frazer with (I-V) five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a) and (e); (VI) possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2); and a forfeiture allegation. Indictment 1-5. On February 6, 2013, Frazer pleaded guilty to Counts V and VI (the government dismissed I-IV). Plea Agreement, CR ECF No. 17; Feb. 6 2013 CR Minute Entry. On June 20, 2013, the Court sentenced Frazer to 300 months on Count V and 120 months on Count VI to run concurrently, with a lifetime of supervised release to follow. Jun. 20, 2013 CR Minute Entry. Written judgment entered on June 25, 2013. Judgment, CR ECF No. 25. Frazer did not appeal. On May 15, 2014, the government filed a sealed motion. CR ECF No. 33. After a telephone hearing, Dec. 18, 2014 CR Minute Entry, the Court reduced Frazer's sentence to 255 months. Amended judgment entered on December 23, 2014. CR ECF No. 38.

         Frazer filed the instant § 2255 motion on December 30, 2016. After being ordered to respond, the government filed a Response on March 2, 2017. ECF No. 4.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard on a Motion to Vacate Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         28 U.S.C. § 2255, “the federal prisoner's substitute for habeas corpus, ” Brown v. Rios, 696 F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012), permits a prisoner incarcerated pursuant to an Act of Congress to seek that his sentence be vacated, set aside, or corrected if “the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or . . . the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or . . . the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). See Webster v. Daniels, 784 F.3d 1123, 1124 (7th Cir. 2015) (“As a rule, the remedy afforded by section 2255 functions as an effective substitute for the writ of habeas corpus that it largely replaced.”). When presented with a § 2255 motion, a district court must hold an evidentiary hearing on the applicant's claim, and make findings of fact and conclusions of law. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). However, “[i]t is well-established that a district court need not grant an evidentiary hearing in all § 2255 cases.” Martin v. United States, 789 F.3d 703, 706 (7th Cir. 2015). The court need not hold a hearing if “the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b).

         Pursuant to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”), a federal prisoner seeking to vacate his sentence has one year to do so, from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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