United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JAMAR E. PLUNKETT, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge.
matter is now before the Court on Petitioner Jamar
Plunkett's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc.
The Government opposes the petition arguing that his appeal
waiver bars the claims he is trying to raise, that his
counsel was not ineffective, and that even if neither of
those propositions held true, there was no error in his plea
agreement or sentencing in light of the Supreme Court's
latest ruling on the provisions he was sentenced under (Docs.
8). Petitioner Plunkett had multiple opportunities throughout
the proceedings to reply to the Government's arguments
(Docs. 15, 20, 21, 24, 30). The matter is now before the
Court for a decision. For the reasons set forth herein, the
Court finds that Petitioner Plunkett is not entitled to the
relief he seeks, nor does this case warrant an evidentiary
to a plea agreement, Plunkett pled guilty to a single-count
indictment for distribution of cocaine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(c). (CM/ECF, S.D. Ill.,
Case No. 13-CR-30003-MJR, Doc. 11). The plea colloquy in
Plunkett's case shows that the Court took numerous steps
to ensure that he understood the plea agreement he was
entering (See Doc. 51). Of particular importance to
the matter before the Court, Plunkett indicated that he had
sufficient time to discuss his case with his counsel, that he
fully understood the potential sentencing range, that he knew
he was waiving his right to direct and collateral appeals for
all but a limited number of issues, and that he understood
the Court would not be bound by the recommendation in the
Court: You have a maximum of 30 years, but the minimum under
the guidelines will be somewhere lower than that, I assume,
and according to the plea agreement that's estimated to
be what I told you before, the 188 to 235 months[…]
All right. Now your plea agreement also provides that in the
event-well, provides that by pleading guilty you're
waiving all appellate issues that you could have exercise in
the event of a trial. And you acknowledge that you've
been provided discovery compliance in your case. Is that
Plunkett: Yes, sir.
Court: Okay. You're aware that under Title 18 and Title
28, and other provisions of the U.S. Code, you have a limited
right to contest a conviction or sentence in aggravation or
sentence under through appeal or collateral attack, and that
you are knowingly and voluntarily waiving your right to
contest any aspect of your conviction and sentence that could
be contested under Title 18, Title 28, or any other
provisions of federal law, except that if the sentence
imposed is in excess of the advisory guidelines as determined
by the Court.
You preserve the right to appeal the reasonableness of the
sentence. And that you acknowledge that if you do take such
an appeal, the Government has the right to oppose it. But
your waiver of your right to appeal or bring collateral
challenges shall not apply if they add to any subsequent
change in the interpretation of law by the U.S. Supreme Court
or Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit which has been declared
retroactive by those courts and that renders you actually
innocent of the charges, and appeals based upon guideline
amendments that are made retroactive by the U.S. Sentencing
Commission. And you reserve the right of course to oppose
such claims. And your waiver of your appeal and collateral
review rights would not affect the Government's right to
appeal in your sentence[…]
Now are those substantially the terms of your plea agreement
with the Government as you understand them?
Plunkett: Yes, sir.
Court: All right. I think I asked you this before, but I will
again. Do you understand that if I do not accept the
sentencing recommendation contained in your plea agreement,
that you will still be bound by your plea ...