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Hall v. United States

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

July 31, 2017

SHAMONTE HALL, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          AMY J. ST. EVE, District Court Judge

         On May 22, 2017, pro se Petitioner Shamonte Hall filed the present motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the following reasons, the Court dismisses Petitioner's § 2255 motion as untimely and declines to certify any issues for appeal. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2253(c)(2), 2255(f). [1].

         BACKGROUND

         On June 11, 2008, a grand jury returned a multi-count indictment charging Petitioner and his co-defendants with multiple offenses. (08 CR 386, R. 14.) More specifically, the indictment charged Petitioner with one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count One); one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count Two); one count of knowingly possessing a firearm in furtherance of and in relation to a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) (Count Three); and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Count Four).

         Petitioner and his two co-defendants proceeded to trial on February 11, 2009. (R. 117.) On February 20, 2009, the jury returned its verdict as to all three defendants. In particular, the jury found Petitioner not guilty on Count One, but guilty on Counts Two, Three, and Four. (R. 124.) On June 29, 2009, now-retired District Court Judge David Coar sentenced Petitioner. (R. 169.) In his sentencing memorandum, Petitioner argued that the United States Sentencing Guidelines range on Counts Two and Four were 78 to 97 months and asked for a combined sentence of 120 months' imprisonment, namely, 60 months on Counts Two and Four, and 60 months on Count Three. (R. 167, 6/24/09 Sent. Mem., at 9.) After hearing arguments from the parties, the district court agreed with the recommendation of the U.S. Probation Department that the sentencing guidelines range on Counts Two and Four was 110 to 137 months' imprisonment, and that Petitioner faced a mandatory minimum 60-month sentence on Count Three to be served consecutively to his sentence on Counts Two and Four. (17 C 3892, R. 6, Ex. 1, Sentencing Hr'g Tr., at 20:8-18.)

         After the sentencing court made these findings on the guidelines range, Petitioner's attorney argued for a sentence at the low end of the guidelines range. The sentencing court and Petitioner's counsel had the following exchange:

The Court: I'm not quite sure how you get to - your recommended sentence is 10 years.
Counsel: Judge, you would have to have accepted our objections to get there.
The Court: Okay.
Counsel: So we're not there. I think we're pretty much where probation recommended.

(Id. at 20:1-7.) The district court sentenced Petitioner to a term of imprisonment of 115 months on Counts Two and Four and 60 months on Count Three, to be served consecutively to the term imposed on Counts Two and Four, for a total of 175 months imprisonment. (R. 169.)

         Petitioner then appealed his conviction arguing that the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the affirmative defense of entrapment. See United States v. Hall, 608 F.3d 340, 341 (7th Cir. 2010). Petitioner, however, did not appeal his sentence. On June 17, 2010, the Seventh Circuit affirmed Petitioner's conviction. See Id. at 347. Thereafter, Petitioner did not file a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “Relief 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.” Blake v. United States, 723 F.3d 870, 878-79 (7th Cir. 2013). In other words, to obtain relief under § 2255, a petitioner must show that his “sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, the court lacked jurisdiction, the sentence was greater than the maximum authorized by law, or it is otherwise subject to collateral attack.” Swanson v. United States,692 F.3d 708, 714 (7th Cir. 2012) (citation omitted). Accordingly, a § 2255 motion is not a substitute for a direct appeal nor is it a means by which a defendant may appeal the same claims a second time. See Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 621, 118 S.Ct. 1604, 140 L.Ed.2d 828 (1998) (relief under § 2255 “will not be allowed to do service for an appeal”). If a § 2255 petitioner does not raise a claim on direct appeal, that claim is barred from the ...


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