United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jeffrey Price has filed an Amended Motion Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a
Person in Federal Custody (d/e 16). After reviewing the
entire record in the case, the Court finds no need for an
evidentiary hearing because any factual matters may be
resolved based on the record before the Court.
Motion is DENIED. All of Petitioner's claims, with the
exception of the ineffective assistance of counsel claims,
are procedurally defaulted. Petitioner is not entitled to
relief on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims
because he can show neither deficient performance nor
prejudice. Finally, even if Petitioner's remaining claims
were not procedurally defaulted, Petitioner is not entitled
took sexually explicit photographs of his daughter R.P. when
she was between the ages of 10 and 12. He put some of the
photographs on the internet. Petitioner also had stored on
his computers a large amount of child pornography depicting
was originally charged in October 2009 and was detained
throughout the case. United States v. Price, Central
District of Illinois Case No. 09-30107 (Crim.). The Second
Superseding Indictment (Crim., d/e 76) charged him with Use
of a Minor to Produce Child Pornography in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2251(a) and (e) and Possession of Child
Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B)
and (b)(2). The Court appointed several attorneys to
represent Petitioner over the course of the proceedings.
Petitioner ultimately elected to proceed pro se with standby
counsel shortly before trial.
November 2011, after a four-day trial, a jury found
Petitioner guilty of producing child pornography and of
possessing child pornography. By special verdict, the jury
found that five of the photographs of R.P. depicted sexually
explicit conduct. See Crim., Jury Verdict (d/e 159,
4 of 8); Tr. at 971 (d/e 205).
Petitioner's agreement, the Court appointed counsel to
represent Petitioner at sentencing. In March 2012, this Court
sentenced Petitioner to 18 years' imprisonment on the
production count and a concurrent 6-year term of imprisonment
on the possession count. The Court also sentenced Petitioner
to a lifetime term of supervised release and imposed the $200
mandatory special assessment.
appealed and was appointed counsel on appeal. On appeal,
Petitioner challenged the denial of his motion to suppress
and the jury instruction on lascivious exhibition. The
Government filed a cross-appeal arguing that Petitioner's
18-year sentence, less than half of the 40-year Guideline
sentence, was substantively unreasonable. On December 5,
2014, the Seventh Circuit affirmed. United State v.
Price, 775 F.3d 828 (7th Cir. 2014).
Petitioner nor the Government sought further review.
Therefore, Petitioner's conviction became final on March
5, 2015. Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 525
(2003) (a judgment for conviction becomes final when the
90-day period for filing a petition for certiorari expires).
December 7, 2015, Petitioner timely filed a Motion under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence
by a Person in Federal Custody (d/e 1). The Court directed
Respondent United States of America to file an answer,
motion, or other response. Respondent filed a response
seeking to dismiss several claims for failure to state a
claim, arguing that the claims were perfunctory and
unsupported by facts or arguments, arguing that several
claims were procedurally defaulted, and addressing some of
the claims on the merits. Resp. (d/e 3). Petitioner filed a
reply (d/e 4), asserting that he previously requested
transcripts but the request was denied. Petitioner also
sought to reserve all other issues for discussion with
23, 2016, this Court entered an Order denying what the Court
construed as Petitioner's request for counsel. Order at 2
(d/e 6). As for the sufficiency of Petitioner's Motion,
the Court found that a few of Petitioner's claims
contained sufficient facts and argument to permit the Court
to review them but that the majority of the claims did not
state supporting facts. Id. at 2-3. Because the
deficiencies in Petitioner's Motion might be corrected if
Petitioner had access to the transcripts, the Court directed
the Clerk to send the existing transcripts to the Warden of
the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan, Michigan.
Id. at 3. The Court directed the Warden to maintain
custody and control of the documents but to allow Petitioner
reasonable access to the transcripts under the direct
supervision of a prison official. Id. at 3-4. The
Court also granted Petitioner leave to file an amended §
2255 Motion. Id. at 4. In August 2016, the Court
granted Petitioner's request for one additional
transcript. August 4, 2016 Text Order.
January 17, 2017, after several extensions of time,
Petitioner filed his Amended § 2255 Petition (d/e 16).
The Amended Petition lists four grounds, followed by a list
of individual claims:
GROUND ONE: Abuse of Discretion
1. Court denied use of Exculpatory Evidence by Defendant
2. Court allowed false testimony on behalf of Government
3. Denied rights pursuant to 18 USC 3142
4. Defendant compelled to proceed pro se
5. Court denied Defendant's rights under 18 USC 3161
6. Jury not fully informed by trial court Judge
7. Prejudicial Error and Bias
GROUND TWO: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
1. Robert Scherschligt
2. Ron Stone
3. James Elmore
4. Jon Noll & Daniel Noll 5. Joshua Press, Evan Brennan,
Jennifer Madden (Appellate)
GROUND THREE: Fraud on the Court
1. Fraudulently dated Federal Court documents
a. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore
b. Special Agent Bowers
c. Special Agent Michael Mitchell
d. Springfield Police Detective Paula Morrow
GROUND FOUR: Violation of Rights
1. Violation of Constitution of the United States
2. Violation of Rights pursuant to United States Code cited
Mot. at 4-8 (d/e 16). Petitioner attached to the Motion his
argument and supporting material.
April 7, 2017, Respondent filed its Response (d/e 20) to the
Motion. On May 11, 2017, Petitioner filed his Reply (d/e 21).
person convicted of a federal crime may move to vacate, set
aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. Relief under § 2555 is an extraordinary remedy
because a § 2255 petitioner has already had “an
opportunity for full process.” Almonacid v. United
States, 476 F.3d 518, 521 (7th Cir. 2007).
Post-conviction relief under Section 2255 is therefore
“appropriate only for an error of law that is
jurisdictional, constitutional, or constitutes a fundamental
defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of
justice.” Harris v. United States, 366 F.3d
593, 594 (7th Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). In considering a Section 2255 motion, the
Court reviews the evidence and inferences drawn from the
evidence in the light most favorable to the Government.
Carnine v. United States, 974 F.2d 924, 928 (7th
All of Petitioner's Claims, With the Exception of the
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel ...