United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JASON L. SHADLE, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on petitioner Jason L.
Shadle's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 1.) In
2014, the Government charged the petitioner with conspiracy
to manufacture methamphetamine (Count I), two counts of
possession of equipment, chemicals, products, or materials
used to manufacture methamphetamine (Counts II-III), and
possession of pseudoephedrine knowing it would be used to
manufacture methamphetamine (Count IV). The petitioner pled
guilty to all four counts in an open plea in front of this
Court on October 22, 2014. In February 2015, this Court
sentenced petitioner to a term of 216 months on Count I and
120 months on Counts II-IV, all to run concurrently, with a
four-year term of supervised release following the prison
sentence. The Court also ordered petitioner to pay a fine of
$200.00 and a special assessment of $400.00.
did not appeal his conviction.
§ 2255 motion, timely filed on February 26, 2016, the
petitioner raises the following claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel in violation of his Sixth Amendment
Ground 1: Pretrial counsel's failure to
(1) conduct an adequate and independent pretrial
investigation; (2) communicate with Shadle and inform him of
the relevant circumstances and likely consequences of
pleading guilty as opposed to proceeding to trial; and (3)
attempt to negotiate a favorable plea agreement [which]
deprived Shadle of effective assistance of pretrial counsel
under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
Ground 2: Sentencing counsel's failure
to (1) review, discuss, and explain the PSR with Shadle prior
to the sentencing hearing; (2) file objections to the PSR;
(3) argue for mitigation of punishment; and (4) file a fair
notice of appeal [that] deprived him of effective assistance
of counsel, a fair and just sentence, and a fair and
meaningful appellate review.
(Doc. 1.) The Court directed the petitioner to supplement his
§ 2255 petition with an additional memorandum because
many of his claims were vague. (Doc. 2.) On March 29, 2016,
the petitioner filed his memorandum and the Court directed
the government to respond. (Docs. 3, 4.) The Government filed
its initial response (Doc. 9) and the Court held a hearing on
the issue of whether counsel failed to appeal on August 8,
2016. Petitioner appeared by video conference and his former
counsel, John R. Clemons, testified. After hearing the
testimony and arguments, the Court found that petitioner did
not request an appeal, but reserved ruling on the remaining
issues in petitioner's motion. On November 18, 2016, and
at the Court's leave, the Government filed a response to
the remaining matters in petitioner's motion. (Doc. 24.)
All of the claims have been fully briefed and the Court finds
that an additional hearing is not warranted.
§ 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 only available
‘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).
arguments for § 2255 relief all allege that his counsel
was constitutionally ineffective in numerous ways in
violation of his Sixth Amendment rights. The Sixth Amendment
provides that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of
Counsel for his defence.” U.S. Const. amend. VI. This
right to assistance of counsel encompasses the right to
effective assistance of counsel. McMann v.
Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 771, n. 14 (1970) (emphasis
added); Watson v. Anglin, 560 F.3d 687, 690 (7th
Cir. 2009). A party claiming ineffective assistance of
counsel bears the burden of showing (1) that his
counsel's performance fell below objective standards for
reasonably effective representation, and (2) that this
deficiency prejudiced the defense. Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688-94 (1984); United
States v. Jones, 635 F.3d 909, 915 (7th Cir. 2011);
Wyatt v. United States, 574 F.3d 455, 457 (7th Cir.
2009); Fountain v. United States, 211 F.3d 429, 434
(7th Cir. 2000).
satisfy the first prong of the Strickland test, the
petitioner must direct the Court to specific acts or
omissions of his counsel. Wyatt, 574 F.3d at 458.
The Court must then consider whether, in light of all of the
circumstances, counsel's performance was outside the wide
range of professionally competent assistance. Id.
The Court's review of counsel's performance must be
“highly deferential . . . indulg[ing] a strong
presumption that counsel's conduct falls within the wide
range of reasonable professional assistance.”
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 689; accord Wyatt,
574 F.3d at 458. Counsel's performance must be evaluated
keeping in mind that an attorney's trial strategies are a
matter of professional judgment and often turn on facts not
contained in the trial record. Strickland, 466 U.S.
at 689. The Court cannot become a “Monday morning
quarterback.” Harris v. Reed, 894 F.2d 871,
877 (7th Cir. 1990).
satisfy the second prong of the Strickland test, the
plaintiff must show that there is a reasonable probability
that but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result
of the proceedings would have been different, such that the
proceedings were fundamentally unfair or unreliable.
Jones, 635 F.3d at 915; Fountain, 211 F.3d
at 434; Adams v. Bertrand, 453 F.3d 428, 435 (7th
Cir. 2006). “A reasonable probability is defined as one
that is sufficient to undermine confidence in an
outcome.” Adams, 453 F.3d at 435 (citing
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 694).
case where a petitioner pled guilty as a result of alleged
ineffective assistance of counsel, there is an additional
inquiry. To satisfy the first prong of the
Strickland test in this scenario, the petitioner
must show that his counsel's advice leading to the plea
was outside the range of professionally competent assistance.
Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 56-57 (1985) (citing
McMann, 397 U.S. at 771); (Tollett v.
Henderson, 411 U.S. 258, 267 (1973)). To satisfy the
second Strickland prong, he must show that there is
a reasonable probability that but for his counsel's
deficient performance, he would not have entered a guilty
plea and instead would have gone to trial. Hill, 474
U.S. at 58; United States v. Parker, 609 F.3d 891,
894 (7th Cir. 2010); Wyatt, 574 F.3d at 458 (7th
Cir. 2009); Richardson v. United States, 379 F.3d
485, 487 (7th Cir. 2004). Counsel's deficient performance
must have been a decisive factor in the defendant's
decision to enter a guilty plea. Wyatt, 574 F.3d at
458; see Julian v. Bartley, 495 F.3d 487, 498 (7th
Cir. 2007). To make such a showing, the petitioner must
present objective evidence that he would not have entered a
guilty plea; his own self-serving testimony that he would
have insisted on going to trial is not enough. Koons v.
United States, 639 F.3d 348, 351 (7th Cir. 2011);
McCleese v. United States, 75 F.3d 1174, 1179 (7th
Cir. 1996) (citing Toro v. Fairman, 940 F.2d 1065,
1068 (7th Cir. 1991)); see Wyatt, 574 F.3d at 458
(stating “a defendant's mere allegation that he
would have chosen a path other than the conditional plea is
insufficient by itself to establish prejudice.”).
Similarly, when a § 2255 petitioner faults his attorney
for failing to object or present evidence at sentencing, he
bears the burden of demonstrating what evidence the attorney
should have presented and that the presentation of such
evidence had a reasonable probability of changing the result.
Fuller v. United States, 398 F.3d 644, 652 (7th Cir.
2005); Berkey v. United States, 318 F.3d 768, 774
(7th Cir. 2003).