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Brewer v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

December 13, 2017

DARREN BREWER, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER AND OPINION

          JAMES E. SHADID, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Now before the Court is Petitioner Brewer's Motion [1] to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's Motion [1] is DENIED and the Court declines to issue a Certificate of Appealability.

         Background

         On January 7, 2014, Darren Brewer entered an open plea of guilty to a two-count indictment charging him with possession with intent to distribute 28 or more grams of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B), and felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). United States v. Brewer, No. 13-20051 (C.D. Ill. 2014) The Presentence Report found the following prior convictions qualified him as an Armed Career Criminal and thus subject to a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e):

1. Attempted Armed Robbery, Kankakee County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 1985-CF-107;
2. Aggravated Robbery, Kankakee County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 1995- CF-369;
3. Aggravated Robbery, Kankakee County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 1995-CF-308;
4. Robbery, York County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 1147-CR-2004;
5. Aggravated Robbery, Kankakee County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 2003-CF-378;
6. Aggravated Robbery, Kankakee County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 2003-CF-379.

         Doc. 18 (Revised Presentence Report at ¶ 37). On May 29, 2014, Judge McCuskey sentenced Brewer to concurrent terms of 180 months' imprisonment on Counts 1 and 2. No appeal was filed.

         On June 21, 2016, Brewer filed the instant Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Doc. 1. Therein, Brewer argues that following the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2251 (2015), the “robbery charges” that resulted in his classification as an Armed Career Criminal were too vague to qualify as violent felonies. Specifically, Brewer points to his Pennsylvania conviction for robbery and his aggravated robbery convictions in Kankakee County, Case Nos. 2003-CF-378 and 2003-CF-379, as invalid predicate offenses under the ACCA. The Government has filed a Response in opposition to Brewer's Motion. Doc. 7. This Order follows.

         Legal Standard

         A petitioner may avail himself of § 2255 relief only if he can show that there are “flaws in the conviction or sentence which are jurisdictional in nature, constitutional in magnitude or result in a complete miscarriage of justice.” Boyer v. United States, 55 F.2d 296, 298 (7th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 268 (1995). Section 2255 is limited to correcting errors that “vitiate the sentencing court's jurisdiction or are otherwise of constitutional magnitude.” Guinan v. United States, 6 F.3d 468, 470 (7th Cir. 1993), citing Scott v. United States, 997 F.2d 340 (7th Cir. 1993). A ยง 2255 motion is not a substitute for ...


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