United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
RICHARD MILLS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 28, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit granted Petitioner Nolan Ramon Nelson's
application to file a successive motion to vacate under 28
U.S.C. §2255, thereby authorizing this Court to consider
his claim and the Government's defense.
was appointed to represent the Petitioner. A supplemental
motion with exhibits was filed and the Government has filed
reasons that follow, the Petitioner's motion under §
2255 is without merit.
Petitioner was sentenced as a career offender. In his motion,
he sought to challenge his sentence under Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), wherein the United
States Supreme Court held that the residual clause of the
Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) is unconstitutionally vague.
The Seventh Circuit later held that because Johnson
announced a new substantive rule of constitutional law, it
has retroactive application. See Price v. United
States, 795 F.3d 731, 734 (7th Cir. 2015).
Government alleges that the Petitioner's claim is
foreclosed by the United States Supreme Court's recent
decision in Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886
(2017). Even if the Petitioner's claim was not foreclosed
by Beckles, the Government asserts he waived his
right to collaterally attack his sentence. The Government
notes that, in dismissing the Petitioner's original
§2255 motion, this Court previously determined that the
waiver was enforceable. Additionally, the Government alleges
the Petitioner's challenge to the advisory guidelines
calculation is improper on collateral review.
sentencing, as a career offender with two prior felony drug
convictions, the Petitioner faced a statutorily mandated
sentence of life imprisonment pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(b)(1)(A) and 851. Accordingly, life
imprisonment became the Petitioner's guideline range.
Court allowed a motion to depart downward from the applicable
guideline range. On August 22, 2005, the Petitioner was
sentenced to 262 months imprisonment.
Petitioner's sentence was affirmed on direct appeal in
United States v. Nelson, 491 F.3d 344 (7th Cir.
2007). His subsequent motion under § 2255 was dismissed
by this Court.
November of 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission
amended U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, the policy statement which
governs motions to reduce sentence under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2). Section 1B1.10 now provides:
If the case involves a statutorily required minimum sentence
and the Court had the authority to impose a sentence below
the statutorily required minimum sentence pursuant to a
government motion to reflect the defendant's substantial
assistance to authorities, then for purposes of this policy
statement the amended guideline range shall be determined
without regard to the operation of § 5G1.1 . . . .
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(c). Accordingly, a determination that
the Petitioner is no longer a career offender would permit
him to seek sentencing relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c),
based on retroactive amendments to the sentencing guidelines
that have the effect ...