United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
JAMES E. COLLINS, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
RICHARD MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James E. Collins has filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or
Correct his Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Upon
reviewing the motion and the record, the Court finds that no
evidentiary hearing is needed and the Petitioner is entitled
to no relief.
final revocation hearing on October 5, 2017, based on a Grade
A violation and Criminal History Category of III, the Court
determined that Petitioner James Collins's guideline
range was 30 to 37 months. Upon admitting to the manufacture
and delivery of a controlled substance, James Collins was
sentenced to 30 months in the custody of the Bureau of
Prisons followed by two years of supervised release. See
United States v. James Collins, Case Number 95-30078,
Doc. No. 449. The Court ordered that the sentence be served
consecutively to any term imposed in Sangamon County Circuit
Court, Case Number 2017-CF-709. The Sangamon County case
remains pending and is set for trial on August 20, 2018. The
Petitioner is charged in that case with Manufacture/Delivery
of a Controlled Substance.
§ 2255 motion, the Petitioner alleges the record shows
that the actual conduct by the Defendant was “mere
possession.” He states that the individual with whom he
was arrested had arranged to sell the cocaine to a
confidential source. The Petitioner claims he did not engage
in such conduct. The Petitioner also questions whether the
substance was actually a controlled substance.
Petitioner also states that the transcript does not show that
the Court considered 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(D), which
directs courts to consider a defendant's “needed
educational or vocational training, medical care or other
correctional treatment in the most effective manner.”
Petitioner also claims that his conduct was a Class C
violation and the maximum sentence that could be imposed was
Petitioner's claims are without merit. He admitted to the
manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance-at least
that the Government could prove the charge by a preponderance
of the evidence--as alleged in the petition for revocation,
which is a Grade A violation. Consequently, the statutory
maximum was five years. See 18 U.S.C. §
Petitioner also asserts an ineffective assistance of counsel
claim based on his assertion that the offense was a Class C
offense. Because it was a Grade A violation, the
Petitioner's claim is without merit.
there had been an error in calculating the guidelines, the
Petitioner would be entitled to no relief.
“[S]entencing errors are generally not cognizable on
collateral review.” Hawkins v. United States,
706 F.3d 820, 826 (7th Cir. 2013). “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.” United States v.
Coleman, 763 F.3d 706, 708 (7th Cir. 2014) (internal
quotation marks omitted). “[A]bsent a fundamental
miscarriage of justice, arguments based on the Sentencing
Guidelines must be raised on direct appeal or not at
all.” Allen v. United States, 175 F.3d 560,
563 (7th Cir. 1999). “Purported errors in the
calculation of the Guidelines are the ordinary grist of the
mill for direct appeals, and that would have been the
appropriate vehicle for any argument of that nature.”
United States v. George, 2012 WL 426741, at *1 (N.D.
Ill. Feb. 10, 2012).
Petitioner admitted that the Government could prove he
committed a Grade A violation. The offense with which he is
charged is a Grade A violation, not a Grade C violation. The
sentence imposed by the Court did not exceed the statutory
on the foregoing, the Petitioner is not entitled to relief
under § 2255.
appeal may be taken if the Court issues a certificate of
appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A).
The Court is unable to conclude that reasonable jurists would
find the Court's assessment of the Petitioner's
section 2255 claims debatable or wrong. Because the
Petitioner has not “made a substantial showing of the
denial of a constitutional right, ” see 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), the Court declines to issue a
certificate of appealability under Rule 11 of the Rules
Governing Section 2255 Proceedings.
the Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct
his Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255 [d/e 1] is
to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases, the
Court declines to ...