Ramey v. United States of America
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING CASE that based on the government's express concessions, the motion to vacate, set aside, or correct defendant's sentence is GRANTED and a Judgment to correct defendant's sentence consistent with this order will be entered contemporaneously herewith as more fully set out in order. Signed by Judge C Lynwood Smith, Jr on 12/21/2015. (AHI)
2015 Dec-21 AM 10:27
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SHANNON HIETH RAMEY,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This action is before the court on the pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct sentence, filed by Shannon Heith Ramey, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255.1 Mr.
Ramey is serving a 180-month sentence imposed by this court following his plea of
guilty to possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), as enhanced pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act
(“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Because the government now expressly concedes
that Ramey is due the relief he requests, the court concludes that the motion is due to
On March 2, 2007, Ramey pled guilty, without a plea agreement, to a charge
of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm under § 922(g)(1). Generally speaking,
See doc. no. 1 in case no. 2:14-cv-8009-CLS-JEO.
such a conviction authorizes the imposition of a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2). However, under the ACCA, if the defendant has three
previous convictions “for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both,” the
defendant is subject to a prison sentence of not less than 15 years. 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(1). On February 6, 2008, the court sentenced Ramey to a 180-month prison
term under the ACCA enhancement after finding that he had three qualifying
Alabama state convictions; one for second-degree burglary, see Ala. Code § 13A-76, and two for third-degree burglary, see Ala. Code § 13A-7-7. His conviction and
sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. United States v. Ramey, 294 F.App’x. 596
(11th Cir. 2008).
Ramey claims in the instant motion that he was improperly sentenced because
his two Alabama convictions for third-degree burglary do not count as violent
felonies under the ACCA. In support, Ramey relies primarily upon Descamps v.
United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), and the Eleventh Circuit’s
opinion in United States v. Howard, 742 F.3d 1334 (11th Cir. 2014), which applied
the analysis in Descamps to Alabama’s third-degree burglary statute.
government initially filed a response opposing relief, arguing that Ramey’s claim is
time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f).2 The government also maintained in the
Doc. no. 7.
alternative that Ramey’s third-degree burglary convictions might still qualify as
violent felonies based upon the “residual clause” of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii),3
even if the offense might not qualify as a “generic burglary” under Taylor v. United
States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990).4 Ramey then filed a reply in support of his § 2255
Subsequently, on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in
Johnson v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), holding that the
residual clause of § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) is unconstitutionally vague. In light of that
decision, the government asked for leave to file a supplemental response in the
present case, which was granted.6 In its supplemental response, filed August 28,
2015, the government acknowledges that Johnson precludes reliance upon the
residual clause to support that Ramey’s Alabama third-degree burglary convictions
might be violent felonies under the ACCA.7 The government now admits that, under
Descamps and Howard, those two convictions cannot be deemed violent felonies on
The ACCA defines the term “violent felony” to include “any crime punishable by
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year ... that — (ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves
use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical
injury to another.” 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) (emphasis added). The residual clause is the
italicized portion of the above statutory language.
Doc. no. 7.
Doc. no. 9.
Doc. nos. 10-11.
Doc. no. 13 ¶ 3.
the theory that third-degree burglary under Alabama law qualifies a “generic
burglary,” and the government also expressly withdraws its assertion that Ramey’s
claim is barred by the statute of limitations.8
Based on the government’s express concessions, the motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct defendant’s sentence is GRANTED. A Judgment to correct
defendant’s sentence consistent with this order will be entered contemporaneously
DONE and ORDERED this 21st day of December, 2015.
United States District Judge
Id. ¶ 4.
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