Martinez-Tomas v. USA
ORDER denying Petition to Vacate under 28 USC 2255. Signed by Judge Larry Alan Burns on 3/17/17.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(kas)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
CASE NO. 15CR0108-LAB/
ORDER DENYING MOTION UNDER
28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. 22]
Pedro Martinez-Tomas (“Martinez”) has filed a motion to vacate his sentence under
28 U.S.C. § 2255. On November 1, 2016, the Court appointed Federal Defenders of
San Diego to represent Mr. Martinez, and offered Federal Defenders an opportunity to file
a supplemental brief in support of Mr. Martinez’s claims by November 15, 2016. Federal
Defenders did not file a supplemental brief. Also on November 1, the Court ordered the
Government to respond to Mr. Martinez’s motion. On November 17, 2016, Assistant U.S.
Attorney Susan Park filed a response opposing Martinez’s request for relief.
Ms. Park’s opposition brief points out that as part of his plea agreement Martinez
waived the right to appeal or to collaterally attack his conviction, provided he received no
more than 27 months in custody. He got the benefit of his bargain when the Court
sentenced him to 27 months. Martinez’s plea agreement and the transcript of his change
of plea establish that his waiver of the right to appeal and to collaterally attack his conviction
was knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. So the Court finds that the waiver is enforceable, and
forecloses the relief that Martinez seeks.
Even were the Court to consider Martinez’s claim on the merits, his motion would be
denied. Martinez’s argument is that his sentence was somehow undermined by the holding
in Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), but the argument is
unsupported by any basis in that decision. In Johnson, the Supreme Court invalidated the
residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) (18 U.S.C. § 924(e)) on the
ground that the clause was vague. 135 S.Ct. at 2557-58. Martinez was not sentenced under
the ACCA, nor under any other residual clause. He was sentenced under a specific provision
of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) that provides for higher sentence
if an offender was previously convicted of alien smuggling – as Martinez was. Unlike the
defendant in Johnson, Martinez pled guilty to an offense that is explicitly defined and
referenced under the Guidelines; his argument about vagueness misses the mark.
Martinez’s waiver of the right to collaterally attack his sentence is enforceable against
him, and he’s got no legitimate beef in any event. His motion to vacate his sentence is
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: March 17, 2017
HONORABLE LARRY ALAN BURNS
United States District Judge
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