Bridges v. USA
OPINION AND ORDER: DENYING 89 Motion to Vacate (2255) as to Jason Bridges (1) filed in 1:12CR68. Signed by Chief Judge Theresa L Springmann on 11/14/2017. (lhc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CAUSE NO.: 1:12-CR-68-TLS
OPINION AND ORDER
On October 31, 2012, Defendant Jason Bridges pled guilty to possession with intent to
distribute more than 100 marijuana plants and less than 50 kilograms of marijuana in violation of
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The Court found that the instant offense was a controlled substance
offense and that the Defendant had at least two prior convictions that qualified as either a “crime
of violence” or “controlled substance offense.” The relevant career offender predicate offenses
appear to be for burglary and robbery. Without the application of the career offender
enhancement, the Sentencing Guidelines provided for an imprisonment term ranging from 41 to
51 months. 1 With the application of the career offender enhancement, the applicable range was
188 to 235 months. On October 30, 2013, the Court sentenced the Defendant to 100 months.
On June 20, 2016, the Defendant filed a Motion to Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 [ECF No. 89]. The Defendant challenged the classification of his Robbery charge as a
violent crime under the ACCA but did not similarly contest his prior conviction for Burglary.
The Defendant argues that his Motion is timely under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3), which provides
that a one-year limitations period runs from “the date on which the right asserted was initially
The Court notes that, in his reply brief, the Defendant states that the applicable range would have been
33 to 41 months based on a criminal history score of IV. However, the criminal history score would still
be VI, and the correct guideline range would therefore be 41 to 51 months.
recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court
and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review.”
The Defendant’s Motion was premised on the Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v.
United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), which found the ACCA’s residual clause
unconstitutionally vague. Thus, the Defendant argued, the identical residual clause in the
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2 is also unconstitutionally vague. However, in Beckles v. United States, the
Supreme Court held that the federal sentencing Guidelines “are not subject to a vagueness
challenge under the Due Process Clause.” 137 S. Ct. 886, 892 (2017). Because Beckles
foreclosed the Defendant’s argument that he was sentenced pursuant to a Guidelines section that
is unconstitutionally vague, the Defendant withdrew his petition [ECF No. 96].
However, the Defendant subsequently withdrew his withdrawal [ECF No. 99] on June 6,
2017, arguing alternatively that his Burglary conviction was not a crime of violence under the
ACCA pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243
(2016). In Mathis, the Supreme Court found that a crime could not constitute a crime of violence
under the ACCA when the wording of the statute was broader than the generic offense.
However, Mathis did not announce a new rule of retroactive, constitutional law. See Holt v.
United States, 843 F. 3d 720, 722 (7th Cir. 2016) (“Mathis has not been declared retroactive by
the Supreme Court—nor is it a new rule of constitutional law.”); United States v. Sanders, No.
1:07-CR-38, 2017 WL 2864961, at *1 n. 1 (N.D. Ind. July 5, 2017) (“Mathis did not announce a
new rule that would allow a second or successive habeas motion.”). Rather, it is a case of
statutory interpretation. See Holt, 843 F.3d at 723. “An independent claim based on Mathis must
be brought, if at all, in a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.” Dawkins v. United States, 829 F.3d
549, 550–51 (7th Cir. 2016).
The Defendant further argues that his sentence should be modified because Amendment
798 to the Sentencing Guidelines removed burglary of a dwelling as one of the enumerated
offenses in § 4B1.2(a)(2), under which the Defendant was sentenced. However, as the Defendant
acknowledges, Amendment 798 has not been made retroactive pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 994(u).
Nevertheless, the Defendant argues that Amendment 798 should be retroactive. But the Court is
without power to declare that Amendment 798 applies retroactively. See Holt, 843 F.3d at 723
(noting that a successive collateral attack “does not become possible until the Supreme Court
itself declares the newly recognized right to be retroactive”). Therefore, the Court must deny the
For the reasons stated above, the Court DENIES the Defendant’s Motion to Correct
Sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2255.
SO ORDERED on November 14, 2017.
s/ Theresa L. Springmann
CHIEF JUDGE THERESA L. SPRINGMANN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?