SWEATT v. USA
Entry Dismissing Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence and Denying a Certificate of Appealability. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue and a copy of this Entry shall be docketed in No. 1:10-cr-00118-WTL-KPF-1. (Copy to Petitioner via U.S. Mail) Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 6/13/2017.(JDC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
VON ERIC SWEATT,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Entry Dismissing Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence
and Denying a Certificate of Appealability
The petitioner filed a motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 arguing that, under
Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), his sentence was unconstitutionally enhanced
and he must be resentenced. For the reasons stated below, the motion for relief is denied and this
action is dismissed pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the
United States District Courts.
Rule 4 provides that upon preliminary consideration by the district court judge, “[i]f it
plainly appears from the motion, and any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings
that the moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion and direct the
clerk to notify the moving party.” Section 2255 permits a federal court to grant relief “if it finds
that the judgment was rendered without jurisdiction, or that the sentence imposed was not
authorized by law or otherwise open to collateral attack, or that there has been such a denial or
infringement of the constitutional rights of the prisoner as to render the judgment vulnerable to
The petitioner was sentenced as a career offender under United States Sentencing
Guideline § 4B1.2(a)(2) and argues that because the residual clause of the ACCA is
unconstitutionally vague, it follows that the identical residual clause in the career offender
provision of the Sentencing Guidelines is also unconstitutionally vague. The United States
Supreme Court, however, held otherwise in Beckles v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 886 (2017),
concluding that the Sentencing Guidelines are not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due
Process Clause. In other words, the holding of Johnson does not apply to cases, like the
petitioner’s, challenging guideline calculations.
The petitioner, who had appointed counsel but that counsel has since withdrawn, was
directed to file an amended brief in support of his § 2255 motion. The petitioner has failed to
respond and the Court now dismisses this action pursuant to Rule 4 because the holding in Beckles
forecloses the petitioner’s challenge to the enhancement of his sentence under the Sentencing
Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue and a copy of this Entry shall be
docketed in No. 1:10-cr-00118-WTL-KPF-1.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22(b), Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing
§ 2255 proceedings, and 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c), the Court finds that the petitioner has failed to show
that reasonable jurists would find “it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the
denial of a constitutional right.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). The Court therefore
denies a certificate of appealability.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
VON ERIC SWEATT
MANCHESTER - FCI
MANCHESTER FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 4000
MANCHESTER, KY 40962
James Robert Wood
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
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