Wesley-El v. USA - 2255
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Chief Judge Catherine C. Blake on 5/31/2017. (c/m 5/31/17 jnls, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
: CIVIL NO. CCB-14-41
: Criminal No. CCB-97-033
Samuel Wesley-El has filed another motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging the
concurrent life sentences imposed by this court on July 23, 1997, following his conviction by a
jury of drug distribution and related charges His convictions were upheld on direct appeal to the
Fourth Circuit. 165 F.3d 22 (1998). An initial § 2255 petition was considered and denied on the
merits on May 9, 2004; a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 was construed as a successive § 2255
motion and was dismissed on July 31, 2008. A motion for sentence reduction also has been
In the present motion, filed January 7, 2014, Wesley-El appeared to argue that the motion
should not be treated as successive because he was claiming “actual innocence” under
McQuiggin v. Perkins, 133 S. Ct. 1924 (2013), and thereby could overcome a procedural bar
such as the need for Circuit authorization, see 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). Wesley-El’s motion,
the government’s response, and Wesley-El’s reply have been reviewed.
First, the court does not find any authority for consideration of the merits of this
successive petition without Circuit authorization. Accordingly, the petition will be dismissed
without prejudice. Wesley-El is free to seek authorization from the Fourth Circuit Court of
Second, if a showing of “actual innocence” does permit this court to rule on the petition
without prior authorization, it would be denied because the life sentences were validly imposed,
taking into account the drug quantities involved and the defendant’s prior record. There is no
showing of actual innocence.
Accordingly, a certificate of appealability will not issue and the motion will be denied by
a separate Order.
May 31, 2017
Catherine C. Blake
United States District Judge
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