Britton v. USA - 2255
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard D. Bennett on 9/20/2017. (kw2s, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
UNITED STATES OF l\MERICA,
Civ. Action No. RDB-16-2003
Crim. Action No. RDB-05-038
On April 14, 2005, Petitioner Wilton Britton ("Petitioner" or "Britton") pled guilty to
bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C ~ 2113(a)(f). (ECF No. 17.) During Petitioner's
hearing, this Court found that Petitioner's
bank robbery offense and prior
convictions for federal bank robbery and escape qualified as "crimes of violence" under
United States Sentencing Guideline (U.S.S.G.) ~ 4B1.2. As a result, Petitioner was deemed a
to a term of one-hundred
and eighty (180) months
Ten years later, the Supreme Court in jolJl1Jon v. United States, _
135 S. Ct.
2551 (2015) struck down the residual clause of the .Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18
~ 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) as unconstirutionally
vague. The Office of the Federal Public
then filed a motion on behalf of Petitioner under 28 U.S.C ~ 2255,
arguing that because the "Career Offender" provision in the Sentencing Guidelines includes
the identical residual clause as that struck down in jolJllson, it is also void for vagueness. (ECF
In 2017, however, the Supreme Court held in Beddes v. Ullited States, _
S. Ct. 886 (2017) that the advisory guidelines
were not subject
to that decision, the OFPD informed Petitioner that in light of Beckles it would
no longer be able to represent
him. On September
18, 2017, the OfPD
filed a Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel (ECF No. 21), which this Court granted. (ECF No. 22.)
this Court is Petitioner's
I\[otion to Correct
U.S.c. ~ 2255. (ECF No. 19.) The parties' submissions
have been reviewed, and no hearing
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated herein, Petitioner
Britton's Motion to Correct Sentence Under 28 U.s.c. ~ 2255 (ECF No. 19) is DENIED.
only claim is that under johnson, the residual clause that this Court applied
is void for vagueness.
bank robbery offense and prior convictions
this Court must determine
for federal bank robbery
and escape gualify as crimes of violence under the remaining "enumerated
or "force" clause of U.S.S.G ~ 4B 1.2(a).
As the OFPD
Beddes this argument
stated in its Motion
is without merit.
as Counsel, however, in light of
the Beckie!" Court stated, "[b]ecause the advisory
are not subject to a due process vagueness challenge, ~ 4B1.2(a)'s
residual clause is not void for vagueness."
137 S. Ct. at 897. for this reason, Petitioner's
pending Motion to Vacate (ECF No. 19) is DENIED.
For the reason stated above, Petitioner Britton's Motion to Correct Sentence Under
28 U.S.c. ~ 2255 (ECF No. 19) is DENIED.
Pursuant to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing
under 28 U.S.c. ~ 2255,
the court is required to issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a final order
adverse to the applicant.
A certificate of appealability is a "jurisdictional
appeal from the court's earlier order. Uniled Slales v. l-ladde!1,475 F.3d 652, 659 (4th Cit.
2007). A certificate of appealability may issue "only if the applicant has made a substantial
showing of the denial of a constitutional
right." 28 U.s.c.
~ 2253(c)(2). Where the court
motion on its merits, a petitioner satisfies this standard by demonstrating
find the court's
of the constitutional
or wrong. See Sla,.k v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see also Miller-EI v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003).
Because reasonable jurists would not find Britton's
claims debatable, a certificate of appealability is DENIED.
A separate Order follows.
September 20, 2017
Richard D. Bennett
United States District Judge
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