Wiggins v. USA - 2255
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard D. Bennett on 9/19/2017. (kw2s, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
STATES OF AMERICr\,
Civ. Action No. RDB-16-2117
Crim. Action No. WDQ-09-0649
On March 12, 2010, Petitioner
guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C ~ 922(g)(1)
(ECF No. 17.) During Petitioner's
hearing, this Court found that Petitioner's
for aggravated assault while armed qualified as a "crime of violence" under
United States Sentencing Guideline (U.S.S.G.) ~ 4B1.2.(a). As a result, Petitioner was deemed
a career offender and under U.S.S.G ~ 2K2.1(a)(4)(a) his sentencing offense level increased
by si.x. Petitioner was then sentenced
to a term of one-hundred
and twenty (120) months
Five years later, the Supreme Court in johnson 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 unconstitutionally
then filed a motion
vague. The Office
on behalf of Petitioner
arguing that because the "Career Offender"
of the Federal Public
under 28 U.S.C
provision in the Sentencing Guidelines includes
the identical residual clause as that struck down in Johllsoll, it is also void for vagueness. (ECF
In 2017, however, the Supreme Court held in Beckles v. UlIited States, _
S. Ct. 886 (2017) that the advisory guidelines
were not subject
to Johllsoll challenges.
to that decision, the OFPD informed Petitioner that in light of Beckles it would
no longer be able to represent
him. On September
15, 2017, the OFPD
filed a ]\!otion to
Withdraw as Counsel (ECF No. 37), which this Court granted. (ECF No. 38.)
this Court is Petitioner's
U.S.c. ~ 2255. (ECF No. 36.) The parties' submissions
have been reviewed, and no hearing
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated herein, Petitioner
Wiggins' Motion to Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.c. ~ 2255 (ECF No. 36) is DENIED.
only claim is that under Jol}1/soll, the residual clause that this Court applied
is void for vagueness.
this Court must determine
aggravated assault while armed offense qualifies as a crime of violence
under the remaining "enumerated
As the OFPD
offenses" clause or "force" clause of U.S.S.G ~ 4B 1.2(a).
stated in its Motion to Withdraw
as Counsel, however, in light of
BeddeJ this argument is without merit. As the BeckleJ Court stated, "[b]ecause the advisory
are not subject to a due process vagueness
residual clause is not void for vagueness."
challenge, ~ 4B 1.2(a)'s
137 S. Ct. at 897. For this reason, Petitioner's
pending Motion to Vacate (ECF No. 36) is DENIED.
For the reason stated above, Petitioner Wiggins' Motion to Correct Sentence Under
28 U.S.c. ~ 2255 (ECF No. 36) 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.
1\ certificate of appealability is a "jurisdictional
appeal from the court's earlier order. United StateJ v. Hadden, 475 F.3d 652, 659 (4th Cir.
2007). 1\ 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 Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); Jee a/Jo Miller-EI v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003).
Because reasonable jurists would not find Wiggins'
claims debatable, a certificate of appealability is DENIED.
1\ separate Order follows.
September 19, 2017
Richard D. Bennett
United States District Judge
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?