Williams 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
STr\TES OF AMERICA,
Civ. Action No. RDB-16-2197
Crim. Action No. RDB-14-0418
On May 12, 2015, Jamar
Williams, Jr., Petitioner
"\Villiams") pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute dimethylone,
of 21 U.S.c. ~ 841(a)(I) (ECF No. 28.) During Petitioner's
found that Petitioner's
sentencing hearing, this Court
possession with the intent to distribute dimethylone was a controlled
offense and Petitioner's
for robbery qualified as "crimes of
(U.S.S.G.) ~ 4B1.2.(a). As a result,
Petitioner was deemed a career offender and was sentenced to a term of one-hundred
twenty (120) months imprisonment.
the Supreme Court in jolmsoll v. Ullited States, _
135 S. Ct.
2551 (2015) struck down the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal r\ct (ACCA), 18
vague. The Office
then filed a motion on behalf of Petitioner
arguing that because the "Career Offender"
of the Federal Public
under 28 U.S.c. ~ 2255,
provision in the Sentencing Guidelines includes
the identical residual clause as that struck down in Jobnson, it is also void for vagueness. (ECF
In 2017, however, the Supreme Court held in Beckles v. United States, _
S. Ct. 886 (2017) that the advisory guidelines were not subject to Jobnson challenges.
Subsequent to that decision, the OFPD informed Petitioner that in light of BeckleJ it would
no longer be able to represent him. On September 18, 2017, the OFPD filed a Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel (ECF No. 54), which this Court granted. (ECF No. 55.)
Pending before this Court is Petitioner's
Motion to Correct Sentence Under 28
U.S.c. ~ 2255. (ECF No. 53.) The parties' submissions have been reviewed, and no hearing
is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated herein, Petitioner
Williams' Motion to Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.c. ~ 2255 (ECF No. 53) is DENIED.
Petitioner's only claim is that under Jobnson, the residual clause that this Court applied
while sentencing Petitioner is void for vagueness. Therefore,
this Court must determine
robbery offenses qualify as crimes of violence under the remaining
"enumerated offenses" clause or "force" clause of U.S.S.G ~ 4B1.2(a).
stated in its Motion to Withdraw as Counsel, however, in light of
BeckleJ this argument is without merit. ,\s the BeckleJ Court stated, "[b]ecause the advisory
Sentencing Guidelines are not subject to a due process vagueness challenge, ~ 4B 1.2(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. 53) is DENIED.
For the reason stated above, Petitioner W'illiams' Motion to Correct Sentence Under
28 U.S.c. ~ 2255 (ECF No. 53) 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. United States v. Hadden, 475 F.3d 652, 659 (4th Cir.
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 S/a,'k v. M"Danie/, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see a/so Mi//er-E/ v.
Cod ere/I, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). Because reasonable jurists would not find Williams'
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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