Canales v. United States of America
ORDER re 1 Motion to Vacate/Set Aside/Correct Sentence (2255) filed by Juan Canales, Motion is denied, as more fully set out. Signed by Honorable David L. Russell on 6/1/17. (jw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No. CR-16-79-R
Before the Court is Mr. Canales’s Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Doc. 1 (CIV-17-569-R) and Doc. 15 (CR-16-79-R). For the
following reasons, his Motion is DENIED.
Mr. Canales first challenges his sentence on Due Process grounds, arguing that
U.S.S.G. 2K2.1, which he believes is unconstitutionally vague, was used to enhance his
sentence. This argument fails, though, because the Sentencing Guidelines are not subject
to void-for-vagueness challenges under the Due Process Clause. See Beckles v. United
States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017).
Mr. Canales’s second argument—that his current term of supervised release exceeds
the statutory maximum—misapprehends the law as well. But to dispose of his contention,
some background is in order. After Mr. Canales pled guilty in 2007 to possessing a firearm
as a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), he received the statutory maximum of 10
years (under § 924(a)(2)). He also received a term of 2 years of supervised release, to be
served after his prison term. Mr. Canales commenced his term of supervised release on
February 16, 2016, but shortly after, the Court revoked the term after it learned he had
violated the conditions of his supervised release. The Court then ordered a 12-month prison
term to be followed by a 24-month term of supervised release.
To be clear, Mr. Canales is challenging this 24-month term of supervised release,
not the 12-month term of imprisonment the Court imposed for violating the conditions of
his supervised release. Yet in doing so, he mistakenly references 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3)—
the provision that governs the term of imprisonment a Court can order for violating the
terms of conditional release. So for the sake of liberally construing Mr. Canales’s pro-se
arguments, the Court will address both this provision and the provision Mr. Canales should
have invoked in challenging his supervised-release term.
Starting with whether Mr. Canales’s 12 month term of imprisonment is statutorily
valid, that provision is governed by § 3853(e)(3), which permits a court to require the
defendant to serve in prison all or part of the term of supervised
release authorized by statute for the offense that resulted in
such term of supervised release without credit for time
previously served on postrelease supervision, if the court . . .
finds . . . that the defendant violated a condition of supervised
release, except that a defendant whose term is revoked under
this paragraph may not be required to serve on any such
revocation . . . more than 2 years in prison if such offense is a
class C or D felony.
Applying that provision to Mr. Canales, his offense that resulted in such term of supervised
release was possessing a firearm as a felon, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), which as a class C felony,1
authorizes up to a 3-year term of supervised release under § 3583(b)(2). Because the Court
See 18 U.S.C. § 3559(a)(3).
imposed a prison term of 12 months—less than the authorized 3-year term of supervised
release—it was statutorily valid under § 3583(e)(3). Further, this 12-month prison term
does not run afoul of the last clause of § 3583(e)(3), which stipulates that a defendant whose
term is revoked can face up to a 2-year prison term if his offense of conviction was a class
Now, to the extent that Mr. Canales seeks to challenge his new 2-year term of
supervised release, that argument is governed by § 3583(h). That provision simply limits
the new term of supervised release a defendant may serve after his release from
imprisonment for violating the conditions of his supervised release:
The length of such a term of supervised release shall not exceed
the term of supervised release authorized by statute for the
offense that resulted in the original term of supervised release,
less any term of imprisonment that was imposed upon
revocation of supervised release.
Employing that provision here, that means Mr. Canales’s 2-year term of supervised release
is valid so long as it does not exceed the difference of
The term of supervised release authorized by statute for the offense that resulted in the
original term of supervised release. Here, as explained above, 3 years.
Any term of imprisonment that was imposed upon revocation of supervised release.
Here, as explained prior, 1 year.
Because the difference between these figures is 2 years, Mr. Canales’s new 2-year term of
supervised release does not exceed that allowed under § 3583(h).
Additionally, the Court denies Petitioner a Certificate of Appealability (COA) under
Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases in the United States District Courts.
When a court denies a habeas petition on the merits, a petitioner is entitled to a COA only
if he demonstrates “that jurists of reason could disagree with the district court’s resolution
of his constitutional claims or that jurists could conclude the issues presented are adequate
to deserve encouragement to proceed further.” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 327,
123 S.Ct. 1029 (2003). Petitioner has not made this showing and is thus not entitled to a
COA. He may seek a certificate from the court of appeals under Federal Rule of Appellate
Procedure 22 if he wishes to appeal the Court’s ruling on his motion.
In conclusion, Petitioner’s motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is DENIED and
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE because it lacks merit.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 1st day of June 2017.
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