Williams v. USA

Filing 14

Memorandum Opinion and Order denying 2 MOTION to Vacate under 28 U.S.C. 2255. (Ordered by Judge Ed Kinkeade on 10/20/2017) (aaa)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DALLAS DIVISION MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Petitioner, § § § § § § § v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. 3:16-CV-1864-K 3:92-CR-0378-K MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Before the Court is Petitioner’s motion to vacate, set-aside, or correct sentence pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the foregoing reasons, the Court denies the motion. I. Procedural Background Pursuant to a plea agreement, Petitioner pled guilty to: (1) armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d); (2) using or carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1); and (3) using or carrying a firearm during a subsequent crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). On August 16, 1993, the Court sentenced him to thirty years in prison. On March 23, 1994, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed his appeal as frivolous. United States v. Williams, No. 93-1772 (5th Cir. Mar. 23, 1994). On June 28, 2016, Petitioner filed the instant § 2255 petition. He argues his 1 section 924(c) sentences are invalid in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). He states: (1) the “crime of violence” definition in Section 924(c) is unconstitutionally vague in light of Johnson, and (2) his bank robbery offense was not a categorically crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). II. Discussion In Johnson, the Supreme Court invalidated the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) found at 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii). Petitioner's sentence, however, was not increased under the ACCA's residual clause—the only provision that Johnson found to be unconstitutional. See Johnson, 135 S. Ct. at 2563 (calling into question only the residual clause of the ACCA). Rather, Petitioner was sentenced under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) for using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. See In re Fields, 826 F.3d 785, 786-787 (5th Cir. 2016) (per curiam) (specifically noting that Johnson did not address section 924(c)(3)(B)'s residual clause definition of a crime of violence). Petitioner has therefore failed to show his convictions or sentences under § 924(c) were invalidated by Johnson. Additionally, the Fifth Circuit has determined that bank robbery is a crime of violence under § 924(c). See Royal v. Tombone, 141 F.3d 596, 602 (5th Cir. 1998) (stating bank robbery constitutes a crime of violence under § 924(c)); see also, United States v. Bruce, 668 Fed. Appx. 580, 581 (5th Cir. 2016) (per curiam) (citing Royal to affirm the acceptance of a guilty plea where appellant argued that the plea should not 2 have been accepted “because his bank robbery conviction does not qualify as a [crime of violence] in light of Johnson”); Garcia v. United States, No. 3:16-CV-1659-D-BN, 2017 WL 652182 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 13, 2017) (finding bank robbery conviction to be crime of violence under § 924(c)), rec. adopted, 2017 WL 635085 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 16, 2017). Petitioner’s claims are without merit. III. Conclusion For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner’s § 2255 claims are DENIED with prejudice. SO ORDERED. Signed October 20th, 2017. _________________________________ ED KINKEADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3

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