Section 2255

The Federal Docket

Carlos Granda v. United States (11th Cir. March 2021)

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the denial of a defendant’s motion under 2255. The trial court in the defendant’s case had erroneously instructed the jury that the defendant’s charge for Hobbs Act conspiracy could be a predicate offense for finding the defendant guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence under 924(o). However, the defendant had procedurally defaulted on this claim by not bringing it up in front of the trial court or on direct appeal, and he could not show prejudice or actual innocence because the jury found him guilty of other predicate offenses that were “inextricable intertwined” with the Hobbs Act conspiracy count.

Jeffery Bridges v. United States (March 7th Cir. 2021)

The Seventh Circuit remanded a defendant’s 2255 motion for an evidentiary hearing, holding that the defendant had made a sufficient showing that he may have received ineffective assistance of counsel based on his lawyer’s failure to argue that his Hobbs Act robbery was not a crime of violence under the career offender provision of the sentencing guidelines. While the Seventh Circuit had not yet decided whether Hobbs Act robbery was a crime of violence at the time of the defendant’s sentencing, other circuits had, the categorical approach under the Guidelines was well-known, and this was enough to warrant at least a hearing to determine whether the defendant’s counsel failed to reasonably investigate the issue before the defendant’s sentencing.

Leon Carmichael, Sr. v. United States (11th Cir. June 2020)

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, holding that despite counsel’s deficient performance in failing to advise the defendant of potential exposure to a life sentence, make a plea offer to the government as directed by the defendant, or convey the government’s time-limited plea offer to the defendant, the defendant was not prejudiced by the deficient performance based on his rejection of two other plea offers from the government.

United States v. Juan Rodriguez Cuya (11th Cir. July 2020)

The Court held that a movant under 28 U.S.C. 2255 is not entitled to discovery prior to filing his or her motion.

Rickey Thompson v. United States (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s second § 2255 motion, holding that the defendant’s federal second-degree murder offenses, based on pointing a firearm at boat passengers and throwing them overboard, was a “crime of violence” under § 924(c)’s residual and elements clause.

United States v. Sergio Murillo (4th Cir. June 2019)

The Court vacated the defendant’s sentence and conviction after finding that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when trial counsel advised him that his plea would only trigger his possible deportation, where deportation was actually mandatory and the evidence reflected that the defendant would not have pleaded guilty if he knew deportation was mandatory. The Court added that the boilerplate language int he plea agreement indicating that deportation was mandatory was not dispositive.

United States v. Michael St. Hubert (11th Cir. March 2019), EN BANC

A majority of the Court voted against granting a rehearing en banc. The Court produced three dissents and three opinions concurring in the decision to deny granting a rehearing en banc. This decision leaves in place the prior panel opinion regarding the ACCA and the binding authority of prior panel orders on Section 2255 petitions as applied to future, non-2255 cases.

United States v. Albert Pickett

United States v. Albert Pickett, No. 17-13476 (February 20, 2019) The Court remanded the defendant’s second § 2255 motion since the defendant did not have an opportunity to show his conviction was based solely on the ACCA’s residual clause prior to the Eleventh Circuit announcing the heightened standard in Beeman. 28 USC 2255/ACCA – Defendant’s …

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Curtis Solomon v. United States (11th Cir. January 2019)

The Court affirmed the denial of a defendant’s second § 2255 motion which alleged that the defendant’s conviction under the residual clause of § 924(c) was unconstitutional. The Court held that the defendant’s motion was not based on a “new rule of constitutional law” given this Court’s holdings in Ovalles II and In Re: Garrett.

In re: Tracy Garrett (11th Cir. November 2018)

The Court held that an application to file a successive motion under § 2255, brought by a defendant convicted under § 924(c) and based on Johnson and Dimaya, was not based on a “new rule of constitutional law,” since the Eleventh Circuit held en banc in Ovalles that “crime of violence” under § 924(c) is not void-for-vagueness. The Court also held that the “conduct-based approach” to § 924(c) announced in Ovalles did not create a “new rule of constitutional rule.”

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