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United States v. Green

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 22, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ROY ALLEN GREEN, Defendant-Petitioner.

          ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S § 2255 MOTION ECF No. 18

          LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Petitioner Roy Allen Green's (“Petitioner” or “Green”) motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on June 23, 2016. ECF No. 18. On August 19, 2016, the Government filed its opposition. ECF No. 20. Petitioner filed a reply on December 22, 2016. ECF No. 27. Having considered the parties' briefing and the record in this case, the Court DENIES Petitioner's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 19, 2000, Green pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 846 (Count 1), two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Counts 2 and 4), and two counts of possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Counts 3 and 5). ECF No. 18 at 8; ECF No. 20 at 4. At sentencing, Petitioner was found to qualify for sentencing under the career offender provision of section 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG” or “Guidelines”), based on his drug conviction and two prior convictions for crimes of violence.[1] Presentence Report (“PSR”) ¶ 22. Specifically, the PSR concludes that Petitioner's 1980 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and his 1986 robbery conviction are qualifying crimes of violence. Id. ¶¶ 22, 35, 38. With the enhancement, Petitioner's base offense level was set at 37 pursuant to USSG § 4B1.1. Id. Three points were subtracted for acceptance of responsibility, bringing Petitioner's total offense level to 34. Id. ¶¶ 23-24. Petitioner's criminal history category was set at VI, pursuant to USSG § 4B1.1. Id. ¶ 44. The applicable Guidelines range was determined to be 262 to 327 months for Counts 1, 2, and 4, with an additional 30 years to be served consecutively for Counts 3 and 5. Id. at 18-19. On January 22, 2001, the Court adopted Probation's recommendation and sentenced Green to 687 months in prison. ECF Nos. 14 & 15. Petitioner is also serving a 150-month federal sentence for a conviction in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.[2] ECF No. 18 at 10 n.1.

         II. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

         A. 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         Section 2255 provides four grounds upon which a sentencing court may grant relief to a petitioning in-custody defendant:

[1] that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or [2] that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or [3] that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or [4] is otherwise subject to collateral attack.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Generally, only a narrow range of claims fall within the scope of § 2255. United States v. Wilcox, 640 F.2d 970, 972 (9th Cir. 1981). The alleged error of law must be “a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.” Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 346 (1974).

         B. Johnson, Welch, and Beckles

         Pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), a defendant must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life in custody if he has three prior convictions for “a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). The ACCA defines “violent felony” as any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year that:

(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another; or
(ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B) (emphasis added). Courts generally refer to the first clause, § 924(e)(2)(B)(i), as the “elements clause”; the first part of the disjunctive statement in (ii) as the “enumerated offenses clause”; and its second part (starting with “or otherwise”) as the “residual clause.” Johnson v. UnitedStates, ...


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