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United States v. Hudson

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

June 30, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JAMAL DERRICK HUDSON, SECTION: R

ORDER AND REASONS

SARAH S. VANCE, District Judge.

Defendant Jamal Derrick Hudson moves to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[1] Hudson also moves for appointment of counsel.[2] For the following reasons, the Court denies the motions.

I. BACKGROUND

In 2008, defendant Jamal Derrick Hudson was charged by criminal complaint with access device fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029.[3] On May 8, 2009, Hudson and his then attorney, Robert Jenkins, executed a waiver of the statute of limitations defense.[4] This waiver prohibited Hudson from asserting as a defense against possible criminal charges the untimeliness of any charges brought against him.[5]

On June 16, 2009, the Government filed a Bill of Information charging Hudson with conspiracy to use unauthorized access devices in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029.[6] On March 17, 2011, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Hudson with conspiracy to traffic in unauthorized access devices and to defraud federally insured financial institutions under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1029(a)(2), 1344, and 371; access device fraud under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1029(a)(2) and 2; and bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1344 and 2.[7] The grand jury returned a second superseding indictment charging Hudson with the same offenses on October 13, 2011.[8]

Despite the waiver he previously executed, Hudson filed three separate motions to dismiss the criminal charges, asserting the statute of limitations defense, on October 5, 2010, [9] February 7, 2011, [10] and October 13, 2011, [11] respectively. Finding Hudson's express waiver to be knowing, voluntary, and intelligent and thus valid, the Court denied all three motions.[12] In his third motion to dismiss, Hudson also argued that he agreed to sign the waiver only in exchange for the Government's promise to limit the charges against him.[13] The Court rejected this argument as well.[14]

On November 1, 2011, Hudson submitted a Notice of Alibi to the Court to show that he was living in California at the time of the crimes charged.[15] Hudson's trial began on Monday, November 7, 2011.[16] The defense rested on Thursday, November 10, 2011.[17] With no objections, the Court scheduled the jury charge conference, closing arguments, and jury deliberations for the following day, November 11, 2011-Veterans Day. At the jury charge conference, Hudson again requested that the jury be given an "alibi instruction." Because the crimes charged could be committed without Hudson's definite physical presence in any particular location, an alibi was not a defense, and the Court denied his proposed instruction.[18] That same day, the jury found Hudson guilty of all counts.[19]

At sentencing, the Court applied, among other enhancements consistent with the United States Sentencing Guidelines, a fourlevel increase to Hudson's base offense level because his crimes involved fifty or more victims. The Court ultimately sentenced Hudson to a term of 60 months as to Count 1 and a term of 116 months as to Counts 2 through 10, with all terms to be served concurrently.[20]

Hudson appealed his convictions and sentences to the Fifth Circuit. Hudson argued that the Court committed the following errors relevant to his current motion: (1) denying Hudson's motions to dismiss based on the statute of limitations; (2) holding a jury trial on Veterans Day; and (3) applying a sentencing enhancement to Hudson's base offense level. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment, holding that none of Hudson's arguments warranted relief from his convictions or sentences. United States v. Hudson, 550 F.Appx. 207, 211 (5th Cir. 2013). Hudson requested rehearing, which the Fifth Circuit denied on January 24, 2014.[21]

Having exhausted his appellate remedies, Hudson now moves to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Hudson asserts nine grounds for relief: (1) trial and conviction on a legal holiday, (2) unlawful four-level sentencing enhancement, (3) multiplicitous sentences/double jeopardy, (4) ineffective assistance of counsel: failure to present voice identification evidence, (5) ineffective assistance of counsel: failure to object to trial on a legal holiday, (6) ineffective assistance of counsel: failure to move to dismiss on a multiplicity/double jeopardy defense, (7) ineffective assistance of counsel: failure to move to dismiss on a statute of limitations defense, (8) ineffective assistance of counsel: failure to encourage defendant to plead guilty, and (9) ineffective assistance of counsel: failure to object to four-level sentencing enhancement.[22]

II. DISCUSSION

A. 28 U.S.C. § 2255

1. Legal Standard

A federal prisoner serving a court-imposed sentence "may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Section 2255 identifies only four bases on which a motion may be made: (1) the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or federal laws, (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence, (3) the sentence ...


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