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United States v. Mumphrey

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

October 31, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
GREGORY MUMPHREY

          RULING AND ORDER

          BRIAN A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion to Vacate (Doc. 30) and the Amended Issue to Petitioner's Motion to Vacate (sic) (Doc. 40) filed by Petitioner Gregory Mumphrey. Petitioner requests that the Court vacate his sentence in light of Johnson v. United States, 576 U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). In Johnson, the Supreme Court held that the Armed Career Criminal Act's (“ACCA”) residual clause is unconstitutionally vague. For the following reasons, the Motion to Vacate (Doc. 30) and the Amended Issue to Petitioner's Motion to Vacate (Doc. 40) are DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 6, 2012, Petitioner pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Docs. 11 and 19). On November 1, 2012, the Court sentenced Petitioner to a 180 month term of imprisonment. (Doc. 28 at p. 2). On November 6, 2015, Petitioner filed a Motion to Vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, in which he argues that the Court should vacate his sentence in light of Johnson. (Doc. 30). Then, on August 4, 2016, Petitioner filed a Motion requesting that the Court enter a judgment on his Motion to Vacate. (Doc. 33). On August 22, 2017, Petitioner filed an Amended Issue to his Motion to Vacate (Doc. 40), in which he argues that the Court should vacate his sentence in light of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Mathis, 579 U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). On September 11, 2017, the Court ordered the United States to respond to Petitioner's motions. (Doc. 41). Thereafter, the United States filed a response. (Doc. 46).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Section 2255 provides that a federal prisoner serving a court-imposed sentence may move the court to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Only a narrow set of claims are cognizable on a Section 2255 motion. The statute identifies four grounds on which a motion may be made: (1) the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence; (3) the sentence exceeds the statutory maximum sentence; or (4) the sentence is “otherwise subject to collateral attack.” Id.

         III. DISCUSSION

         The ACCA prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). This crime ordinarily carries a maximum sentence of ten years. Id. §924(a)(2). But if the defendant has three previous convictions for a “violent felony, ” then the ACCA elevates the statutory sentencing range to a minimum of fifteen years and maximum of life. Id. § 924(e)(1).

         The ACCA defines “violent felony” in three ways:

• The elements clause defines a violent felony as a crime that “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another.” Id. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i).
• The enumerated clause provides that a violent felony includes “burglary, arson, or extortion, [or a crime that] involves use of explosives[.]” Id. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii).
• The residual clause defines a violent felony as a crime that “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” Id.

         In 2015, the Supreme Court held that the residual clause is unconstitutionally vague and therefore “imposing an increased sentence under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process.” Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563. Johnson, however, did not call into question the elements clause or the enumerated clause of the ACCA. Id. at 2563. In Welch v. United States, 576 U.S. __, 165 S.Ct. 1257, 1268 (2016), the Supreme Court also held that Johnson applies retroactively on collateral review.

         Petitioner argues that the Court should vacate his sentence because he was sentenced under the residual clause of the ACCA. (Doc. 30-2 at p. 3-6). The government argues that Johnson is inapplicable because the Court sentenced Petitioner under the enumerated clause of the ACCA. (Doc. 46 at p. 4). At sentencing, the Court indicated that it was sentencing Petitioner under the ACCA because “he has been convicted of three serious felonies, that is, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.” (Doc. 27 at p. 4). The presentence investigation report, to which Petitioner did not object at ...


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