United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is Petitioner William A. Jewell's
(“Jewell”) “Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or
Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255” (Record
Document 734). Jewell seeks to have his sentence corrected on
the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. For the
reasons discussed herein, Jewell's Motion is
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
August 10, 2011, a federal grand jury returned a superseding
indictment against Jewell and twenty-one co-defendants in a
two-count indictment. See Record Document 114. The
indictment alleged the defendants had engaged in a conspiracy
to advertise the distribution of child pornography. See
id. All were alleged members of an on-line bulletin
board used for distributing child pornography known as
“Dreamboard.” Craig Bass (“Bass”) was
appointed to represent Jewell. See Record Document
September 12, 2011, the Court granted Jewell's
“Motion for Order of Competency to Stand Trial, ”
and Jewell was committed to an appropriate facility for
examination to determine his competency to stand trial.
See Record Document 293. On March 27, 2012, after a
competency hearing and a Report and Recommendation by the
Magistrate Judge, the Court found that Jewell had a
“rational and factual understanding of the nature and
consequences of the proceedings against him; and has
sufficient present ability to consult with and assist his
attorney with a reasonable degree of rational
understanding.” Record Document 462. Thus, the Court
found that the defendant was competent to stand trial and/or
enter a guilty plea. See id.
August 9, 2012, after a hearing, the Jewell's
“Motion to Disqualify Counsel” and Bass's
“Motion to Withdraw as Attorney” was denied.
See Record Document 576. On September 6, 2012,
pursuant to a written plea agreement, Jewell pleaded guilty
to Count Two of a third superseding indictment charging him
with conspiracy to distribute child pornography in violation
of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(2)(A) &(b)(1).
See Record Document 611. On June 19, 2013, Jewell
was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment. See Record
Document 681. On June 16, 2014, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed the Jewell's
appeal as frivolous. See Record Document 713.
filed the instant Section 2255 Motion on October 10, 2014,
and a memorandum in support on December 5, 2014. See
Record Documents 734 and 749. The Government responded to the
Motion on February 7, 2017, to which Jewell filed a reply on
March 6, 2017. See Record Documents 786 and 787.
Thus, the matter has been fully briefed.
Motions to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct a Sentence Under 28
U.S.C. § 2255
federal habeas corpus remedy is contained in 28 U.S.C. §
2255, which provides that a prisoner serving a federal
sentence may make a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
his sentence within a year after his conviction has become
final. Review under Section 2255 is limited to four grounds:
(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. See 28
U.S.C. § 2255. However, after conviction and exhaustion
of a defendant's right to appeal, the Court is
“entitled to presume that the defendant stands fairly
and finally convicted.” United States v.
Shaid, 937 F.2d 228, 231-32 (5th Cir. 1991), quoting
United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 164, 102 S.Ct.
1584 (1982). According to the Supreme Court, “our trial
and appellate procedures are not so unreliable that we may
not afford their completed operation any binding effect
beyond the next in a series of endless postconviction
collateral attacks . . . to the contrary, a final judgment
commands respect.” Frady, 456 U.S. At 164-65.
issues that can be presented in a motion filed under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 are limited. A defendant can challenge a
final conviction only on issues of constitutional or
jurisdictional magnitude. Shaid, 937 F.2d at 232. As
the Fifth Circuit has stated:
Relief under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255 is reserved for
transgressions of constitutional rights and for a narrow
range of injuries that could not have been raised on direct
appeal and would, if condoned, result in a complete
miscarriage of justice. Nonconstitutional claims that could
have been raised on ...