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United States v. Davis

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

March 22, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LEN DAVIS AND PAUL HARDY

         SECTION "B”

          ORDER AND REASONS

         NATURE OF MOTIONS AND RELIEF SOUGHT

         On September 1, 2017 this Court ordered Petitioners Len Davis and Paul Hardy (collectively, “Petitioners”) to file supplemental memoranda regarding which of their §2255 claims might require evidentiary hearing (Rec. Doc. 2449). Before the Court is petitioner Hardy's “Supplemental Memorandum Regarding Evidentiary Claims” (Rec. Doc. 2462), petitioner Davis' “Memorandum in Support of Granting Evidentiary Hearing” (Rec. Doc. 2463”), and the Government's “Response to Paul Hardy's and Len Davis's Requests for Evidentiary Hearing” (Rec. Doc. 2465). For the reasons outlined below, IT IS ORDERED that Petitioners' requests for evidentiary hearing is DENIED.

         In conjunction with their § 2255 motions, Petitioners seek evidentiary hearing on particular claims therein. 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provides that:

[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief, the court shall cause notice thereof to be served upon the United States attorney, grant a prompt hearing thereon, determine the issues and make findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect thereto.

28 U.S.C.A. § 2255 (2008).

         However, where the motion, files, and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief, the Court may deny a §2255 motion without an evidentiary hearing. U.S. v. Auten, 632 F.2d 478 (5th Cir.1980). A district court's denial of an evidentiary hearing on a § 2255 is reviewed for abuse of discretion. See United States v. Bartholomew, 974 F.2d 39, 41 (5th Cir. 1992). To establish an “abuse of discretion, ” Petitioners must present “independent indicia of the likely merit of allegations.” United States v. Cavitt, 550 F.3d 430, 442 (5th Cir. 2008).

         To be discussed, infra, Petitioners fail to meet their burden of presenting “independent indicia” of the likely merit of their claims. Even after this Court allowed for additional exchange of discovery (Rec. Doc. 2249), Petitioners present no new facts or evidence in support of their conclusory claims. Petitioners' mere recitation of incredible conclusions does not warrant evidentiary hearing, and this issue will be “heard” on the briefing already submitted to the Court. See United States v. McGill, 11 F.3d 223, 225 (1st Cir. 1993)(“In most situations, motions can be “heard” effectively on the papers, with the parties submitting evidentiary proffers by means of affidavits, documentary exhibits, and the like.”).

         Also before the Court is Len Davis' “Motion to Vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255” (Rec. Doc. 2265), the “Government's Response to Guilt Related Issues Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 for Collateral Relief” (Rec. Doc. 2265), Paul Hardy's “First Motion to Vacate Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255” (Rec. Doc. 2378), and the “Government's Opposition to Hardy's Motion for Collateral Relief Under 28 U.S.C § 2255” (Rec. Doc. 2378). For the reasons mentioned below,

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioners claims are DISMISSED, along with all other pending motions.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Third Superseding Indictment charged Len Davis and Paul Hardy with offenses relating to the murder of Kim Marie Groves (Rec. Doc. 187). The first count charged petitioners with a conspiracy to violate Groves' constitutionally protected right to liberty by the use of excessive force, while acting under the color of the law, which resulted in her death (Rec. Doc. 187). The second count alleged that petitioners' actions substantively constituted the deprivation of rights under the color of law pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 242 (Rec. Doc. 187). The third and final count of the indictment alleged that petitioners willfully killed Groves to prevent communication to A jury was empaneled and petitioners' trial started on April 8, 1996 (Rec. Doc. 465). On April 24, 1996 the jury found petitioner Davis and petitioner Hardy guilty as to all three counts (Rec. Doc. 524).

         On November 6, 1996 petitioner Davis received concurrent sentences for all three counts of the Third Superseding Indictment (Rec. Doc. 631). Davis filed a timely Notice of Appeal and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision as to Count 1 and 2 and reversed and vacated the sentence as to Count 3 (Rec. Doc. 714). Davis was resentenced to two concurrent sentences as to Counts 1 and 2 (Rec. Doc. 1530). Davis filed a timely Notice of Appeal. On September 2, 2010 the Fifth Circuit affirmed his sentence (Rec. Docs. 1542 and 2165). Davis timely filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, which was denied on March 22, 2011 (Rec. Doc. 2205).

         On November 6, 1996 petitioner Hardy received concurrent sentences on all three counts (Rec. Doc. 630). Petitioner Hardy filed a timely Notice of Appeal (Rec. Doc. 633). The Fifth Circuit affirmed his convictions on Counts 1 and 2 but reversed his conviction on Count 3. The case was remanded to back to the district court for resentencing (Rec. Doc. 715). In December 2011, petitioner Hardy was resentenced on Counts 1 and 2 and received concurrent terms of life imprisonment, 5 years supervised release, $3, 593.05 restitution, and a $200 Mandatory Special Assessment Fee (Rec. Doc. 2257). On December 29, 2011 petitioner Hardy timely filed a Notice of Appeal and on January 3, 2013 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his sentences on Counts 1 and 2 (Rec. Docs. 2259 and 2316). On April 3, 2013 Hardy timely filed a ...


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