United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
ELIZABETH ERNY FOOTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Christopher E. Crawford ("Crawford") moves to
vacate his conviction under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [Record
Document 131]. Because Crawford's motion was filed more
than a year after his conviction became final and because the
void-for-vagueness holding of Johnson v. United States
is inapplicable to his case, his motion is
was charged with variety of federal offenses related to his
role in a drug conspiracy. [Record Document 9]. He ultimately
pled guilty on January 24, 2007 to Conspiracy to Possess with
Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 846. [Record Document 39]. On May 3, 2007, he was
sentenced to 180 months imprisonment. [Record Document 65].
He did not file a direct appeal. On June 22, 2016, Crawford
filed the instant motion. [Record Document 131].
motion to vacate under § 2255 must be filed within one
year of the latest of:
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion
created by governmental action in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the
movant was prevented from making a motion by such
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially
recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly
recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively
applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or
claims presented could have been discovered through the
exercise of due diligence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(f) (2012). If a defendant does not
appeal a judgment of conviction, the judgment becomes final
fourteen days after it is entered. United States v.
Morgan, 845 F.3d 664, 666 n.l (5th Or. 2017) (citing
Fed. R. App. P. 4(b); Clay v. United States, 537
U.S. 522, 527 (2003)). Crawford's one-year limitation
period thus commenced on May 18, 2007 following the
expiration of the delay for appealing his conviction. [Record
argues that his motion is timely under § 2255(f)(3)
because he filed it within one year of the Supreme
Court's decision in Johnson v. United States.
135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). [Record Document 132 at 1-2]. The
Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA") increases
sentences for firearm possession when an offender has three
previous convictions for "violent felonies," which
include felonies "involving] conduct that presents a
serious potential risk of physical injury to another."
18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1), (e)(2)(B)(ii) (2012). In
Johnson, the Supreme Court held that this clause-known
as the residual clause-was unconstitutionally vague. 135
S.Ct. at 2557. On April 18, 2016, the Supreme Court held
that Johnson's rule was retroactive to cases on
collateral review. Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct.
1257, 1265 (2016). Crawford filed the instant petition on
June 22, 2016. [Record Document 760 at 13]. Therefore, if
Welch and Johnson apply to Crawford, then
his motion to vacate is timely.
sentencing Crawford, this Court applied § 4B1.1 of the
Sentencing Guidelines, a provision that enhances the
sentences for career criminals. [Record Documents 66 at 1,
104 at 8, and 130 at 1]. Under the version of the career
criminal guideline in effect at the time of Crawford's
sentencing, a prior conviction qualified for the enhancement
if it "involve [d] conduct that presents a serious
potential risk of physical injury to another." U.S.S.G.
§ 4B1.2(a)(2) (2006 ed.). Although this language is
identical to that ruled unconstitutional in Johnson,
the Supreme Court has clearly held that "the Guidelines
are not subject to a vagueness challenge under the Due
Process Clause. The residual clause in § 4B1.2(a)(2) is
therefore not void for vagueness."Beckles v.
United States,137 S.Ct. 886, ...