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United States v. Franklin

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 7, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DARRYL FRANKLIN

         SECTION: “J”

          ORDER AND REASONS

          CARL J. BARBIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Rec. Doc. 432) filed by Petitioner, Darryl Franklin. The government filed an opposition thereto (Rec. Doc. 445), and Petitioner filed a reply (Rec. Doc. 448). Having considered the motion and legal memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the motion should be DENIED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In March of 2003, Petitioner pleaded guilty to counts 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 of the Superseding Indictment charging him with carjacking, attempted carjacking, and carjacking that resulted in the death of Christopher Briede. (Rec. Doc. 50). Pursuant to Rule 11(e)(1)(C), [1] Petitioner agreed to a life sentence for the carjacking that resulted in Christopher Briede's death. (Rec. Doc. 95). Petitioner also agreed to plead guilty to first degree murder and received a life sentence in Criminal District Court in Orleans Parish. (Rec. Doc. 95 at 2). This Court accepted the 11(e)(1)(C) plea agreement between the government and the defendant, sentencing him to life imprisonment. (Rec. Doc. 118).

         In 2016, Petitioner filed for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Rec. Doc. 432). This Court rejected Petitioner's argument that he was entitled to relief under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) because Petitioner's sentence was enhanced by U.S.S.G. §§ 2B3.1 and 2A1.1, and not under the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). (Rec. Doc. 440). However, this Court ordered the government to respond to Petitioner's remaining claims. (Rec. Doc. 440).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Section 2255 provides that a federal prisoner serving a court-imposed sentence may move the court that imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Only a narrow set of claims are cognizable on a section 2255 motion. The statute identifies four bases 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. A claim of error that is neither constitutional nor jurisdictional is not cognizable in a section 2255 proceeding unless the error constitutes “a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.” United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979) (quoting Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424, 428 (1962)).

         When a section 2255 motion is filed, the district court must first conduct a preliminary review. “If it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion.” Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings, Rule 4(b). If the motion raises a non-frivolous claim to relief, the court must order the government to file a response or to take other appropriate action. Id. After reviewing the government's answer, any transcripts and records of prior proceedings, and any supplementary materials submitted by the parties, the court must determine whether an evidentiary hearing is warranted. Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings, Rule 8. An evidentiary hearing must be held unless “the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). No. evidentiary hearing is required, however, if the prisoner fails to produce any “independent indicia of the likely merit of [his] allegations.” United States v. Edwards, 442 F.3d 258, 264 (5th Cir. 2006) (quoting United States v. Cervantes, 132 F.3d 1106, 1110 (5th Cir. 1998)).

         Additionally, the Court recognizes that the defendant's pro se complaint must be construed liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see also Hernandez v. Thaler, 630 F.3d 420, 426 (5th Cir. 2011) (“The filings of a federal habeas petitioner who is proceeding pro se are entitled to the benefit of liberal construction.”)

         DISCUSSION

         I. Petitioner's Claims are Untimely

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f), all § 2255 petitions must be filed within one year of (1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final; (2) the date on which the governmental impediment to making a motion in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed; (3) the date on which the newly-recognized right asserted was initially recognized by the United States 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.

         In the instant case, Petitioner filed his § 2255 motion in June 2016- approximately thirteen years after his judgment of conviction became final. See Rec. Doc. 118; United States v. Scruggs, 691 F.3d 660, 669 (5th Cir. 2012) (“When a defendant does not file a direct appeal, his conviction becomes final on the day when the time for filing a direct appeal expires.”). ...


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