Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Spears

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 3, 2018

UNITED STATES
v.
KEONTAE SPEARS

          OPINION AND ORDER

          DONETTA W. AMBROSE SENIOR JUDGE, U.S. DISTRICT COURT

         SYNOPSIS

         In this action, Defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser included offense of Count 1, 18 U.S.C. § 846. On February 17, 2015, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 151 months, followed by a term of supervised release.[1] By certified order in lieu of mandate, on March 17, 2016, the Court of Appeals' summarily enforced Defendant's appellate waiver. Subsequently, on May 8, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Vacate, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, in this Court. Briefing was complete on December 18, 2017, and the matter is now ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion will be denied, and no certificate of appealability shall issue.

         OPINION

         I. APPLICABLE STANDARDS

         A. Section 2255

         A prisoner in federal custody may move to vacate his or her sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a) if such "sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). "[R]elief under § 2255 is available only when 'the claimed error of law was a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice, and ... present[s] exceptional circumstances where the need for the remedy afforded by the writ ... is apparent.'" United States v. Travillion, 759 F.3d 281, 288 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 346, 94 S.Ct. 2298, 41 L.Ed.2d 109 (1974)). A district court need not hold an evidentiary hearing on a Section 2255 motion if the motion, files, and records show conclusively that the defendant is not entitled to relief. United States v. Ritter, 93 Fed.Appx. 402, 404 (3d Cir. 2004). In this case, an evidentiary hearing is unnecessary, and the Motion will be disposed of on the record.

         II. DEFENDANT'S MOTION

         A. Timeliness

         The Government contends that Defendant's Motion is untimely. Because Defendant waived his right to appeal, it argues, Defendant was required to file his Section 2255 Motion by March 13, 2016 at the latest.

         Pursuant to Section 2255(f), a Defendant must file for collateral relief within one year of the date that his conviction becomes final. A conviction becomes final, if the defendant has appealed, when the time for seeking certiorari expires. The time for seeking certiorari expires ninety days after the appeal has been disposed of. I understand the Government's consternation regarding the potential manipulation of time limitations. Nonetheless, courts have applied the full ninety-day period in the context of an appeal later dismissed due to an appellate waiver. See, e.g., Walker v. United States, No. 14-625, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159862 (M.D. Ala. Sep. 27, 2017). This approach respects the possibility of a non-frivolous argument, even if ultimately rejected by the appellate court, that an appellate waiver is invalid. I will consider Defendant's Motion timely.

         B. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

         Defendant contends that counsel was ineffective in two respects: 1) by failing to challenge his career offender status; and 2) by failing to challenge the Court's conclusion that he had a history of violence.

         1. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.