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Davis v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

July 11, 2019

WILLIE DAVIS, Petitioner
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          Malachy E. Mannion, United States District Judge.

         Pending before the court is the pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct, filed by petitioner Willie Davis, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255, with regard to his 37-month sentence to imprisonment imposed on June 28, 2016. (Doc. 121). In his motion, Davis claims, without support, that he is innocent of his convicted charge, namely, possession of contraband within a prison, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1791(a)(2) and (b)(3). He also raises jurisdictional and constitutional challenges to his conviction. In considering Davis's motion, the government's response, and Davis's reply, the motion will be DENIED without an evidentiary hearing. Davis's motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c), (Doc. 128), will also be DENIED. Davis's motion to file a reply brief, (Doc. 126), will be GRANTED and his reply brief, (Doc. 126-1), will be considered by the court. Davis's motion to take judicial notice of adjudicative facts, (Doc. 130), will be DENIED. The court will not issue a certificate of appealability.

         I. BACKGROUND [1]

         On May 26, 2016, a one-count Indictment was filed against Davis charging him with possessing contraband while confined at USP-Lewisburg, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1791(a)(2).[2] (Doc. 1). Specifically, Davis was charged with possessing a sharpened piece of plastic about eight inches long which was allegedly attached to his body by a lanyard.

         On August 29, 2016, the court denied Davis's pre-trial motions, (Doc. 12, Doc. 14), in which he claimed that the indictment was defective and that evidence should be suppressed. (Doc. 28, Doc. 29).

         On November 4, 2016, the court issued an Order granting the government's motion in limine for the court to take judicial notice that the United States Penitentiary Lewisburg is a federal correctional facility under FRE 201. (Doc. 45).

         On November 9, 2016, the court issued an Order granting the government's motion in limine to preclude Davis from arguing to the jury or presenting evidence at trial that the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania lacks jurisdiction over his case or, that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction or jurisdiction over the person of Willie Davis. (Doc. 49).

         On November 14, 2016, the court denied Davis's motions challenging the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. §1791(a)(2), (Doc. 54), and his motion claiming that the Speedy Trial Act was violated under 18 U.S.C. §3161(c)(1). (Doc. 66).

         Davis was then convicted of the charged offense under §1791(a)(2) by a jury on December 14, 2016.

         On June 28, 2017, Davis was sentenced by this court to 37 months imprisonment to run consecutive to the federal sentence he was serving at the time. Davis appealed his judgment of sentence on the grounds that the court failed to instruct the jury that Congress excluded objects specified in 18 U.S.C. §1791(d)(1)(B). Davis's appeal was denied on April 3, 2018 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Docs. 112 & 113-1). See United States v. Davis, 728 Fed.Appx. 125 (3d Cir. 2018).

         Davis then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his appeal and, on February 19, 2019, his petition for writ of certiorari was denied. He then filed a petition for re-hearing with the Supreme Court which was denied on April 22, 2019. As such, Davis has exhausted his direct appeals regarding his June 28, 2016 conviction.

         Davis filed his initial motion to vacate under §2255 on January 15, 2019. The court dismissed this motion without prejudice since Davis's appellate remedies had not yet been exhausted. (Doc. 117). Davis then filed his instant motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. §2255 on May 6, 2019. (Doc. 121). Davis attached a brief in support to his motion as well as his affidavit. The government filed its response on May 17, 2019. (Doc. 123). Davis then filed replies on May 20 and 28, 2019.[3] (Docs. 124, 125 & 126-1).

         II. STANDARD

         When a district court judge imposes a sentence on a defendant who believes “that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, [the defendant] may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or ...


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