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. Pegues

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 22, 2016

United States of America Plaintiff,
v.
James Herman Pegues, Defendant.

          LeeAnn K. Bell, United States Attorney's Office, counsel for plaintiff.

          James Herman Pegues, Federal Correctional Institute, P.O., defendant pro se.

          ORDER

          DAVID S. DOTY, JUDGE.

         This matter is before the court upon the pro se[1] motion by defendant James Herman Pegues to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Based on a review of the file, record, and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court denies the motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On March 26, 2014, Pegues pleaded guilty to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) (1) and 924(e). Because Pegues had six prior burglary convictions, he was subject to a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). See 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). On November 14, 2014, the court sentenced Pegues to 15 years' imprisonment, and he did not appeal his sentence. Pegues now moves to vacate his sentence, arguing that his sentence is unconstitutional in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) and Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Johnson

         Pegues argues that his sentence is unconstitutional in light of Johnson, which held that the residual clause of § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) is unconstitutionally vague. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2557. The government argues that Pegues' Johnson claim is time-barred, and the court agrees. In order to be considered timely, Pegues must have brought his Johnson claim within the 1-year time period starting the day that Johnson was decided. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f); Dodd v. United States, 545 U.S. 353, 356-57 (2005). Pegues signed his petition on October 4, 2016 - more than one year after Johnson was decided on June 26, 2015. Because Pegues' petition does not meet any of the other time limitations listed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f), his Johnson claim is time-barred.[2]

         Even if Pegues' petition was not time-barred, however, Johnson is inapplicable to his sentence. Johnson only held that the residual clause of § 924(e) was unconstitutional and left the remaining provisions intact. Pegues' sentence was based not on the residual clause, but on the enumerated offense clause that listed burglary as a predicate offense under the ACCA. See 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii). Therefore, even after Johnson, Pegues' convictions for burglary constitute predicate offenses under § 924(e).

         II. Mathis

         Pegues also challenges his sentence under Mathis, arguing that his state convictions for burglary are no longer predicate offenses under the ACCA. In determining whether a state burglary conviction is a predicate offense, courts generally employ the “categorical approach” which “compare[s] the elements of the statute forming the basis of defendant's conviction with the elements of the ‘generic' crime ....” Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276, 2281 (2013). The Supreme Court has defined generic burglary as “an unlawful or unprivileged entry into, or remaining in, a building or other structure, with intent to commit a crime.” Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575, 598 (1990). Therefore, if a state statute defines burglary more broadly than the generic offense, it cannot qualify as a predicate offense under the ACCA. Mathis, 136 S.Ct. at 2251.

         If, however, the prior conviction is based on a statute that defines a crime “by listing multiple, alternative elements, the elements-matching required by the categorical approach is much more difficult.” Id. at 2245. Under these circumstances, the court employs the “modified categorical approach” by examining a “limited class of documents” to determine what elements constituted the crime that the defendant was convicted of before comparing those elements to the generic offense. Id. at 2245-46. In Mathis, the Supreme Court clarified that the modified categorical approach is only applicable to statutes that list alternative elements of a crime and not statutes that list alternative means of committing the crime. Id. at 2251-54.

         In 1988, Pegues pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary in Tennessee. Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) ¶ 35. From 1986 through 1987 Pegues had three Tennessee second-degree burglary convictions. Id. ΒΆΒΆ ...


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.