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. Goodwin

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 4, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
IRAH LEE GOODWIN, Defendant.

          ANDREW R. WINTER, ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, FOR PLAINTIFF.

          MATTHEW D. FORSGREN, GREENE ESPEL PLLP, FOR DEFENDANT.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING 28 U.S.C. § 2255 MOTION

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         On November 7, 2013, defendant Irah Lee Goodwin pled guilty to one count of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1959(a)(3). (Plea Hr'g Min. Entry, Nov. 7, 2013, Docket No. 1333.) As part of the plea agreement, the parties stipulated that Goodwin is a Career Offender as defined in the United States Sentencing Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) §§ 4B1.1, 4B1.2, [1] based on two prior convictions: (1) simple robbery, and (2) Terroristic Threats pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1. Based on the parties' stipulations, the plea agreement stated that application of the Career Offender Guideline would result in a Guidelines range of 168 to 210 months' imprisonment. The parties further stipulated to a joint recommendation of 210 months' imprisonment, and Goodwin waived the right to appeal a sentence at or below 210 months' imprisonment. On December 11, 2013, the Court sentenced Goodwin to 210 months' imprisonment. (Am. J. in Crim. Case, Jan. 7, 2014, Docket No. 1353.)

         On June 24, 2016, Goodwin filed a motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[2] Goodwin argues that his stipulation that he is a Career Offender under the Guidelines was premised on an understanding, at the time, that the definition of Career Offender in the applicable Guidelines did in fact apply to him.

         Goodwin's motion is based on the Supreme Court's intervening decision in Johnson v. United States, which invalidated - as unconstitutionally vague - the residual clause in the definition of “violent felony” in the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), found at 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii). 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2557 (2015); see also Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257, 1265 (2016) (holding that Johnson established a new rule of substantive law, and thus, it applies retroactively to cases on collateral review). Goodwin argues that the residual clause in the definition of “crime of violence” found in § 4B1.2(a), which is similar to the unconstitutional residual clause in the ACCA's definition of “violent felony, ” is unconstitutionally vague just as the ACCA provision was unconstitutionally vague. Goodwin further argues that because the residual clause in § 4B1.2(a)(2) is invalid under Johnson and Welch, Goodwin is not a Career Offender, since his conviction for Terroristic Threats was only considered as a “crime of violence” by operation of the residual clause. Goodwin contends that his understanding that he was a Career Offender as defined in the Guidelines influenced his decision to stipulate to a sentence at the top of the 210-month Guidelines range, and thus he is entitled to resentencing.

         On December 9, 2016, the Court stayed the United States' response to Goodwin's motion pending the resolution of Beckles v. United States, which the Supreme Court decided on March 6, 2017. 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017). In Beckles, the Supreme Court rejected extending the Johnson holding to § 4B1.2(a)(2), reasoning that the “Guidelines are not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due Process Clause.” Id. at 890. Thus, Beckles forecloses any argument that the residual clause in § 4B1.2(a)(2) is unconstitutional under Johnson. Because this is the only argument Goodwin raises in his motion, the Court will deny the motion.

         The Court may grant a certificate of appealability only where a petitioner “has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Copeland v. Washington, 232 F.3d 969, 977 (8th Cir. 2000). The petitioner must show that “the issues are debatable among reasonable jurists, a court could resolve the issues differently, or the issues deserve further proceedings.” Flieger v. Delo, 16 F.3d 878, 883 (8th Cir. 1994); see also Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000). The Court finds it unlikely that another court would decide the issues raised in Goodwin's motion differently and the issues are not debatable or deserving of further proceedings. The Court therefore concludes that Goodwin has failed to make the required substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right and will deny a certificate of appealability.

         ORDER

         Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

         1. Defendant Irah Lee Goodwin's Motion to Vacate Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Docket No. 1625] is DENIED.

         2. The Court does not certify for appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) the issues raised in Goodwin's motion.

         LET JUDGMENT BE ...


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.