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United States v. Shane Nathanial Townsend

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 31, 2017

United States of America, Respondent,
v.
Shane Nathanial Townsend, Petitioner.

          Nathan P. Petterson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Counsel for Respondent.

          Shane Nathanial Townsend, Pro Se.

          MEMORANDUM OF LAW AND ORDER

          Michael J. Davis, United States District Court.

         I. Introduction

         This Matter is before the Court on Petitioner's motions to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Docket Nos. 76 and 77] and for appointment of counsel [Docket No. 82].

         II. Background

         On January 8, 2008, Petitioner was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). On March 12, 2009, Petitioner entered a plea of guilty to Count 1 of the Indictment. Id. at ¶ 2.

         A Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) was prepared by the United States Probation Office. As set forth in the PSR, the probation office determined that Petitioner was a career offender pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”), Section 4B1.1(a). The Court adopted the factual findings and the guideline calculations set forth in the PSR and determined the applicable guideline range was 151 to 188 months, based on a total offense level 29 and a criminal history category VI. On September 8, 2009, the Court sentenced Petitioner to a term of imprisonment of 151 months.

         Petitioner appealed his sentence to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming that this Court gave undue weight to the sentencing guidelines and his criminal history, and insufficient weight to important mitigating factors, such as his mental illness, physical illness and his chemical dependency. United States v. Townsend, 617 F.3d 991, 993 (8th Cir. 2010). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this Court's sentence. Id. at 995.

         On April 27, 2016, Petitioner filed the instant Pro Se § 2255 Petition, arguing that he was unconstitutionally categorized as a career offender in light of the United States Supreme Court decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).

         III. Habeas Petition

         A. Standard for Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         28 U.S.C. § 2255(a) provides:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or law 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 ...

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