United States District Court, D. Minnesota
H. MacDonald, United States Attorney, and Andrew S. Dunne,
Assistant United States Attorney, for plaintiff.
Lee Goodwin, pro se defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ORDER DENYING 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 MOTION AND MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
Irah Lee Goodwin is serving a 210-month term of imprisonment.
On July 23, 2019, Goodwin filed a motion to appoint counsel
and to modify his sentence. The Court construes Goodwin's
request as a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion. Because Goodwin
previously filed a § 2255 motion that the Court denied
on the merits, the Court will deny the present § 2255
motion for lack of jurisdiction and will deny the motion to
appoint counsel as moot.
November 7, 2013, Goodwin pleaded 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, based on two prior convictions: (1) simple robbery and
(2) Terroristic Threats pursuant to Minn. Stat §
609.713, subd. 1. (Plea Agreement on file with the Ct., Nov.
7, 2013, Docket No. 1334.) The parties jointly recommended a
sentence of 210 months' imprisonment in accordance with
the Career Offender Guideline's recommended range of 168
to 210 months. (Def.'s Position on Sentencing at 4, Dec.
9, 2013, Docket No. 1340; Govt.'s Position on Sentencing
at 6, Dec. 11, 2013, Docket No. 1342.) On December 11, 2013,
the Court sentenced Goodwin to 210 months' imprisonment.
(Am. J. in Crim. Case at 1-2, Jan. 7, 2014, Docket No. 1353.)
has moved several times to vacate or reduce his sentence. In
2016, Goodwin argued that under Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2557 (2015) he should not have
been sentenced as a career offender. (Mot. to Vacate at 1,
Jun. 24, 2016, Docket No. 1625.) The Court denied the motion,
explaining that under Beckles v. United States, 137
S.Ct. 886, 895 (2017), the Guidelines are not subject to
vagueness challenges under the Due Process Clause. (Order
Den. Mot. to Vacate at 3-4, Aug. 4, 2017, Docket No. 1763.)
In 2018, Goodwin filed a second motion to vacate, based on
Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018). (Mot. to
Vacate, Jul. 13, 2018, Docket No. 1847.) Goodwin also moved
to appoint counsel. (Mot. to Appoint Counsel, July 13, 2018,
Docket No. 1846). The Court denied Goodwin's second
motion based on lack of jurisdiction, and denied his request
for counsel as moot. (Order Den. Mot. to Vacate and Mot. to
Appoint Counsel at 4-5, Oct. 29, 2018, Docket No. 1869.)
before the Court is Goodwin's third motion to vacate and
appoint counsel. (Mot. to Appoint Counsel, July 23, 2019,
Docket No. 1923.) Goodwin argues that he is “entitled
to a sentence modification” based on United States
v. Davis. 139 S.Ct. 2319 (2019). In Davis, the
Supreme Court applied Johnson and Dimaya to
hold that the residual clause in 18 U.S.C. §
924(c)'s definition of “crime of violence”
was unconstitutionally vague. 139 S.Ct. at 2326-27, 2336.
Goodwin also moves again to appoint counsel. On August 30,
2019, Goodwin filed a second document reiterating his
requests. (Addendum to Mot. to Appoint Counsel, Aug. 30,
2019, Docket No. 1928.) The Court considers these to be one
MOTION TO VACATE
Court construes Goodwin's pro se motion liberally.
United States v. Wilson, 621 F.2d 927, 929
(8th Cir. 1980). Because Goodwin requests relief
in light of a recent Supreme Court decision, the Court
interprets Goodwin's motion to request relief under 28
U.S.C. § 2255(h)(2). Section 2255(a) permits a prisoner
to move the court that sentenced him to “vacate, set
aside or correct the sentence” on the grounds 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 . . . .” 28
U.S.C. § 2255(a). Such relief “is reserved for
transgressions of constitutional rights and for a narrow
range of injuries that could not have been raised on direct
appeal and, if uncorrected, would result in a complete
miscarriage of justice.” Walking Eagle v. United
States, 742 F.3d 1079, 1081-82 (8th Cir.
2014) (citation omitted). When a prisoner files more than one
motion under § 2255, a district court may not hear the
successive petition unless it has been “certified as
provided in section 2244 by a panel of the appropriate court
of appeals . . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
the Court denied Goodwin's first motion to vacate on the
merits, his current motion to vacate is treated as a
successive § 2255 motion. See U.S. v. Sellner,
773 F.3d 927, 932 (8th Cir. 2014) (“[a] key
factor in determining whether a petition should be considered
‘second or successive' is whether a prior petition
has been adjudicated on the merits”) (citation
omitted). Since Goodwin has not received certification from
the Eighth Circuit, the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear his
the Court had jurisdiction to hear Goodwin's motion, it
would be compelled to deny it. Goodwin pleaded guilty to and
was sentenced for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of
Racketeering under 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(3).
Davis invalidated the residual clause under 18
U.S.C. § 924(c). Davis, 139 S.Ct. at 2326-27,
2336. Goodwin did not plead guilty to and was not sentenced
under § 924(c); as a result, Davis is
inapplicable to Goodwin's case and does not provide