United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jamillo Donte Spight, Defendant, Pro Se, counsel for
M. Kayser, Assistant United States Attorney, United States
Attorney's Office, counsel for the Government.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Jamillo Donte
Spight's (“Defendant”) pro se
motions for a sentence reduction pursuant to Section 404 of
the First Step Act and for the appointment of counsel. (Doc.
Nos. , .) The United States of America (the
“Government”) opposes Defendant's motion for
a reduced sentence. (Doc. No. .)
requests that this Court consider reducing his sentence and
seeks release from imprisonment. Defendant also requests that
the Court appoint an attorney to represent him. The
Government argues that because Defendant was not convicted of
a covered offense, he is not eligible for relief under the
limited provisions of the First Step Act.
reasons set forth below, the Court respectfully denies
Defendant's motion for a sentence reduction and therefore
denies his motion for appointment of counsel as moot.
a bench trial before this Court on January 24, 2017,
Defendant was convicted of a single count of being an Armed
Career Criminal in Possession of a Firearm in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). (Doc. Nos. 58,
98.) On January 6, 2015, the Court sentenced Defendant to a
term of 212 months' imprisonment, to be followed by a
five-year period of supervised release. (Doc. No. 98.)
appealed his conviction; the Eighth Circuit affirmed on April
4, 2016. (Doc. Nos. 114, 115; United States v.
Spight, 817 F.3d 1099 (8th Cir. 2016).) Defendant timely
filed a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to
vacate his sentence on the grounds that his trial counsel
provided ineffective assistance through a variety of failures
to act. (Doc. No. 119.) The Court denied the motion, finding
that Defendant's claims lacked merit and did not justify
the issuance of a certificate of appealability. (Doc. No.
136.) Defendant also filed a motion for a new trial pursuant
to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33(b)(1), which this
Court denied. (Doc. Nos. 130, 137.) Again, the Eighth Circuit
affirmed the Court's decisions. (Doc. No. 146.)
sentencing, the Court articulated its reasoning for the terms
imposed based on careful consideration of the record and all
applicable sentencing criteria, including Defendant's
Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), the
applicable United States Sentencing Guidelines (the
“Guidelines”), and the sentencing factors
outlined under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). (See
generally Doc. No. 109.) The Court explained its
findings that that Defendant's previous convictions were
qualifying predicate offenses for Armed Career Criminal Act
(ACCA) purposes and that the instant offense occurred in
connection with a crime of violence, resulting in an advisory
guidelines range of 262 to 327 months' imprisonment with
a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years'
imprisonment. (Id. at 24, 26-27.) The Court varied
downward, imposing a sentence of 212 months' imprisonment
and five years of supervised release in order to promote
respect for the law and address deterrence and other
sentencing considerations without compromising public safety.
(Id. at 53, 56-57; Doc. No. 99.)
is currently incarcerated at the Administrative United States
Penitentiary in Thomson, Illinois, and is scheduled to be
released on June 3, 2029. He requests consideration for a
reduction in his term of imprisonment so that he “can
do the right thing” for himself and his community,
noting that he has started an apprenticeship to become an
electrician. (Doc. No. 154.)
First Step Act was enacted into law on December 21, 2018.
See Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194
(“First Step Act”). Previously, Congress enacted
the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the disparity
in sentencing between offenses involving crack and powder
cocaine and eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing for
simple possession of controlled substances. See Pub.
L. No. 111-220, 124 Stat. 2372 (“Fair Sentencing
Act”) (codified at 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1) and
§ 844(a)). The Fair Sentencing Act changed the drug
quantities required to trigger certain mandatory minimum
sentences. See 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii).
These changes resulted in more lenient mandatory minimum
sentences for convictions under 21 U.S.C. § 841 for
those who committed a crack cocaine offense before August 3,
2010 but were not sentenced until after that date. Dorsey
v. United States, 5 ...