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United States v. Davenport

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 7, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RONALD CRAIG DAVENPORT, Petitioner-Defendant.

          Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney, and Thomas H. Edmonds, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Oregon, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          Stephen R. Sady, Chief Deputy Federal Defender, and Elizabeth G. Daily, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office for the District of Oregon, Attorneys for Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Michael H. Simon United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Ronald Craig Davenport's motion for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, seeking to vacate and correct his 188-month sentence, which was imposed under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). For the reasons given below, his motion is denied.

         STANDARDS

         Section 2255 permits a prisoner in custody under sentence to move the court that imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence on the ground that:

[T]he 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).

         Under Section 2255, “a district court must grant a hearing to determine the validity of a petition brought under that section ‘[u]nless the motions and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.'” United States v. Baylock, 20 F.3d 1458, 1465 (9th Cir. 1994) (emphasis in original) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255). A motion pursuant to § 2255 must be filed within one year from the date on which a petitioner's conviction becomes final, unless an exception applies. Id. § 2255(f)(1). One exception provides that a motion is timely if (1) it “assert[s] . . . [a] right . . . newly recognized by the Supreme Court, ” id. § 2255(f)(3), (2) it is filed within one year from “the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, ” id. § 2255(f)(3), and (3) the Supreme Court or controlling Court of Appeals has declared the right retroactively applicable on collateral review, Dodd v. United States, 545 U.S. 353, 358-59 (2005). Only the Supreme Court may “recognize” a new right under § 2255(f)(3). Dodd, 545 U.S. at 357-59. In order to show that his or her claim relies on a new rule of constitutional law, a movant must show that “(1) he or she was sentenced in violation of the Constitution and that (2) the particular constitutional rule that was violated is ‘new, ' [and] was ‘previously unavailable'” United States v. Geozos, 870 F.3d 890, 895 (9th Cir. 2017).

         BACKGROUND

         On March 12, 2004, Davenport pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(g)(1). When he pleaded guilty, Davenport signed a plea agreement with the government in which he agreed “to waive appeal and waive habeas (§ 2255) relief, with the exception of a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, if sentenced within the applicable guideline range, or to the fifteen year mandatory minimum.”

         The sentencing court adopted the finding from Davenport's presentence report (“PSR”) that Davenport was a “career criminal” under the ACCA, meaning that Davenport had three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony.” Davenport's PSR identified five previous convictions that qualified as violent felonies, including a four-count conviction for federal armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d), and a conviction for Oregon burglary in the first degree in violation of Or. Rev. Stat. (“ORS”) § 164.225.

         A conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm typically carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. 18 U.S.C.§ 924(g)(1). Upon a finding that a defendant is a career criminal, however, the ACCA mandates a minimum sentence of 15 years, or 180-months and a maximum of life in prison. 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). Applying these ACCA sentencing enhancements, the sentencing court sentenced Davenport to 188-months imprisonment, to be served consecutively with a 33-month term imposed for a violation of supervised release and concurrently with a state parole revocation sentence. Davenport did not appeal, but did file an § 2255 motion in 2005, which was denied on the merits. In that motion Davenport argued that his guilty plea was not knowing and voluntary, that he received ineffective ...


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