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.

Richardson v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

July 25, 2019

ROBERT RICHARDSON, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ED KINKEADE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Movant Robert Richardson, a federal prisoner, filed, through court-appointed counsel, a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Dkt. No. 1. The government filed a response opposing relief, see Dkt. No. 6, and Richardson has filed a reply brief, see Dkt. No. 9. The Court DENIES the Section 2255 motion for the following reasons.

         Richardson pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e). And, under the Armed Career Criminal Act (the “ACCA”), he was sentenced, on September 14, 2011, to the statutory minimum of 180 months of imprisonment. See United States v. Richardson, No. 3:09-cr-108-K-1 (N.D. Tex.).

         He now collaterally challenges the applicability of the ACCA to his sentence under Johnson v. United States, 576 U.S.___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). As recounted in that decision,

Federal law forbids certain people - such as convicted felons, persons committed to mental institutions, and drug users - to ship, possess, and receive firearms. § 922(g). In general, the law punishes violation of this ban by up to 10 years' imprisonment. § 924(a)(2). But if the violator has three or more earlier convictions for a “serious drug offense” or a “violent felony, ” the [ACCA] increases his prison term to a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life. § 924(e)(1); Curtis Johnson v. United States, 559 U.S. 133, 136 (2010). The Act defines “violent felony” as follows:
“any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year ... that -
“(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another; or
“(ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” § 924(e)(2)(B) (emphasis added).
The closing words of this definition, italicized above, have come to be known as the Act's residual clause.

135 S.Ct. at 2555-56 (citation modified).

         In Johnson, the Supreme Court held “that imposing an increased sentence under the residual clause of the [ACCA] violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process.” Id. at 2563. The decision thus “affected the reach of the [ACCA] rather than the judicial procedures by which the statute is applied” and therefore is “a substantive decision and so has retroactive effect under Teague[ v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989), ] in cases on collateral review.” Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257, 1265 (2016). But Johnson did “not call into question application of the Act to the four enumerated offenses, or the remainder of the Act's definition of a violent felony.” 135 S.Ct. at 2563.

         A Johnson claim under Section 2255 thus requires that a movant show that his constitutional right to due process was violated-or that he was sentenced in excess of the maximum authorized by law (for example, that he received a minimum sentence of 15 years under Section 924(e), as opposed to a maximum sentence of 10 years under Section 924(a)(2))-because he was sentenced under the ACCA's residual clause. And the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, “join[ing] the majority of [its] sister circuits, ” has held that a court “must look to the law at the time of sentencing to determine whether a sentence was imposed” in violation of Johnson-that is, it was imposed under the ACCA's residual clause, as opposed to its enumerated offense clause or its force clause. United States v. Wiese, 896 F.3d 720, 724 (5th Cir. 2018) (collecting cases); see also Id. at 725 (noting that, “[i]n determining potential reliance on the residual clause by the sentencing court, ” a reviewing court “may look to (1) the sentencing record for direct evidence of a sentence, and (2) the relevant background legal environment that existed at the time of the defendant's sentencing and the presentence report (‘PSR') and other relevant materials before the district court” (citations, internal quotation marks, and brackets omitted)).

         Prior to his conviction in this Court, Richardson was convicted of murder in Dallas County. See State v. Richardson, No. F05-19422 (194th Jud. Dist. Ct., Dallas Cnty., Tex.); Richardson, No. 3:09-cr-108-K-1, Dkt. No. 80-1 at 21-43 (relevant charging documents, written plea agreements, judicial confessions, and criminal judgment included in the PSR). Richardson fired multiple rounds through the door of the victim's residence, killing the victim.

         And, also in Dallas County, he was twice convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. See State v. Richardson, Nos. F03-19397 & -19398 (194th Jud. Dist. Ct., Dallas Cnty., Tex.); Richardson, No. 3:09-cr-108-K-1, Dkt. No. 80-1 at 21-43 (relevant charging documents, written plea agreements, judicial confessions, and criminal judgment included in the PSR). As to the first aggravated-assault conviction, Richardson threatened the victim with bodily ...


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.