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Murray v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

September 15, 2014

CEDRIC MURRAY, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

WALLACE CAPEL, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

This case is before the court on a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence filed by federal inmate Cedric Murray ("Murray").

I. BACKGROUND

On June 20, 2011, Murray pled guilty under a plea agreement to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). On September 1, 2011, the district court sentenced Murray to a total of 147 months in prison. Murray took no appeal.

On July 30, 2012, Murray filed this motion for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 raising the following claims:

Ground One: The district court "failed to establish the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the United States, " and therefore his conviction must be vacated.
Ground Two: "The court failed to inform the Movant of the nature and cause of the accusation. The indictment failed to place any facts on the record to establish the jurisdiction that the court was operating under."
Ground Three: His lawyer rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by "fail[ing] to investigate the facts of the case or consult with witnesses."

Doc. No. 1.

After due consideration of Murray's § 2255 motion, the supporting and opposing submissions, and the record in this case, the court concludes an evidentiary hearing is not required and that, under Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings in the United States District Courts, the § 2255 motion should be denied.

II. DISCUSSION

A. General Standard of Review

Because collateral review is not a substitute for direct appeal, the grounds for collateral attack on final judgments under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 are limited. A prisoner is entitled to relief under § 2255 if the court imposed a sentence that (1) violated the Constitution or laws of the United States, (2) exceeded its jurisdiction, (3) exceeded the maximum authorized by law, or (4) is otherwise subject to collateral attack. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255; United States v. Phillips, 225 F.3d 1198, 1199 (11th Cir. 2000); United States v. Walker, 198 F.3d 811, 813 n.5 (11th Cir. 1999). "Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is reserved for transgressions of constitutional rights and for that narrow compass of other injury that could not have been raised in direct appeal and would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of justice.'" Lynn v. United States, 365 F.3d 1225, 1232 (11th Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). "[A] non-constitutional error that may justify reversal on direct appeal does not generally support a collateral attack on a final judgment, unless the error (1) could not have been raised on direct appeal and (2) would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of justice." Lynn, 365 F.3d at 1232-33 (citations omitted); Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424, 428 (1962) (error of law does not provide basis for collateral attack unless claimed error constituted ...


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