United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS United States District Judge
cause is before the court on Defendant Desmond Chad
Pruitt's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct an
allegedly illegal sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
(Doc. cv-1; cr-35, as amplified in Doc. cv-5) and the
Government's response (Doc. cv-13). The motion (Doc.
cv-1) was filed on April 5, 2016. It is Pruitt's first
motion under section 2255. For the reasons set out below, the
motion is DENIED.
April 26, 2011, Pruitt pleaded guilty to felon in possession
of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
(Doc. cv-1; cr-docket entry dated 4/26/2011). On July 19,
2011, the district court (Hancock, J.) imposed sentence.
(Cr-docket entry dated 7/19/2011). Judgment was entered by
the district court that same date. (Doc. cr-19). Pruitt was
sentenced to a term of 72 months imprisonment.
(Id.). Pruitt appealed. (Doc. cr-20). The United
States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed.
The Eleventh Circuit entered judgment on October 18, 2012
(Doc. cr-32). On April 5, 2016, the criminal case was
reassigned to the undersigned. (Cr-docket entry dated April
All Claims Not Based on Johnson Are
April 24, 1996, a substantial amendment to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 became effective. That amendment, Section 105 of the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214,
established a one-year “period of limitation” for
the filing of a Section 2255 motion, to run from the latest
of: 1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes
final; 2) the date any unconstitutional government
impediment, if any, precluding the movant from making a
motion is removed; 3) the date on which the right asserted
was initially recognized by the United States Supreme Court;
or 4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim could
have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255, as amended by Pub. L. No. 104-132,
Title 1, § 105 (Apr. 24, 1996).
final judgments entered after the effective date of the
AEDPA, or April 24, 1996, as in this case, the statute of
limitations begins to run on the date the district
court's judgment of conviction becomes final. “For
the purpose of starting the clock on Section 2255's
one-year limitation period, a judgment of conviction becomes
final when the time expires for filing a petition for
certiorari contesting the appellate court's affirmation
of the conviction.” Clay v. United States, 537
U.S. 522, 525 (2003). Pruitt's judgment of conviction
became final on December 13, 2012, when the time for filing a
petition for certiorari contesting the appellate court's
affirmation of the conviction expired. Pruitt had until
December 13, 2013, to file a timely Section 2255 motion to
Pruitt's petition asserts that his sentence is due to be
vacated under Johnson v. United States, 576 U.S. __,
135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). He thus implicitly argues that his
motion is timely under Section 2255(f)(3).,  Johnson
was issued on June 26, 2015. Thus, under paragraph (f)(3) of
Section 2255, the date by which he must present his 2255
petition asserting Johnson is June 26, 2016.
Pruitt's motion was filed on April 4, 2016. Thus, any
claim asserted by Pruitt under Johnson is
timely. However, his other challenges are
Pruitt's Johnson Claim Fails on the
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2 does not violate the Due Process
“conceds that his sentence was not ehanced under
the Armed Career [C]riminal Act” (Doc. cv-5 at 2), but
alleges that his sentence was improperly
enhanced under [§] 2K2.1(a)(4) of the United States
[Sentencing] [G]uidelines[, ] [w]hich moved [Pruitt's]
base [offense] level from 18 to 20. [T]his increase was
brought about by prior convictions considered to be violent,
the qualification for those crimes was brought about under
the residual clause of the Guidelines contained in §