United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Scott Coogler, United States District Judge.
Batts (“Batts”) has filed with the Clerk of this
Court a motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. (Docs. 1 & 6.) The Government opposes the
motion. (Doc. 8.) For the following reasons, the motion is
due to be denied.
October 8, 2014, Batts pled guilty to two counts of armed
bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and
(d), and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in
relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii). On February 12, 2015, this Court
sentenced him to concurrent terms of 156 months of
imprisonment for the armed robbery counts, and a consecutive
term of 84 months for his Section 924(c) count. Batts
appealed, challenging the procedural and substantive
reasonableness of his sentence, but the Eleventh Circuit
Court of Appeals affirmed his sentence on October 16, 2015.
He filed this, his first § 2255 motion, on June 28,
first suggests that his Section 924(c) conviction and
sentence have been invalidated by the Supreme Court's
decisions in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct.
2551 (2015), and Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct.
1257 (2016). In Johnson, the Supreme Court declared
that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal
Act's definition of “violent felony”,
see 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii), is void for
vagueness, and Welch held that Johnson was
retroactively applicable on collateral review.
decision helps Batts, however. The Eleventh Circuit has held
that armed bank robbery under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and
(d) remains a “crime of violence” even after
Johnson because the offense requires the use of
physical force against the person or property of another, and
nothing about Johnson invalidated the definition of
“crime of violence” contained in 18 U.S.C. §
924(c)(3), applicable to offenses with an element of
“the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical
force against the person or property of another.”
See In re Hines, 824 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir.
2016). Accordingly, Batts' attempt to raise a
“Johnson” claim fails.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
makes two vague and conclusory allegations of ineffective
assistance of counsel. First, he contends that:
The Counsel for the defendant provided false information in
light of the indictment process. The attorney failed to look
at evidence, which might have made a difference towards the
sentence of the defendant. The defendant asked numerous times
about the procedure, but was misguided.
(Doc. 6 at 5.) Second, he also claims that:
The Counsel on file for the defendant failed to consult with
defendant on the terms of accepting a plea. The Counsel on
file failed to provide the defendant substa[ntial] time to
discuss the terms of accepting a plea deal instead of a
trial. This would have ...