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Morrow v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division

October 23, 2017

TASHONA PATRICE MORROW, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION

          L. Scott Coogler, United States District Judge

         Petitioner Tashona Patrice Morrow (“Morrow) has filed with this Court a motion to vacate her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 1.) Morrow contends that Amendment 794 to United States Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) § 3B1.2, which took effect November 1, 2015, after her sentencing, makes her eligible for a mitigation role reduction to her sentence. The Government opposes the motion. (Doc. 4.) Morrow has also filed a reply in support. (Doc. 5.) For the following reasons, the motion is due to be denied.

         I. Background

         On August 27, 2014, a grand jury sitting in the Northern District of Alabama returned a five-count Superseding Indictment against Morrow and two co- defendants. Only Count One of the Superseding Indictment pertained to Morrow, charging her and another co-defendant (her son) with armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d).

         On October 8, 2014, Morrow entered a guilty plea to Count One of the Superseding Indictment pursuant to a plea agreement. Subject to limited exceptions, she agreed to waive her right to appeal her conviction and/or sentence and to challenge her conviction and/or sentence or the manner in which her conviction and/or sentence was determined in any post-conviction proceeding, including a motion brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

         A presentence investigation report was prepared which delineated no adjustment for Morrow's role in the offense of conviction. Morrow, through her appointed counsel, filed objections to the presentence investigation report and also submitted a sentencing memorandum, but neither pleading mentioned a mitigating role adjustment pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2. The Court held a sentencing hearing and on February 17, 2015, a judgment of conviction was entered sentencing Morrow to a custodial term of 75 months.

         Morrow did not appeal. On August 7, 2016, she filed the instant habeas motion. She remains in custody.

         II. Discussion

         A. The Petition is Time-Barred

         The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) provides for a one-year period in which a motion for post-conviction relief under § 2255 must be filed. Under the AEDPA, the one-year period in which to file a motion under § 2255 begins to run from the latest of four events:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making such a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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