United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
action is before the court on the motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct sentence filed by Bruce Levan Jemison
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
was sentenced by this court on February 5, 2008, to
imprisonment for a term of 180 months following his
conviction on one count of possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). A violation of that statute generally is
punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.
See 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2). Here, however,
Jemison's sentence was enhanced under the Armed Career
Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (“ACCA”),
which provides, in pertinent part, that:
In the case of a person who violates section 922(g) of this
title and has three previous convictions by any court
referred to in section 922(g)(1) of this title for a
violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both,
committed on occasions different from one another, such
person shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not
less than fifteen years, and, notwithstanding any other
provision of law, the court shall not suspend the sentence
of, or grant a probationary sentence to, such person with
respect to the conviction under section 922(g).
U.S.C. § 924(e)(1) (emphasis supplied). On the date of
sentencing by this court, Jemison had three previous
convictions for “serious drug offenses”:
i.e., (1) unlawful distribution of a controlled
substance in Talledega County Circuit Court in 1988; (2) a
second conviction for unlawful distribution of a controlled
substance in Talledega County Circuit Court in 1988; and, (3)
possession of marijuana in Clay County Circuit Court in
Eleventh Circuit affirmed Jemison's conviction and this
court's sentence in an opinion entered on September 12,
2008. The Circuit's opinion was issued as
the mandate of the Court on October 14, 2008.
further proceedings occurred in Jemison's criminal case
until on or about June 13, 2016, when he filed a pro
se motion requesting this court
to appoint counsel to review his case, records and files and
to file the approperiate [sic] Motion and argument
under the recent [decision in] Johnson v. United
States, [576 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), ] in which
the U.S. Supreme Court has made a substantial ruling of
Constitutional Law that the ACCA § 924(e) is
Petitioner in the above entitled case number was sentenced as
a ACCA offender in which his sentence was enhanced to 180
Doc. no. 43 in No. 1:07-cr-00287-CLS-SGC (“Motion to
Appoint Counsel to Review Petitioner's Case and Records
for the Johnson v. United States ACCA Residual Clause”)
accordance with the usual practices of this court at that
time, Jemison's motion was assigned to one of this
court's Magistrate Judges for review,  and that judge
entered the following Order on June 15, 2016:
On June 13, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to appoint
counsel in the above-styled cause. (Doc. 43). Pursuant to the
Standing Order of September 14, 2015, the court refers this
case to the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the
Northern District of Alabama to determine whether he may
qualify for federal habeas relief in light of
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).
The court DIRECTS the Clerk to send a copy of this order to
the Federal Public Defender and the defendant.
Doc. no. 44 in No. 1:07-cr-00287-CLS-SGC (Order) (emphasis
review of Jemison's file, the Public Defender filed the
following motion on June 16, 2016:
NOW KEVIN L. BUTLER, Federal Public Defender for the Northern
District of Alabama, and respectfully moves the Court to
withdraw from representation of Mr. Jemison. In support, Mr.
1. This Court appointed the Federal Defender to represent Mr.
Jemison in order to determine whether he may qualify for
federal habeas relief in light of Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). (Doc. 44).
2. The policy of the Federal Defender is to make every effort
to avoid withdrawing from representation in cases where the
Federal Defender's representation is plenary. In this
case, the Court has appointed the Federal Defender for
the limited purpose of ...