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Gadson v. United States

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

November 6, 2018

CHEDRICK DION GADSON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is Chedrick Dion Gadson's (“Gadson”) motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, which was enhanced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Doc. # 2.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On August 31, 2004, Gadson pleaded guilty under a plea agreement to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Doc. # 7-3. The presentence investigation report (“PSI”) indicated that Gadson had numerous prior convictions, several of which were for felonies. Doc. # 7-4 at 6-15. Among Gadson's prior felony convictions were a June 1991 conviction in Florida for aggravated assault; a March 1993 conviction in Florida for aggravated assault; a May 1994 conviction in Florida for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; and a May 1994 conviction in Florida for delivery of cocaine. Id. at 7-11, ¶¶ 26, 27, 29 & 32. The PSI indicated that Gadson was subject to sentence enhancement under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), the ACCA, because he had the requisite number of prior convictions for violent felonies.[2] Id. at 5, ¶ 20; id. at 20, ¶ 78.

         Gadson's sentencing hearing was held on December 15, 2004. Doc. # 7-5. After adopting the factual statements in the PSI, the district court sentenced Gadson under the ACCA to 180 months in prison. Id. at 2-6. The district court entered the judgment on December 21, 2004. Doc. # 7-6 at 1. Gadson took no appeal.

         On April 7, 2016, Gadson, proceeding pro se, filed what he styled as a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 presenting claims that (1) the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) unlawfully denied him credit for time served in federal custody on a sentence imposed against him in 2003 by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida; (2) his guilty plea was involuntary because the Government induced him to plead guilty by assuring him that his sentence in this case would run from the commencement date of the sentence imposed on him by the Northern District of Florida in 2003; (3) his counsel rendered ineffective assistance by allowing him to plead guilty upon the belief that his sentence in this case would commence retroactively with the start of his sentence imposed by the Northern District of Florida; and (4) his confinement beyond March 2016, when his sentence imposed by the Northern District of Florida expires, violates his right to protection against double jeopardy. Doc. # 2 at 10-15.

         On April 15, 2016, this court entered an order advising Gadson he could proceed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 only on his claim challenging the BOP's computation of his sentence and that his remaining claims would proceed in a separate action under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[3] Doc. # 1 at 1-3. The court directed the Clerk to open the instant § 2255 action and to docket Gadson's pleadings as a § 2255 motion presenting claims challenging his conviction and sentence. Id. at 3.

         On May 12, 2016, Gadson filed a document that this court construed as a motion to amend his § 2255 motion to present a claim that, under the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), his prior Florida convictions for aggravated assault do not qualify as “violent felonies” for purposes of the ACCA, and therefore his 15-year sentence as an armed career criminal is unlawful and due to be vacated. Doc. # 5.

         Thereafter, this court entered an order in compliance with Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375 (2003), cautioning Gadson of its re-characterization of his self-styled § 2241 petition, insofar as it presented claims challenging his conviction and sentence, as a motion for relief under § 2255, which would be subject to any applicable procedural limitations. Doc. # 8 at 1-2. This court's “Castro Order” also directed Gadson to advise the court whether he wished to (1) proceed under § 2255 on his claims challenging his conviction and sentence, including his amended claim under Johnson; (2) further amend his § 2255 motion to assert additional claims challenging his conviction and sentence; or (3) withdraw his motion. Id. at 2. Gadson filed a response to the Castro Order stating that he wished to proceed under § 2255 on his claims challenging his conviction and sentence. Doc. # 11. This case is therefore before the court on three of the claims presented by Gadson in his construed § 2255 motion and the Johnson claim in his amendment to the § 2255 motion.[4]For the reasons that follow, it is the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge that Gadson's § 2255 motion be denied without an evidentiary hearing and that this case be dismissed with prejudice.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Gadson's Three Time-Barred Claims

         In his construed § 2255 motion, Gadson presents claims that (1) his guilty plea was involuntary because the Government induced him to plead guilty by assuring him that his sentence in this case would run from the commencement date of the sentence imposed on him by the Northern District of Florida in 2003; (2) his counsel rendered ineffective assistance by allowing him to plead guilty upon the belief that his sentence in this case would commence retroactively with the start of his sentence imposed by the Northern District of Florida; and (3) his confinement beyond March 2016, when his sentence imposed by the Northern District of Florida expires, violates his right to protection against double jeopardy. Doc. # 2 at 10-15. The Government argues that these claims are time-barred under the one-year limitation period for filing § 2255 motions. Doc. # 7 at 12-14.

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) establishes a one-year limitation period for § 2255 motions. Specifically, § 2255 provides that the one-year limitation shall run from the latest of:

(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 ...

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