United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Scott Coogler Judge.
a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed by Petitioner James Tristan
Bostic (“Bostic”) on July 10, 2018. (Doc. 1.)
Bostic challenges the 120-month sentence of imprisonment
imposed after he pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon
in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). Pursuant to § 2255(b), this Court has
conducted a review of the motion and determines that it is
due to be denied and this action dismissed.
was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a
firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) on June
26, 2014. He pleaded guilty to that charge, pursuant to a
written plea agreement, on August 19, 2014. Bostic was
sentenced by this Court on November 24, 2014, to a term of
imprisonment of 120 months to be served consecutively to any
appealed, arguing that because his 120-month sentence was 74
months above the Guidelines range maximum of 37 to 46
months' imprisonment, and because the Government had
recommended a within-Guidelines sentence, it was procedurally
and substantively unreasonable. In particular, he argued that
this Court gave improper weight to testimony at his
sentencing regarding a pending state criminal charge and
created a sentencing disparity with similarly situated
October 1, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Bostic's
sentence, holding that this Court did not impose a
procedurally or substantively improper sentence. The Eleventh
Circuit noted that at Bostic's sentencing, this Court
heard substantial testimony about Bostic's involvement in
a violent crime that had been committed within 24 hours of
his arrest on the felon-in-possession charge-more
specifically, Bostic pistol-whipped an individual in her home
and ran from police. The Eleventh Circuit also recognized
that this Court discussed at length at Bostic's
sentencing why a 120-month sentence was appropriate under the
particular circumstances of this case.
did not file the instant § 2255 motion until July 10,
2018. He now argues that he was denied his Sixth Amendment
right to effective assistance of counsel because his defense
counsel promised him that if he pleaded guilty, he would face
no more than 37 to 46 months' imprisonment and because
his defense counsel failed to object to the aforementioned
testimony being introduced at sentencing. He also argues that
this Court violated his right against double jeopardy by
imposing his federal sentence consecutive to any other
sentences, and that his defense counsel was ineffective in
failing to point this out on direct appeal.
remains in custody.
§ 2255 motion is untimely on its face. The Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) creates
a strict one-year limitation for § 2255 petitioners,
such that Bostic was obligated to file his motion no later
than one year after “the date on which the judgment of
conviction becomes final.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1).
Here, because Bostic pursued a direct appeal, his conviction
became final upon the expiration of the 90-day period in
which he could have filed a petition for certiorari to the
United States Supreme Court. See Clay v. United
States, 537 U.S. 522, 532 (2003). In this case, that
date was December 30, 2015. Thus, Bostic had until December
30, 2016, in which to file the instant § 2255 petition.
By filing the motion in July 2018, he was over a year too
statute provides for alternative triggers for the one-year
period where “the movant was prevented from making a
motion by . . . government action, ” where a
“right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court
and made retroactively applicable, ” or where the claim
was based on newly-discovered facts. § 2255(f)(2)-(4).
Bostic has not alleged, and there is no reason to believe,
that any of those circumstances are applicable here;
therefore, his AEDPA clock commenced running when his
judgment of conviction became final.
does seem to suggest that because he was not transferred into
federal custody until August 2017, his motion is timely.
(Doc. 1 at 2-3 (“I was held on the state charges from
the year of 2014 until being placed in federal custody in
8/17/17. Wherefore this is a first tier collateral
claim.”). Unfortunately for Bostic, that is not the
law. In sum, relief under § 2255 is not warranted here
because Bostic's motion is barred by the applicable
statute of limitations.