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United States v. Johnson

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

August 7, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JAMARR RASHAUN JOHNSON, Defendant.

          ORDER

          KRISTI K. DUBOSE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This action is before the Court on the following:

         1) Letter from Defendant Jamarr Rashaun Johnson requesting relief pursuant to United States v. Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d 310 (E.D.N.Y. 2014) (doc. 345, Criminal Action No. 98-00099-KD; doc. 163, Criminal Action No. 98-00158-KD); \

         2) Letter from Johnson construed as a motion pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018) and requesting relief pursuant to United States v. Holloway (doc. 346, doc. 165);

         3) Letter from Johnson in support (doc. 349, doc.168);

         4) Letter from Johnson in support (doc. 351, doc. 170);

         5) Response from the United States (doc. 353, doc. 172);

         6) Letter from Johnson stating that he did not intend to file a motion pursuant to the First Step Act (docketed as a motion to withdraw) (doc. 356, doc. 175);

         7) Johnson's “Request for a reduced sentence in light of United States v. Holloway”, request for appointment of counsel and request for an evidentiary hearing (doc. 357, 176).

         8) Letter in support from Bernadette Turner (doc. 358, doc.177).

         9) Letter in support from Pastor Theris Howard (doc. 361, 180).

         Upon consideration and for the reasons set forth herein, Johnson's request for relief under United States v. Holloway is DENIED, or alternatively, DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction; his request for appointment of counsel is DENIED; and his request for an evidentiary hearing is DENIED (docs. 346, 357; docs. 165, 176). Johnson's motion to withdraw his motion pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018 is GRANTED (doc. 356, doc. 175).

         I. Background.

         In 1998, Johnson and six co-defendants were indicted in two criminal actions following a series of armed robberies of automobiles. The cases were consolidated for trial and sentencing. Johnson was convicted of ten counts related to the armed robbery offenses (docs. 132, 140 (Counts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11); docs. 18, 25) (Counts 1, 2)). He was also convicted of five counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. (Id. (Counts 3, 6, 9, 12); Id. (Count 3)).

         On January 22, 1999, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr. sentenced Johnson to 188 months, concurrent, as to the armed robbery convictions. He was sentenced to 1, 020 months, consecutive, as to the firearm convictions. At that time, each firearm conviction carried a mandatory, separate, consecutive sentence.[1] His total sentence was 1, 208 months. His release date is May 11, 2091.

         Johnson's sentences were affirmed on appeal in 2001 (doc. 160, doc. 46). His motion to vacate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and motion for certificate of appealability were denied in 2002[2] (docs. 179, 190; docs. 62, 73). Johnson filed an appeal (doc. 188; doc. 71). However, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit also denied his motion for a certificate of appealability (docs. 75, 76).[3]

         Johnson filed several other motions. In September 2004, he moved pursuant to Rule 60(b) to vacate the order denying his § 2255 motion. The motion was denied (docs. 192, 193; docs. 77, 78). In September 2005, he moved pursuant to Rule 60(b)(4) to vacate the order denying his 2255 motion (docs. 194; doc. 79). The motion was dismissed (doc. 195).[4] In 2007, Johnson filed a motion to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 599. The motion was denied (docs. 208, 209; docs. 80, 81).[5] In January 2009, Johnson filed a Rule 60(b)(6) motion to vacate the order denying his § 2255 motion. The motion was denied (docs 222, 224; doc. 93).[6]

         In December 2015, Johnson filed a motion to reduce his 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) sentences pursuant to United States v. Holloway (doc. 278; doc. 99). He also wrote the United States Attorney seeking his agreement to vacate the § 924(c) sentences. The United States responded that after thorough consideration, it could not agree to vacate (doc. 282, doc. 102). The United States explained that Johnson was a “member of a gang which engaged in a series of armed carjackings” (doc. 282, doc. 102). The United States further explained that “[d]uring one carjacking, a gang member fired a shot to ward off the owner of the vehicle”, in “another carjacking, the victim was shot in the shoulder”, and Johnson had possessed a weapon during these carjackings (doc. 282, doc. 102). Citing a news article from October 2000, the United States also explained that Johnson had been convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by the State of Alabama. (Id.) He had “shot the victim twice in the back with a . . . pistol after the man complained about the poor quality of the crack cocaine Johnson sold him.” (Id.). However, the state court judge suspended Johnson's life sentence to relieve the state of the “financial burden” upon reasoning that the “federal sentence of more than 100 years was enough time to ensure that a suspended sentence on the state charge would not lead to his freedom.” Id. The district court denied Johnson's motion (doc. 283, 103). His motion to reconsider was also denied (doc. 285, 105).

         In 2016, upon permission from the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, [7] Johnson filed a second motion to vacate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (doc. 289, docs. 109). The motion was denied. However, the district court granted Johnson's motion for certificate of appealability (docs. 304, 305; docs. 120, 121). In 2017, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to deny Johnson's motion (docs. 135, 139).[8]

         II. Motion to withdraw the First Step Act ...


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