United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Tallahassee Division
ORDER DENYING THE § 2255 MOTION AND DENYING A
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
L. Hinkle United States District Judge
defendant Carlos Antonio Hudson pleaded guilty to drug
offenses. As was unquestionably proper under the law of the
circuit at the time, he was treated as a career offender
under United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual §
4B1.1. His sentence was at the low end of the guideline
range. He did not appeal.
before the court is Mr. Hudson's first motion for relief
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. He asserts that, under
intervening decisions including Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), he is no longer a career
offender. This order denies the 2255 motion.
magistrate judge entered a report and recommendation
concluding that the motion should be denied. I accepted the
report and recommendation and directed the clerk to enter
judgment denying the motion. But it turned out that the
Postal Service had not delivered Mr. Hudson's service
copy of the report and recommendation. I vacated the order
and judgment denying the motion and extended Mr. Hudson's
deadline for filing objections. Mr. Hudson timely filed
objections. I have reviewed de novo the issues raised by the
order again accepts the report and recommendation, adopts it
as the court's opinion, and denies the 2255 motion, with
the following additional explanation.
Guidelines Manual § 4B1.1(a), a defendant is a career
offender if, at the time of the offense of conviction, the
defendant was age 18 or more, the offense of conviction is a
crime of violence or controlled-substance offense, and the
defendant had two or more prior felony convictions of a crime
of violence or controlled-substance offense. As is
undisputed, Mr. Hudson was over age 18, and the offense of
conviction is a controlled-substance offense. The critical
issue is whether two of Mr. Hudson's prior convictions
were crimes of violence.
Guidelines Manual's definition of “crime of
violence” was nearly identical to the definition of a
“violent felony” under the armed-career-criminal
statute, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). One part of the definition
is known as the “residual clause.” In
Johnson, the Supreme Court held the 924(e) residual
clause unconstitutionally vague. Johnson is
retroactively applicable on collateral review. See Welch
v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016).
Hudson filed the 2255 motion nearly ten years after his
conviction became final but within one year after
Welch, so the motion is timely.
motion fails on the merits. The constitutional vagueness
analysis that produced Johnson does not apply to the
Guidelines Manual. This is the square holding of Beckles
v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017). The residual
clause that applied to Mr. Hudson was not unconstitutional.
This without more requires denial of Mr. Hudson's motion.
objections to the report and recommendation, Mr. Hudson says
consideration of this case should be stayed pending the
Supreme Court's review of Dimaya v. Lynch, 803
F.3d 1110 (9th Cir. 2015), cert. granted sub nom. Lynch
v. Dimaya, 137 S.Ct. 31 (2016). But Dimaya
deals with a different issue: whether Johnson
applies to a similar residual clause in an immigration
statute. There is no reason to believe the Dimay ...