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United States v. Langley

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 15, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
LARVON LANGLEY, Defendant. Related Civil No. ELH-16-195

          Larvon Langley, Petitioner, Pro Se.

          MEMORANDUM

          ELLEN L. HOLLANDER, District Judge.

         This Court has received correspondence from Larvon Langley (ECF 63; ECF 64; ECF 65), in which he complains that he was unlawfully sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA"). In support of his contention, Langley has cited, inter alia, Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), and Stinston v. United States, 113 S.Ct. 913 (1993).

         Pursuant to an Order of January 22, 2016 (ECF 67), the Court gave notice that it construed ECF 64 as a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence, under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (the "Petition").[1] Therefore, the Court directed the government to respond to Mr. Langley's Petition. The government responded on February 3, 2016. ECF 70. In a letter docketed June 13, 2016 (ECF 76), Mr. Langley reiterated his claim that he is entitled to relief under Johnson.

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b), a hearing is required "[u]nless the motion and the files and records conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief...." In my view, no hearing is necessary.

         For the reasons that follow, I shall DENY the Petition.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Pursuant to a Plea Agreement dated October 22, 2012 (ECF 27), Mr. Langley entered a plea of guilty in open court on December 6, 2012 (ECF 26) to Count One of an Indictment charging him with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). In advance of sentencing, the United States Probation Office completed a presentence report ("PSR") for the defendant (ECF 34), discussed, infra.

         The defendant was sentenced on November 13, 2013 (ECF 54; ECF 55; ECF 56). The defendant's final offense level was determined to be 31, with a criminal history category of VI. Under the Advisory Sentencing Guidelines, the range of imprisonment was 188 to 235 months. At sentencing, the Court determined that the defendant was an Armed Career Criminal. Therefore, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1), the Court imposed the mandatory minimum sentence of 180 months' incarceration.[2]

         On August 24, 2015, the Court docketed correspondence from Mr. Langley (ECF 63), indicating his view that he was unlawfully sentenced under the ACCA "do [sic] to the use of the PSR." ECF 63 at 1. In particular, he complained that one of the charges used to enhance his sentence "was a simple possession of a fire arm [sic] that was used as an 4B1.4 offence [sic] that should not have been used against [him]." He cited, inter alia, Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), and Stinson v. United States, 113 S.Ct. 913 (1993), to support his position.

         By letter docketed August 31, 2015 (ECF 64), Mr. Langley again wrote to the Court, stating, in part: "I see that I have an issue do [sic] the new [case of] Johnson v. United States June 26 [20]15." Complaining that his sentence was unlawfully enhanced by a prior offense of possession of a firearm that should not have been considered, Mr. Langley asserted: "Now that Johnson v. United States has come out, my offense would not still trigger the (ACCA) nor would this conviction any longer be used under the Cachall' Clause, The residual Clause 18 U.S.C. 924(e)(2)(B)(ii)." He also asserted that "the felon in possession offense is not a crime of violence."

         Mr. Langley again wrote to the Court by letter dated October 27, 2015, docketed on November 19, 2015. ECF 65. He reiterated that he was erroneously found to be an armed career criminal.

         Thereafter, on November 20, 2015, I wrote to the Office of the Federal Public Defender ("OFPD"), enclosing Mr. Langley's letter of November 19, 2015. ECF 16. I indicated that in ECF 65, Mr. Langley sought a court-appointed attorney to challenge his ACCA status. The OFPD has declined to enter an appearance for Mr. Langley.

         As noted, by Order of January 22, 2016, I issued an Order indicating that I had construed Mr. Langley's correspondence (ECF 64) as a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence, and I directed the government to respond. A few days later, on January 29, 2016, I received a motion from the government to stay proceedings. ECF 68. In its motion for a stay, the government explained that it "believe[d] the petitioner's allegations implicate Johnson v. United States,135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), " and thus a stay was appropriate under the Standing Order issued by Chief Judge Catherine Blake, dated November 12, 2015, with respect to post-conviction cases implicating Johnson. See ECF 68. I granted the government's motion for a stay on the ...


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