United States District Court, D. Maryland
DARRIUS ROSZARIO D. WASHINGTON, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Civil Action No. RDB-16-2261
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge
pro se Petitioner Darrius Roszario D. Washington
('Tetitioner" or "Washington") pled guilty
before this Court to Armed Bank Robbery, Forced
Accompaniment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(e). J.,
p. 1, ECF No. 43. At sentencing, this Court adopted the
factual findings and advisor)' guidelines application in
the Presentence Report (ECF No. 37), which provided that
Washington's Total Offense Level was 31 and his Criminal
History Category was I, resulting in an advisory guideline
range of 120-135 months imprisonment. See Statement
of Reasons [SEALED], p. 1, ECF No. 44. This Court ultimately
sentenced Washington to 135 months imprisonment, pursuant to
a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) Plea Agreement.
Pending before this Court is Petitioner's pro
se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 65), in which he
argues that he is entitled to relief under the United States
Supreme Court's intervening decision in Johnson v.
Untied States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Specifically,
Petitioner asserts that he is no longer a "career
offender" because the "[i]nstant [offense] of Bank
Robbery is [n]o [l]onger a [c]rime of [v]iolence" under
the Johnson decision. Also pending before this Court
is the Government's Motion to Dismiss Washington's
Motion to Vacate (ECF No. 70) because Washington was not
sentenced as a "career offender, " and
Johnson has no bearing on this case. The
parties' submissions have been reviewed, and no hearing
is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).
For the reasons stated below, the Government's Motion to
Dismiss Washington's Motion to Vacate (ECF No. 70) is
GRANTED, and Petitioner's pro se Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 (ECF No. 65) is DISMISSED and DENIED.
United States Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) has no bearing on
this case. In Johnson, the Supreme Court held that
the "Residual Clause" of the Armed Career Criminal
Act ("ACCA"), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), was
unconstitutionally vague because its application was too
"wide-ranging" and "indeterminate."
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2557. As discussed
supra, Petitioner was not sentenced under the Armed
Career Criminal Act, nor was he sentenced as a "career
offender" under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Rather, Petitioner's base offense level was determined
pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B3.1(a), the sentencing
guideline associated with Robbery. See Presentence
Report, ¶ 17, ECF No. 37. Even if Petitioner were
sentenced as a "career offender" under the
guidelines, the United States Supreme Court has recently held
in Beckks v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886, 897
(2017), that the Johnson decision does not apply to
the career offender provisions of the United States
28 U.S.C. § 2255, a prisoner in custody may seek to
vacate, set aside or correct his sentence where: (1)
"the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, " (2) the
court lacked "jurisdiction to impose the sentence, . . .
[(3)] the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by
law, or [(4) the sentence] is otherwise subject to a
collateral attack." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). As the
Johnson decision is clearly inapplicable, Petitioner
has failed to raise any claim for post-conviction relief.
foregoing reasons, the Government's Motion to Dismiss
Washington's Motion to Vacate (ECF No. 70) is GRANTED,
and Petitioner's pro se Motion to Vacate, Set
Aside or Correct Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
(ECF No. 65) is DISMISSED and DENIED. Pursuant to Rule 11(a)
of the Rules Governing Proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, the court is required to issue or deny a Certificate of
Appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
applicant. A Certificate of Appealability is a
"jurisdictional prerequisite" to an appeal from the
court's earlier order. United States v. Hadden,475 F.3d 652, 659 (4th Cir. 2007). A Certificate of
Appealability may issue "only if the applicant has made
a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). Where the court
denies petitioner's motion on its merits, a petitioner
satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable
jurists would find the court's assessment of the
constitutional claims ...