United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Henry Davis has three motions pending before the
Court. They include: a Motion Requesting Relief under
Holloway Doctrine (ECF No. 707), Motion to Appoint Counsel
(ECF No. 707 at 14-15), and a Motion to Correct Judgment and
Commitment Order Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. Rule 36 (ECF
No. 711). For the reasons that follow, the Court will
DENY the Motion Requesting Relief under
Holloway Doctrine and the Motion to Appoint Counsel. Because
there is in fact a clerical error reflected in the Judgment
and Commitment Order, the Court will GRANT
Davis's motion to that effect.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
28, 2001, a jury found Davis guilty of conspiracy to
distribute and possession with intent to distribute a cocaine
and cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and
possession with intent to distribute a cocaine and cocaine
base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. Because he had
two prior drug felonies when he was sentenced under 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1), Davis was subject under 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1) to a mandatory life sentence. Accordingly, the
Government requested that the Court impose two life sentences
based on Davis's prior convictions under 21 U.S.C. §
851. On September 26, 2001, the Court sentenced Davis to life
in prison on both counts, to run concurrently. Since then,
Davis has filed several motions attacking the judgment
pursuant to various Rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure,
all of which the Court has denied.
December 15, 2016, Davis filed one of the three motions
before the Court, the Motion Requesting Relief under Holloway
Doctrine, requesting a reduction in his sentence under the
“Holloway Doctrine.” ECF No. 707. In the same
motion, he requested the Court to appoint counsel. ECF No.
707 at 14-15.
Government does not object to Davis's request for counsel
and defers to the Court on his request to correct the
Statement of Reasons but opposes his request for relief under
the Holloway Doctrine. ECF No. 720.
Davis's Motion to Correct the Statement of
February 8, 2017, the Court granted Davis's Second Motion
to Correct Error in the Pre-Sentence Report (PSR), which
corrected his criminal history category in the Judgment and
Commitment Order from a IV to a II, because the initial PSR
improperly treated Davis as having been on parole at the time
of the underlying charges and assessed criminal history
points for a 1975 Florida conviction. However, the Statement
of Reasons attached to his Judgment and Commitment Order, for
some reason, was not amended at that time. Davis subsequently
filed a Motion to Correct Judgment and Commitment Order
Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. Rule 36 on March 17, 2017,
requesting that his Statement of Reasons be corrected to
reflect his amended criminal history category of II. ECF No.
711. The Court has authority to correct clerical errors under
Fed. R. Crim. P. 36. United States v. Postell, 412
Fed. App'x 568, 569 (4th Cir. 2011). That done, the Court
notes that Davis's sentence is still within the
Guidelines of his reduced criminal history category.
Motion to Correct Judgment and Commitment Order, in any case,
will be GRANTED.
Davis's Motion Requesting Relief under
so-called “Holloway Doctrine” derives from
United States v. Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d. 310
(E.D.N.Y. 2014). In that case, after stealing three cars,
defendant was charged with three separate carjacking counts,
each of which was accompanied by three firearm enhancements
under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Id. at 312. Noting
that the Government pursued these § 924(c) enhancements
after the defendant rejected a plea agreement, that his
sentence was extraordinarily severe compared to the sentences
of his co-defendants who pled guilty for similar charges, and
that the defendant had a strong record of self-improvement in
prison, the court requested that the U.S. Attorney consider
agreeing to a court order vacating two of his § 924(c)
convictions. Id. at 313-14. Ultimately, the U.S.
Attorney agreed to do so. Id. at 315.
Davis asserts that Holloway provides him a remedy,
the Court does not agree. Holloway does not provide
courts with unilateral discretion to reduce sentences.
See United States v. Ledezma-Rodriguez, 2017 WL 1368983,
at *2 (S.D. Iowa Apr. 10, 2017). Holloway merely
recognized that the prosecuting U.S. Attorney alone held the
power to affect the defendant's sentence. Id.
(citing Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d at 311). The Court
has already denied Davis's post-conviction motions under
28 U.S.C. § 2255 and 18 U.S.C. § 3582. ECF Nos.
492, 516, 703. The Holloway Doctrine provides no further
avenue by which the Court may grant relief.
even if the Court could reduce Davis's sentence, his
argument would fail on the merits. Whereas Holloway
involved stacked charges based on the same offense, Davis
received a recidivism enhancement based on his prior
convictions, which the Holloway court suggested
would not justify a request that the Government retroactively
vacate any charges. See Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d. at
312 (noting that Holloway's § 924(c) enhancement
“sounds like a typical recidivism enhancement until you
consider that the ‘second or subsequent'
convictions can occur in the same trial as the first one, as
they did here”); see also Green v. United
States, 2017 WL 679644, at *4 (D.S.C. February 21, 2017)
(denying application of Holloway to a § 851
enhancement). Indeed, other district courts in the Fourth
Circuit have expressed similar reluctance to apply the
Holloway Doctrine. See United States v. Carrizoza,
2017 WL 2951920, ...