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Long v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

June 15, 2015

WILLIE LONG, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

OPINION and ORDER

ROBERT L. MILLER, Jr., District Judge.

Willie Long pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and was sentenced to a term of 51 months' imprisonment. Mr. Long is now before the court requesting that his sentence be vacated, set aside, or corrected under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. No. 49]. His motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. No. 50] and request for transcripts of the September 8 motions hearing and September 29 sentencing hearing and a copy of the Government's response to his motion to withdraw his guilty plea [Doc. No. 48 and 52] also pend.

The rules governing petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provide that once a motion is filed:

The motion, together with all the files, records, transcripts, and correspondence relating to the judgment under attack, shall be examined promptly by the judge to whom it is assigned. If it plainly appears from the face of the motion and any annexed exhibits and the prior proceedings in the case that the movant is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge shall make an order for its summary dismissal and cause the movant to be notified.

Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts. A review of the record in this case indicates that Mr. Long's motions can be resolved without a hearing, see Bruce v. United States, 256 F.3d 592, 597 (7th Cir. 2001); Daniels v. United States, 54 F.3d 290, 293 (7th Cir. 1995), and without transcripts of the September 8 and September 29 hearings.[1] See 28 U.S.C. § 753(f).

Mr. Long's plea agreement reveals that he waived the right to appeal his conviction and sentence and to contest his conviction and sentence in a § 2255 proceeding. The plea agreement was signed by Mr. Long, his attorney H. Jay Stevens, and Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer and contained the following language in paragraph 9:

(b) I agree with the following facts:
I hereby acknowledge that on November 18, 2013, I was driving an automobile with a Smith & Wesson handgun in the car. I was aware that the handgun was in the automobile. I was driving this automobile while in St. Joseph County, Indiana. I had been convicted of a felony in Elkhart County in 2007 in Circuit Court. I knew I was not to possess a firearm and I do not dispute that this firearm had traveled through interstate or foreign commerce.
* * *
(e) I understand that the law gives a convicted person the right to appeal the conviction and the sentence imposed; I also understand that no one can predict the precise sentence that will be imposed, and that the Court has jurisdiction and authority to impose any sentence within the statutory maximum set for my offense(s) as set forth in this Plea Agreement; with this understanding and in consideration of the government's entry into this Plea Agreement;
I expressly waive my right to appeal or to contest my conviction and my sentence or the manner in which my conviction or my sentence was determined or imposed, to any Court on any ground, including any claim of ineffective assistance of counsel unless the claimed ineffective assistance of counsel relates directly to this waiver or its negotiation, including any appeal under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3742, or any post-conviction proceeding, including but not limited to, a proceeding under Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255;
* * *
(g) The parties make the following recommendations:
(i) The government agrees to recommend a two (2) level reduction for acceptance of responsibility pursuant to § 3E1.1(a). The government further agrees to make a motion under 3E1.1(b) for an additional one (1) level reduction for acceptance of responsibility in the event defendant's applicable offense level is found to be a Level 16 or greater. I understand that the government's obligation to recommend acceptance of responsibility ...

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