United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
DON L. MILES, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 2255 AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF
Miles seeks to amend the judgment in his criminal case to
reflect that he is entitled to 470 days of credit towards his
51-month prison sentence. For the reasons explained in this
Entry, the motion of Don L. Miles (“Miles”) for
relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be denied. In
addition, the Court finds that a certificate of appealability
should not issue.
24, 2013, Mr. Miles was charged in a one count Indictment
with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 5
kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1) and 846.
August 8, 2013, an initial hearing was scheduled before a
United States Magistrate Judge. Mr. Miles was released on his
own recognizance with conditions set by pretrial services. On
January 28, 2014, a Plea Agreement was filed pursuant to
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(A) and
11(c)(1)(C). The Plea Agreement provided that Mr. Miles would
enter a plea of guilty to Count One of the Indictment. Count
One provides for a term of imprisonment of not less than ten
years and not more than life, not less than five years of
supervised release, and a fine up to $10, 000, 000. Pursuant
to the Plea Agreement, the parties agreed that a sentence
within the range of 63 to 71 months of imprisonment would be
recommended to the Court. Mr. Miles would receive a reduction
of two levels to his offense level for his minor role
pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2 and a three level reduction
for acceptance of responsibility pursuant to U.S.S.G. §
Miles agreed to cooperate with the government and received a
recommendation for a downward departure sufficient to impose
a sentence within the stipulated range of imprisonment of 63
to 71 months pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1. In exchange
for the concessions made by the government, Mr. Miles agreed
to waive his right to appeal the conviction and sentence on
any ground, except for ineffective assistance of counsel.
This provision included any action brought under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582 or 28 U.S.C. § 2255. If the Court were to
reject this Plea Agreement, either party would be able to
withdraw from the Plea Agreement.
March 21, 2014, Mr. Miles filed a Petition to Enter a Plea of
Guilty. In the Petition, Mr. Miles represented to the Court
that he received a copy of the Indictment; read and discussed
it with his attorney; understood the charges brought against
him; his attorney advised him of the punishment; and he
declared that his plea of guilty was offered freely and
voluntary and of his own accord.
30, 2014, the Court held a change of plea and sentencing
hearing. At the change of plea hearing, the Court advised Mr.
Miles of his rights and found that Mr. Miles was fully
competent and able to enter an informed plea; the plea was
made knowingly and voluntarily; and the plea was supported by
a factual basis. The Court accepted the Plea Agreement and
adjudged Mr. Miles guilty as to Count One of the Indictment.
Court sentenced Mr. Miles to 63 months in prison, to be
followed by four years of supervised release. Mr. Miles was
also assessed the mandatory assessment of $100. The judgment
of conviction was entered on August 7, 2014.
January 20, 2015, Mr. Miles filed a motion for
post-conviction relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. On
January 20, 2015, Mr. Miles also filed a motion for a reduced
sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. The motion for
reduced sentence was granted on July 2, 2015, reducing Mr.
Miles sentence from 63 to 51 months based on Amendment 782 to
the U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines.
Effective Assistance of Counsel
Court must grant a § 2255 motion when a petitioner's
“sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution
or laws of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
However, “[h]abeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 is reserved for extraordinary situations.”
Prewitt v. U.S., 83 F.3d 812, 816 (7th Cir. 1996).
Relief under § 2255 is available only if an error is
“constitutional, jurisdictional, or is a fundamental
defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of
justice.” Barnickel v. United States, 113 F.3d
704, 705 (7th Cir. 1997) (quotations omitted). It is
appropriate to deny a § 2255 motion without an
evidentiary hearing if “the motion and the files and
records of the case conclusively demonstrate that the
prisoner is entitled to no relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
Miles claims that he is entitled to relief under § 2255
because his counsel failed to provide effective assistance as
guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. The Sixth Amendment to the
Constitution provides that “[i]n all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have
the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” U.S. Const.
Amend. VI. This right to assistance of counsel encompasses
the right to effective assistance of counsel. McMann v.
Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 771, n. 14 (1970); Watson
v. Anglin, 560 F.3d 687, 690 (7th Cir. 2009).
claiming ineffective assistance of counsel bears the burden
of showing (1) that his trial counsel's performance fell
below objective standards for reasonably effective
representation and (2) that this deficiency prejudiced the
defense. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668,
688- 94 (1984); United States v. Jones, 635 F .3d
909, 915 (7th Cir. 2011). See also Stitts v. Wilson,713 F.3d 887, 891 (7th Cir. 2013) (petitioner has burden of
demonstrating both deficient performance and prejudice). To
satisfy the first prong of the Strickland test, the
petitioner must direct the Court to specific acts or
omissions of his counsel. Wyatt v. United States,
574 F.3d 455, 458 (7th Cir. ...