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United States v. Cochran

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

November 20, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff
v.
LARRY COCHRAN, Defendant

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JAMES T. MOODY JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the court on multiple motions and other documents filed by defendant Larry Cochran, a pro se prisoner. In August and September of 2017, after his restricted filer status was removed, Cochran filed nine documents with the court. (DE ## 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 497, 500, 501.) In November, he filed two more. (DE ## 502, 503.) Among these filings are six which the court construes as motions: (1) Objections to the Amended/Revised Presentencing Report, pursuant to Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (DE # 493); (2) Motion to Correct Clerical Errors Within the Presentencing Report, pursuant to Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (DE # 496); (3) Motion for Relief From Judgment, pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (DE # 497); (4) Motion for Modification of Sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 750 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) (DE # 500); (5) Motion for Hearing on 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) Motion and Appointment of Stand-By Counsel (DE # 502); and (6) Motion to Expedite 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) Proceedings (DE # 503). Among the remaining documents, Cochran has filed a notice of appeal (DE # 494), and a request for seven dollars to reimburse the cost of postage (DE # 491). Before addressing these new filings, the court will provide some background on Larry Cochran's case.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Larry Cochran was originally sentenced on January 25, 2008. (DE # 280.) At that time, he was committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 405 months. (Id.) On September 8, 2009, Cochran filed his first motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (DE # 346.) This motion was denied. (DE ## 365, 366.) Cochran appealed the denial (DE # 369), but a certificate of appealability was denied by both this court (DE # 372) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (DE # 384). However, Cochran persisted, filing a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(5) (DE # 386)-which the court construed as a new § 2255 motion (DE # 387)-as well as two additional motions to vacate under § 2255 (DE ## 388, 393), all over a span of 17 days in September and October of 2010. The court promptly denied each of these motions for want of jurisdiction, as they were successive collateral attacks. (DE ## 387, 389, 394.) The court later dismissed two more successive collateral attacks. (DE ## 417, 434.)

         On January 13, 2015, the court reduced Cochran's sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). (DE # 456.) Cochran's term of imprisonment was reduced from 405 months to 327 months. (Id.) Eight days after his sentence was reduced, Cochran filed another motion to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. (DE # 457.) This motion was denied. (DE # 458.) Cochran then began to file a series of motions to correct clerical errors in his Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), pursuant to Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (DE ## 457, 459, 470.) The court denied two of these motions, and the second denial was affirmed on appeal. (DE ## 458, 560, 473.) However, the court granted the third motion to correct clerical errors, after the Probation Officer agreed with Cochran's assertion of a clerical error and the Government stated it had no objection to the motion. (DE # 475.) As a result, a revised final PSR was prepared for Larry Cochran. (DE # 476.) It was filed on March 17, 2016. (Id.) However, Cochran was still unsatisfied with the result, and filed a new motion to correct clerical errors (DE # 477) which was denied (DE # 483.)

         Throughout this course of events, Cochran filed numerous appeals to the Seventh Circuit. Ultimately, the Seventh Circuit sanctioned him “for continuing to file frivolous appeals.” (DE # 481.) Cochran was fined $500 and was barred from filing further papers until the fine was paid. (Id.) Following his sanctioning, Cochran attempted to file multiple documents which were returned unfiled. Later, Cochran paid his fine, which allowed him to file the documents that are at issue now. (See DE # 491.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Objections to the Amended/Revised PSR (DE # 493)

         Rule 32(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows a party to object to a presentence investigation report within 14 days of receiving it. Cochran claims he was first allowed to review the revised final PSR on April 13, 2016. (DE # 492 at 2.) Cochran then sent his objections, which were originally received by the Clerk of this court (but not docketed) on April 21, 2016. (See id. at 1.)

         Cochran asserts three objections to the PSR. First, Cochran argues that the PSR, once again, mischaracterizes his post-arrest statement. (DE # 493 at 2.) Specifically, Cochran complains that the PSR does not contain the exact quote: “I have about 19 kilos to deliver tonight.” (Id.) Cochran made this same argument before (DE # 477), and the court rejected it (DE # 483). For the reasons stated in the court's prior order, the court finds that the characterization of Cochran's post-arrest statement in the revised final PSR is not erroneous. Therefore, the court will overrule Cochran's first objection.

         In his second and third objections, Cochran claims that the amendments made to his PSR necessitate further changes in the relevant conduct and drug quantity sections of the PSR. (DE # 493 at 3-4.) The Government and the Probation Officer did not oppose those amendments, initially. However, it remains to be seen if they agree with Cochran that those amendments impact other parts of the PSR. Accordingly, the court will now order them to respond to the remaining objections.

         B. Motion to Correct Clerical Errors Within PSR (DE # 496)

         Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows the court to correct a clerical error in the record at any time. Cochran asks the court to correct certain “identifying data” in his revised final PSR. (DE # 496.)

         First, Cochran wishes to correct his “Race/Nationality” which is listed as “Black” in the revised final PSR. (See DE # 496.) Cochran asserts that there is only one race: “the human race.” (DE # 496 at 1.) He also identifies himself as “Moorish American.” (Id.) Therefore, he asks the court to strike his “Race/Nationality” designation and ...


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