United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ADAM C. COLLINS, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 AND DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF
EVANS BARKER, United States District Court Judge
reasons explained in this Entry, the motion of Adam C.
Collins for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be
denied and this action dismissed
with prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a
certificate of appealability should not issue.
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive
means by which a federal prisoner can challenge his
conviction or sentence. See Davis v. United States,
417 U.S. 333, 343 (1974). A court may grant relief from a
federal conviction or sentence pursuant to § 2255
“upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States,
or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such
sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum
authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral
attack.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). The scope of relief
available under § 2255 is narrow, limited to “an
error of law that is jurisdictional, constitutional, or
constitutes a fundamental defect which inherently results in
a complete miscarriage of justice.” Borre v. United
States, 940 F.2d 215, 217 (7th Cir. 1991) (internal
February 11, 2003, Mr. Collins was convicted in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana of
armed bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (d), and use of
a firearm during the robbery, id. § 924(c).
USA v. Collins, No. 1:02-cr-00123-SEB-TAB-1 (S.D.
Ind. Feb. 11, 2003). He was “sentenced to consecutive
sentences totaling 223 months' incarceration
incarceration-68 months above the high end of the combined
guidelines range for the two offenses.” United
States v. Collins, 160 Fed.Appx. 514, 515 (7th Cir. Dec.
22, 2005). His sentences were affirmed on appeal.
Seventh Circuit describes the sentencing court's
fashioning of Mr. Collins's sentence:
The judge moved above the high end of the guidelines range
principally because he concluded that Collins's criminal
history category underrepresents the seriousness of his
criminal history and the likelihood of recidivism.
See U.S.S.G. § 4A1.3. That determination rests
in part on the fact that Collins received no criminal history
points for a robbery and an unrelated auto theft he committed
approximately nine years before the bank robbery, when he was
15. Neither of these juvenile offenses factored into
Collins's criminal history score because of his age when
he committed the crimes and the length of time between those
offenses and the crimes here. The court observed that had
Collins been an adult when he committed the uncounted
juvenile robbery, he would have qualified as a career
offender because he also had accumulated a countable
conviction for aggravated battery. The court noted that since
a career offender is automatically placed in criminal history
category VI, Collins would have faced at least 25 years under
the guidelines had his juvenile robbery offense counted
towards his criminal history score. The district judge also
emphasized that Collins's long-time gang affiliation, his
repeated instances of misconduct and violent behavior during
previous periods of confinement, and his overall pattern of
criminal conduct since the age of 14 elevated his potential
for recidivism beyond that reflected in his criminal history
category as calculated. Finally, the court reasoned that the
guidelines did not adequately take into account that Collins
and his fellow bank robbers were violent and extremely
dangerous, and had so “terrorized” the bank
employees and patrons that they “will never forget that
Id. at 516.
2015, the Supreme Court in Johnson held that the
so-called residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act
(“ACCA”) was unconstitutionally vague.
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2563
(2015). The Seventh Circuit has summarized
Johnson's impact on the ACCA:
The [ACCA] . . . classifies as a violent felony any crime
that “is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of
explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a
serious potential risk of physical injury to another”.
The part of clause (ii) that begins “or otherwise
involves” is known as the residual clause.
Johnson holds that the residual clause is
Stanley v. United States, 827 F.3d 562, 564 (7th
Cir. 2016). Johnson's holding is a new rule of
constitutional law that the Supreme Court made retroactive in
Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct.1257 (2016).
See Holt v. United States, 843 F.3d 720, 722 (7th
30, 2016, Mr. Collins filed an application with the Seventh
Circuit seeking authorization to file a successive motion to
vacate under § 2255 limited to a claim under
Johnson. On July 15, 2016, the Seventh Circuit
granted the application and authorized the Court to consider
Mr. Collins's Johnson claim. Collins v.
USA, No. 16-2832, dkt. 3 (7th Cir. July 15, 2016).