United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JESSE T. BUCHANAN, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 AND DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF
William T. Lawrence, Judge
reasons explained in this Entry, the motion of Jesse T.
Buchanan 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.
§ 2255 Standard
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
December 11, 2002, after a three-day jury trial, Mr. Buchanan
was convicted in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana of four counts of trafficking
cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). USA
v. Buchanan, No. 1:02-cr-00046-WTL-KPF (hereinafter
“Crim. Dkt.”), Dkt. No. 1 at 7 (S.D. Ind.).
preparation for sentencing, the United States Probation
Office prepared a presentence report (PSR). See Dkt.
No. 33 (Sealed). Under the 2002 United States Sentencing
Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”), Mr. Buchanan had a base
offense level of 34, and two levels were added because a
firearm and other illegal contraband was found in Mr.
Buchanan's residence, raising his total offense level to
36. Id. ¶¶ 18-19. He was also determined
to be a career offender because of two or more prior felony
drug convictions and crimes of violence as defined in §
4B1.1. However, because the offense level for a career
offender of 34 was lower than the level otherwise applicable
in the case, the offense level of 36 from his underlying
conviction was the applicable offense level for his sentence.
Id. ¶ 26. An offense level of 36 combined with
a criminal history category VI, resulted in a Guidelines
imprisonment range of 324 to 405 months. Id. ¶
Buchanan was sentenced to 400 months' imprisonment. Crim.
Dkt. No. 1 at 10. Mr. Buchanan appealed his sentence, but the
Seventh Circuit affirmed his sentence. United States v.
Buchanan, 362 F.3d 411 (7th Cir. 2004).
2, 2006, Mr. Buchanan filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct his conviction and sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. Crim. Dkt. 1 at 14. The Court denied his motion.
November 14, 2009, Mr. Buchanan filed a second motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct his conviction and sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Crim. Dkt. 1 at 15. The
Court dismissed his motion for lack of jurisdiction.
2015, the Supreme Court in Johnson held that the
so-called residual clause of the ACCA (Armed Career Criminal
Act) was unconstitutionally vague. Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2563 (2015). The ACCA defines
“violent felony” as “any crime punishable
by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” that 1)
“has as an element the use, attempted use or threatened
use of physical force against the person of another;”
2) “is burglary, arson, or extortion, [or] involves the
use of explosives;” or 3) “otherwise involves
conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical
injury to another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B).
These three “clauses” are respectively known as
1) the elements clause, 2) the enumerated clause, and 3) the
residual clause. In Johnson, the Supreme Court ruled
that the residual clause was unconstitutionally vague. In
Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), the
Supreme Court discussed the appropriate analysis to use when
comparing past convictions to a generic offense listed under
the enumerated clause of the ACCA. The career offender
enhancement (§ 4B1.1) in the United States Sentencing
Guidelines (U.S.S.G) contains language similar to the ACCA.
20, 2016, Mr. Buchanan 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 June 23, 2016, the Seventh Circuit
granted the application and authorized the Court to consider
Mr. Buchanan's Johnson claim. Buchanan v.
USA, No. 16-2527 (7th Cir. June 23, 2016).
Buchanan seeks relief pursuant to § 2255 arguing that
his prior Indiana battery felony conviction is not a
predicate offense in view of the Supreme Court decisions
under Johnson and Mathis. Dkt. No. 25; Dkt.
No. 26. The United States argues that the Court is only
authorized by the Seventh Circuit to consider Mr.
Buchanan's Johnson claim, which was foreclosed
by the Seventh Circuit's holding in Douglas v. United
States, 858 F.3d 1069 (7th Cir. 2017). Dkt. No. 32. In
reply, Mr. Buchanan ...