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Harris v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

April 20, 2017

TAKISHA M. HARRIS MOVANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL P. MILLS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court upon Takisha M. Harris' pro se motion for a “Minor-role Amendment Reduction 3B1.1, ” which the Court construes as a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255, or alternatively, as a motion to modify her sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2). Having considered the pleadings and the record, including the relevant parts of Harris' underlying criminal case, along with the relevant law, the Court finds that an evidentiary hearing is unnecessary[1], and that the instant motion should be denied.

         Background

         On July 25, 2013, Takisha Harris pled guilty to a two-count Information charging her (1) with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce with the intent to distribute proceeds of the distribution of cocaine; and (2) bank fraud. See Docs. #7-#8, #10. The Court sentenced Harris to 80-month and 60-month concurrent terms of incarceration for the offenses on November 4, 2013. Doc. #27. Judgment was entered in the case on November 13, 2013. Id. Harris did not appeal.

         On June 8, 2015, the Court granted Harris' unopposed motion, filed through counsel, to reduce sentence under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c) and reduced her sentence to two 57-month concurrent terms of incarceration.[2] See Docs. #29, #30, and #31. Proceeding pro se, Harris subsequently filed an opposed motion asking the Court to order the Government to file a motion to reduce for substantial assistance, which the Court denied. See Docs. #33-#35.

         On or about January 31, 2017, Harris filed the instant motion arguing that her federal sentence should be recalculated with the benefit of the minor-role sentencing reduction found in Amendment 794 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”), which took effect November 1, 2015, and clarified U.S.S.G. §3B1.2 in defining role and level of participation in crime. See U.S.S.G. 3B1.2, app. n.3(C) (“[A] defendant who does not have a proprietary interest in the criminal activity and who is simply being paid to perform certain tasks should be considered for an adjustment under this guideline.”).

         28 U.S.C. § 2255

         After a defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights, a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 164 (1982). However, a motion brought pursuant to §2255 is a “means of collateral attack on a federal sentence.” Cox v. Warden, Federal Detention Ctr., 911 F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted). There are four separate grounds upon which a federal prisoner may move to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence under 28 U.S.C. §2255: (1) the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence; (3) the sentence exceeds the statutory maximum sentence; or (4) the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. §2255(a). Collateral attack limits a movant's allegations to those of “constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude.” United States v. Samuels, 59 F.3d 526, 528 (5th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted). Relief under §2255 is reserved, therefore, for violations of “constitutional rights and for that narrow compass of other injury that could not have been raised on direct appeal and, would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of justice.” United States v. Capua, 656 F.2d 1033, 1037 (5th Cir. 1981).

         A motion filed under §2255 must comply with the statute's one-year period of limitation, which runs from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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