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Chambers v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 30, 2016

JERRY B. CHAMBERS, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          Jerry B. Chambers, Petitioner, Pro se.

          United States of America, Respondent, represented by Thomas J. Mehan, OFFICE OF U.S. ATTORNEY.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Jerry Chambers' Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, [Doc. No. 1]. The United States of America has responded to the motion, pursuant to the Court's Show Cause Order. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is denied.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On May 14, 2012, Movant entered a plea of guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to a four count information charging him with two counts of armed bank robbery (Counts One and Three), the use of a firearm during that bank robbery (Count Two), and armed robbery of a business engaged in commerce, (Count Four). On August 15, 2012, Movant was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment: 156 months on each of Counts 1, 3, and 4, all such terms to be served concurrently to each other and to a term of 84 months on Count 2, to be served consecutively to the sentences on Counts 1, 3, and 4. This sentence was consistent with the agreement in the Plea Agreement.

          Contained within the Plea Agreement, in exchange for Petitioner's voluntary plea of guilty, the government agreed that no further federal prosecution would be brought in either this District or the Southern District of Illinois, where one of the bank robberies occurred.

         Movant filed this Motion for Post-Conviction Relief pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 on June 11, 2012.

         STANDARD FOR RELIEF UNDER 28 U.S.C. §2255 A federal prisoner seeking relief from a sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on 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, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence." 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In order to obtain relief under § 2255, the movant must allege a violation constituting "a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.'" United States v. Gomez, 326 F.3d 971, 974 (8th Cir. 2003) (quoting United States v. Boone, 869 F.2d 1089, 1091 n.4 (8th Cir. 1989)).

         Claims brought under § 2255 may also be limited by procedural default. A movant "cannot raise a nonconstitutional or nonjurisdictional issue in a § 2255 motion if the issue could have been raised on direct appeal but was not." Anderson v. United States, 25 F.3d 704, 706 (8th Cir. 1994) (citing Belford v. United States, 975 F.2d 310, 313 (7th Cir. 1992)). Furthermore, even constitutional or jurisdictional claims not raised on direct appeal cannot be raised collaterally in a § 2255 motion "unless a petitioner can demonstrate (1) cause for the default and actual prejudice or (2) actual innocence." United States v. Moss, 252 F.3d 993, 1001 (8th Cir. 2001) (citing Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 622 (1998)).

         DISCUSSION

         Right to Evidentiary Hearing

         The Court must hold an evidentiary hearing to consider claims in a § 2255 motion "[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.'" Shaw v. United States,24 F.3d 1040, 1043 (8th Cir. 1994) (alteration in original) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255). Thus, a movant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing "when the facts alleged, if true, would entitle [the movant] to relief.'" Payne v. United States, 78 F.3d 343, 347 (8th Cir. 1996) (quoting Wade v. Armontrout,798 F.2d 304, 306 (8th Cir. 986)). The Court may dismiss a claim "without an evidentiary hearing if the claim is inadequate on its face or if the record affirmatively refutes the factual assertions upon which it is based." Shaw, 24 F.3d at 1043 (citing Larson v. United States,905 F.2d 218, 220-21 (8th ...


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