Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Washington

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

March 8, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DARRYL WHITTINGTON, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Dan Aaron Polster United States District Judge

         This case is before the Court upon the Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody (“Motion”). (Doc #: 361.) For the following reasons, the Motion is summarily dismissed.

         I.

         On March 6, 2014, Darryl Whittington, pursuant to a written plea agreement, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§841(a)(1)(b)(A) and 846. (Doc ##: 141, 145.) On December 10, 2014, Whittington was sentenced to a prison term of 151 months. (Doc #: 231.) Whittington challenged the calculation of his sentence on direct appeal. On January 14, 2016, the Sixth Circuit affirmed, concluding that he had waived his right to appeal his sentence and his guilty plea was knowing and voluntary. (Doc #: 343.) Whittington did not petition for certiorari.

         Whittington now raises three grounds for post-conviction relief. First, he contends that his counsel was constitutionally ineffective because he failed to challenge the conspiracy charge and abandoned all adversarial testing for the said drug conspiracy. Second, he contends that counsel was ineffective for failing to research law and facts to understand the buyer-seller defense. Third, he contends that there was a reasonable probability that prosecutorial misconduct occurred because the Government asserted facts not in evidence, mischaracterized evidence and misstated the law.

         II.

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a federal district court may grant relief to a prisoner in custody under a sentence imposed by that court “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 . . . .” Id.

         Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings requires the judge to whom the 2555 petition is assigned to promptly examine the petition. Rule 4(b) provides in pertinent part as follows:

If it plainly appears from the face of the motion, and any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion and direct the clerk to notify the moving party. If the motion is not dismissed, the judge must order the United States attorney to file an answer, motion, or other response within a fixed time, or to take other action the judge may order.

Id. The Court has promptly examined the § 2255 Petition, the record in the underlying criminal case, and the case law and finds that it plainly appears that Darryl Whittington is not entitled to relief in the district court for the following reasons.

         III.

         In his first ground for relief, Whittington argues that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel based on counsel's alleged failure to challenge the said conspiracy charge that was never challenged or established for the record. The Court disagrees.

         Claims of ineffective assistance of counsel are analyzed under the standard enunciated in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the petitioner must establish two elements: (1) counsel's performance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and (2) there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's deficiency, the outcome of the proceedings would have been different. Griffin v. United States, 330 F.3d 733, 736 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Strickland). A review of counsel's performance must be highly deferential and requires the courts to "indulge a strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls within a wide range of reasonable professional assistance." Monzo v. Edwards, 281 F.3d 568, 579 (6th Cir. 2002) (quoting Strickland, 466 U.S. at 689).

         The Strickland standard applies to guilty pleas. Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 58 (1985). In the guilty plea context, the first Strickland element is the same. Griffin, 330 F.3d at 736-37 (citing Hill, 474 U.S. at 58-59). However, the prejudice prong "focuses on whether counsel's constitutionally ineffective performance affected the outcome of the plea process. In other words, in order to satisfy the ‘prejudice' requirement, the defendant must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.