United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
LUIS A. GONZALEZ, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
OPINION & ORDER [Resolving Doc. 66]
S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
Luis A. Gonzalez petitions for habeas corpus relief under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. He argues that he no longer qualifies as
a career offender and was improperly sentenced under the
United States Sentencing Guideline § 4B1.1;
1.2(a). For the following reasons, the Court
DENIES Gonzalez's § 2255 petition.
initial matter, Petitioner Gonzalez waived his right to
challenge his conviction on collateral appeal.
is well settled that a defendant in a criminal case may waive
‘any right, even a constitutional
right.'” This waiver applies to § 2255 claims
if the defendant enters the waiver agreement knowingly and
voluntarily. Absent any manifest injustice, these
waivers are enforceable.
written plea agreement, Gonzalez voluntarily and knowingly
waived his right to attack his sentence collaterally, except
in very limited circumstances. Gonzalez's career offender
argument does not fall within those exceptions. He was not
sentenced in excess of the statutory maximum or the
stipulated Guidelines range. To the contrary, Gonzalez's
sentence is at the lowest end of the range recommended by the
Guidelines. He is not contesting his Criminal History
Category. He is not raising ineffective assistance of counsel
or prosecutorial misconduct claims. Because Gonzalez's
career offender claim falls within the scope of his waiver,
Gonzalez has waived his right to bring this § 2255
the Supreme Court's recent opinion in Beckles v.
United States forecloses Petitioner Gonzalez's
career offender argument.
argument centers on the relationship between the Guidelines
and the Armed Career Criminals Act (ACCA).
26, 2015, the Supreme Court gave an opinion in Johnson v.
United States, holding that the ACCA's residual
clause was unconstitutionally vague. If a sentencing court
imposed an increased sentence based on felonies that only
qualified under the residual clause, that sentence violated a
criminal defendant's constitutional right to due
criminal defendant sentenced under the ACCA residual clause
can collaterally challenge his ACCA affected sentence in a
§ 2255 habeas proceeding.
Guidelines' career offender provision defines
“crime of violence” using the same language ruled
unconstitutional in Johnson. Therefore,
since Johnson, many criminal defendants sentenced
under the Guidelines' career offender provision have
argued that Johnson's holding should also apply
retroactively to Guidelines cases.
Beckles, the Supreme Court rejected this argument.
In Beckles, the Petitioner argued that because the
Court's Johnson opinion held “that the
identically worded residual clause in the Armed Career
Criminal Act . . . was unconstitutionally vague . . . the
Guidelines' residual clause is also void for
answering this argument, the Beckles Court held that
because of the Guidelines' advisory nature, they
“are not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due
Supreme Court's decision dictates the outcome of
Beckles-dependant cases pending across the federal
courts. Accordingly, this Court DENIES Petitioner
Gonzalez's § 2255 petition. Furthermore, there is no