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United States v. Stewart

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

January 6, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JAMES W. STEWART, Defendant-Petitioner.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, J.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant James Stewart's Motion to Vacate and Set Aside Judgment of Conviction and Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 259). For the following reasons, the Court Grants Defendant's Motion, Vacates the Judgment on Count Four and Corrects Defendant's Sentence as follows.

         I. Background Facts

         On June 19, 2007, the Grand Jury returned a Superseding Indictment charging Defendant with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Bank Robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d) (Count One); Armed Bank Robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), (d) and 2 (Count Two); and two counts Brandishing and Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) and 2 (Counts Three and Four). (Doc. 11). Defendant proceeded to trial on each of the four counts.

         On November 13, 2007, a Jury convicted Defendant on Count One. The Court declared a mistrial on Counts Two through Four. On retrial, another Jury convicted Defendant on Counts Two, Three and Four.

         On September 4, 2008, the Court sentenced Defendant to a total of 60 years as follows: 60 months on Count One; 300 months on Count Two to run concurrently with Count One; 420 months on Count Three; and 84 months on Count Four to run concurrently with Count Three. (Doc. 148). Counts Three and Four were to run consecutive to Counts One and Two. (Id.).

         On December 6, 2010, the Sixth Circuit affirmed Defendant's Sentence. Defendant filed a motion under § 2255 on August 26, 2011, which the Court denied on May 6, 2012. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.

         On April 18, 2019, Defendant moved in the Sixth Circuit for a second or successive § 2255 motion. (Doc. 258-1). Defendant based his request on Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018), where the Supreme Court invalidated the residual clause definition of “crime of violence” in 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) as unconstitutionally vague. According to Defendant, § 924(c)(3)(B) is similarly vague and therefore unconstitutional. During the pendency of Defendant's request, the Supreme Court issued a decision in United States v. Davis, 139 S.Ct. 2319 (2019) which addressed the issue at hand. In Davis, the Court invalidated § 924(c)(3)(B) as unconstitutionally vague. Based on Davis, the Sixth Circuit allowed Defendant to file a second § 2255 motion.

         Defendant filed his Motion on November 19, 2019. He asked the Court to vacate the conviction and sentence on Count Four. (Doc. 259). The Government filed its Response on December 11, 2019, agreeing that Defendant is entitled to relief under § 2255. (Doc. 263). The Government however, argued that relief should come in the form of a corrected sentence rather than a full-resentencing. (Id.). Defendant filed his Reply on December 13, 2019 arguing that a resentencing was the proper relief. (Doc. 264)

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         Section 2255 of Title 28, United States Code, provides:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released 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 ...

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