U.S. v. AKILI

Case No. 1:93-CR-353.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. MTU AKILI, Defendant.

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio.


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Mtu Akili, Petitioner, Pro Se.

United States of America, Plaintiff, represented by Robert J. Becker , Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ian D. Hoffman , Office of the U.S. Attorney & Margaret A. Sweeney , Office of the U.S. Attorney.


OPINION & ORDER

[Resolving Doc. 142-2]

JAMES S. GWIN, District Judge.

Defendant Mtu Akili1 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).2 The Supreme Court's recent opinion in Beckles v. United States3 forecloses his argument.

Defendant Akili's argument centers on the relationship between the Guidelines and the Armed Career Criminals Act.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court gave an opinion in Johnson v. United States, holding that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminals Act was unconstitutionally vague.4 If a sentencing court imposed an increased sentence based on felonies that qualified under the residual clause alone, that sentence violated a criminal defendant's constitutional right to due process.5

A criminal defendant sentenced under the ACCA residual clause can collaterally challenge his ACCA affected sentence in a § 2255 habeas proceeding.6

The Guidelines' career offender provision defines "crime of violence" using the same language ruled unconstitutional in Johnson.7 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.

In 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 vagueness."8

In answering this argument, the Beckles Court held that because of the Guidelines' advisory nature, they "are not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due Process Clause."9

The Supreme Court's decision dictates the outcome of Beckles-dependant cases pending across the federal courts. Accordingly, this Court DENIES Defendant Akili's § 2255 petition.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

FootNotes


1. Defendant Akili is also known as Darrin Austin and Muntu Akili.
2. Doc. 142-2. The Government opposes. Docs. 142-3. Defendant Akili sought permission from the Sixth Circuit to file a second petition for habeas relief. On September 23, 2016, the Sixth Circuit granted Akili's motion and ordered this Court to hold the case in abeyance pending the outcome of Beckles. Doc. 142.
3. No. 15-8544, 2017 WL 855781 (U.S. Mar. 6, 2017).
4. ___ U.S. ____, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).
5. Id.
6. Welch v. United States, ___ U.S. ____, 136 S.Ct. 1257, 1265 (2016).
7. See United States Sentencing Guideline § 4B1.2(a) (emphasis added).
8. No. 15-8544, 2017 WL 855781, at *3 (U.S. Mar. 6, 2017).
9. Id.

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