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Jackson v. United States

United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Seattle

May 7, 2015

DEVON JACKSON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

ORDER

JAMES L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the court is Petitioner Devon Jackson’s petition to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (See Pet. (Dkt. # 1); Am. Pet. (Dkt. # 13); Mem. in Support (Dkt. # 15).) The court has considered Mr. Jackson’s petition, all submissions filed in support of and opposition thereto, the balance of the record, and the applicable law. Being fully advised, the court DENIES Mr. Jackson’s petition.

II. BACKGROUND

The facts underlying this matter are known to the parties, and the court will not repeat them here. Procedurally, Mr. Jackson pleaded guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement to a two-count information alleging distribution of controlled substances and money laundering. (See CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 24.) The information alleged:

In a continuing offense beginning at a time unknown, but within the last five years, and continuing to on or about May 23, 2012, within the Western District of Washington, the District of Nevada, and elsewhere, DEVON JACKSON, and others, known and unknown, knowingly and intentionally did distribute substances controlled under Title 21, United States Code, Section 812, including methamphetamine, 3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and Benzylpiperazine (BZP).
All in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C).

(CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 22.)

Prior to pleading guilty before Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue, Mr. Jackson was placed under oath. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 90 at 3:2.) Mr. Jackson executed a document entitled “Consent to Rule 11 Plea in a Felony Case Before a United States Magistrate Judge.” (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 25.) During the change of plea hearing, Magistrate Judge Donohue asked Mr. Jackson, among other things, “[h]as anybody promised you what sentence the Court will impose?” Mr. Jackson responded, “[n]o, they haven’t.” (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 90 at 13:9-11.) In addition, Magistrate Judge Donohue asked Mr. Jackson, “are you satisified with the representation and the advice that you received from Mr. Cross, your attorney in this matter?” Mr. Jackson answered, “Yes, sir.” (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 90 at 10:6-9.)

Judge Donohue submitted a report and recommendation to this court on November 9, 2012. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 27.) The court accepted Mr. Jackson’s guilty plea and adjudication on November 26, 2012. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 28.)

On January 28, 2013, Mr. Jackson’s initial attorney filed a motion to withdraw as counsel. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 31.) The court held a hearing on February 1, 2013, granted the motion to withdraw, and appointed Lee Edmond to represent Mr. Jackson the same day. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. ## 38, 39.)

The court held Mr. Jackson’s sentencing hearing on July 29, 2013. Mr. Jackson’s counsel, Mr. Edmond, filed a variety of documents in anticipation of the sentencing hearing which related to Mr. Jackson’s argument concerning “the injustice of adhering to the empirically-flawed U.S. Sentencing guideline for MDMA [methylenedioxymethamphetamine].” (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 41 at 1:25-27.) The Probation Office calculated a total offense level of 31, a criminal history category III, and a standard sentencing range of 135-168 months. The government ultimately recommended a below-guideline sentence of 120 months. The court agreed with the Probation Office and the government and found a total offense level of 31, a criminal history category III, and a sentencing range of 135-168 months. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 89 at 35:8-15.) After considering the§ 3553(a) factors, the court departed significantly from the Guidelines range and imposed a sentence of 96 months of incarceration. (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 89 at 39:22.)

Mr. Jackson filed a notice of appeal, but his appeal was ultimately dismissed on November 20, 2014, after Mr. Jackson’s appellate counsel filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). (CR12-0169JLR, Dkt. # 93.) Mr. Jackson’s judgment became final on November 20, 2014.

Prior to his appeal, Mr. Jackson filed his initial motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on July 28, 2014. (Pet.; see also CR-0169JLR, Dkt. # 91.) After obtaining leave of court, Mr. Jackson filed his amended petition on January 26, 2015 (see Am. Pet.), and filed his final memorandum in support of ...


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