United States District Court, E.D. Washington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER RE: MOTION TO
L. QUACKENBUSH, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the Defendant's Motion to Vacate (ECF No.
100). Defendant seeks to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255 and based on Johnson v. U.S., 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Defendant argued Johnson makes
the residual clause of U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a) void for
vagueness. He also argued this court should re-evaluate its
findings at sentencing that he had two or more qualifying
convictions in light of the current legal landscape and find
his Burglary and Credit Union Robbery convictions are not
currently crimes of violence. As a result, Defendant asserted
he does not qualify as a career offender and should be
re-sentenced without that enhancement applied to his
response, the Government conceded Johnson
invalidated the residual clause of U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a),
but opposed the Motion and requested a stay pending the
Supreme Court decision in Beckles v. U.S., No.
15-8544. (ECF No. 104).
in his Reply brief, asserted this matter should not be
stayed, incorporating briefs filed in two other cases:
U.S. v. Bacon, No. 2:10-CR-00025-JLQ, and U.S.
v. Crause, No. 2:10-CR-00040-JLQ. (ECF No. 105).
March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in
Beckles, holding “the advisory Guidelines are
not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due Process
Clause.” Beckles v. U.S., __ S.Ct.__, 2017 WL
855781 at *3 (March 6, 2017). The same day, Defendant filed a
Notice which requested the court to wait 14 days before
issuing a ruling on the Motion so counsel could discuss
Beckles with her client. (ECF No. 108). That time
has passed and no filing has been made.
Motion to Vacate was submitted to this court for hearing
without oral argument. This Order memorializes the
court's rulings on this matter.
April 11, 2006, a Criminal Complaint was filed alleging the
Defendant, William J. Lawrence, took by force, violence, and
intimidation approximately $2, 572.00 from Horizon Credit
Union. (ECF No. 1). On April 18, 2006, an Indictment was
returned charging Defendant with two counts of Credit Union
Robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). (ECF No.
10). On August 22, 2006, Defendant pled guilty to both counts
of the Indictment. (ECF No. 44).
October 20, 2006, the court held a sentencing hearing wherein
the court addressed Defendant's criminal history. At the
time of sentencing, Defendant's criminal history included
one Montana conviction for Burglary and one previous federal
conviction for Credit Union Robbery.
objected to the Presentence Investigation Report which
concluded Defendant's Burglary and Credit Union Robbery
convictions constituted crimes of violence and made him a
Career Offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. See
(ECF No. 47).
Defendant argued the Burglary conviction was not a crime of
violence because no one was present in the home at the time,
Defendant knew this fact, and these facts disqualified the
conviction from being burglary of a “dwelling.”
The court found the Burglary conviction was a crime of
violence and found Defendant was a Career Offender by reason
of the Burglary and Credit Union Robbery convictions. As a
Career Offender, Defendant's Guideline Range was 155 to
court imposed a sentence of 168 months incarceration. (ECF
No. 58). The court also stated at the 2006 sentencing
Sometimes there unfortunately are individuals where the only
option I believe the Court should exercise is to lock certain
individuals up for a substantial portion of the rest of their
life, not just because of punishment but primarily to protect
society. If we had individuals such as you, whether it's
caused by drug use or injury, whatever it might be, running
around the country robbing banks, putting people in terror,
burglarizing homes, this society would be chaos. So in your
case, not only must I determine what appropriate punishment
is for you, but I ...