United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER DISMISSING § 2255 PETITION; CLOSING
STANLEY A. BASTIAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court directed the United States to respond to
Defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim. ECF
No. 153. Defendant was given thirty days after the United
States filed its response to file a reply. On July 18, 2019,
the United States filed its response, ECF No. 154, and
Defendant did not file a reply.
Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the effective
assistance of counsel at “critical stages of a criminal
proceeding, ” including when he enters a guilty plea.
Lafler v. Cooper, 566 U.S. 156, 165 (2012). To
demonstrate counsel was constitutionally ineffective, a
defendant must show counsel's representation “fell
below an objective standard of reasonableness” and he
was prejudiced as a result. Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 692 (1984). A defendant
bringing a claim based on attorney error during the course of
the legal proceeding can demonstrate prejudice by showing
“a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would
have been different.” Lee v. United
States, __ U.S. __, 137 S.Ct. 1958, 1965 (2017). For
instance, when a defendant claims that his counsel's
deficient performance deprived him of a trial by causing him
to accept a plea, the defendant can show prejudice by
demonstrating a “reasonable probability that, but for
counsel's errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and
would have insisted on going to trial.” Hill v.
Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 59 (1985).
petition, Defendant argues he received ineffective assistance
of counsel in four instances: (1) his attorney was
incompetent and ineffective regarding 18 U.S.C. § 2252A
and the affirmative defenses set forth in the statute; (2)
his attorney failed in performing his duty of loyalty when he
encouraged Defendant to enter a guilty plea; (3) his attorney
failed to raise the issue of his right to a speedy trial; and
(4) his attorney failed to provide him with a copy of the
to Defendant's belief, his attorney was not incompetent
and ineffective when he failed to raise the affirmative
defense found in 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(d). There is no
factual basis to support this defense. Defendant filed
numerous pretrial motions, including Motions to Compel. In
reviewing those motions, the Court reviewed the police
reports surrounding the investigation into Defendant's
viewing of child pornography. Defendant's statements to
law enforcement do not support, or even suggest, that he had
inadvertently downloaded less than three images and promptly
deleted them. Moreover, even after his first encounter with
law enforcement, Defendant continued to access the
peer-to-peer network in seeking out child pornography.
is nothing in the record to support Defendant's
assertions that he was pressured into entering into a plea
agreement with the United States. The Court is never
interested in taking a guilty plea from a defendant who does
not believe he is, in fact, guilty. The Court engages in a
lengthy colloquy in order to satisfy itself that the
defendant's plea is knowing, voluntary, and intelligent.
Here, in response to the Court's direct questioning on
this issue, Defendant indicated he was entering into the plea
voluntarily and was not threatened or otherwise induced into
signing the plea. Defendant's assertions now that his
plea was not knowing and voluntary is belied by the record.
signed three waivers of speedy trial rights that clearly
demonstrate that he knowingly waived his right to a speedy
trial and consented to moving the trial dates. Moreover,
whether to continue the trial date falls squarely within the
attorney's authority to manage the conduct of trials and
therefore, cannot be the basis for an ineffective assistance
of counsel claim. See Taylor v. Illinois, 484 U.S.
400, 417-18 (1988).
the record demonstrates that, at his arraignment, Defendant
was represented by counsel and was advised of his rights,
including the allegations contained in the Indictment.
has not shown his counsel representation “fell below an
objective standard of reasonableness” and he was
prejudiced as a result. On the contrary, Defendant's
counsel was able to secure a plea to an offense that lowered
Defendant's base offense level, which in turn avoided the
statutory mandatory minimum applicable to his conviction.
Moreover, while Defendant did not receive his requested
sentence of time served, he did receive a sentence well below
the sentencing guideline range. Defendant has not shown how
he was prejudiced by his counsel's performance. As such,
Defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Defendant's Motion to Arrest Judgment and Sentence for
Violation of Constitutional Rights and Lack of Jurisdiction,
construed as a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct