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United States v. Blackwell

United States District Court, D. Alaska

April 23, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
NICHOLAS BLACKWELL, Defendant.

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

TIMOTHY M. BURGESS, District Judge.

On April 11, 2014, Nicholas Blackwell, a self-represented federal prisoner, filed a Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody.[1] Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases requires the Court to review the motion to determine whether "it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to relief, " and if so, "the judge must dismiss the motion."[2]

Blackwell was convicted and sentenced, pursuant to a plea agreement, on November 30, 2007.[3] He argues, however, that a 2013 Supreme Court case, United States v. Alleyne , [4] should apply retroactively to his case. But this Court agrees with other courts that have addressed the issue, and finds that Alleyne does not apply retroactively. The United States District Court for the Southern District of California explains as follows:

There are two categories of cases that apply retroactively (1) new substantive rules, including "decisions that narrow the scope of a criminal statute by interpreting its terms" and "constitutional determinations that place particular conduct or persons covered by the statute beyond the State's power to punish"; and (2) new "watershed rules of criminal procedure" which "implicate[ ] the fundamental fairness and accuracy of the criminal proceeding." Schriro v. Summerlin , 542 U.S. 348, 351-52... (2004) (quoting Teague v. Lane , 489 U.S. 288, 311... (1989)). In Schriro , the Supreme Court held that its decision in Ring v. Arizona 536 U.S. 584... (2002), which applied Apprendi to Arizona's law governing the imposition of the death penalty, does not apply retroactively because Ring announces a procedural rule and does not qualify as a "watershed rule of criminal procedure." The reasoning in Schriro applies equally to Alleyne, which, like Ring, is an extension of Apprendi. In re Payne, 733 F.3d 1027, 1030 (10th Cir. 2013); United States v. Redd , 735 F.3d 88, 91-92 (2d Cir. 2013) (" Alleyne did not announce a new rule of law made retroactive on collateral review.").[5]

Thus, because the Court finds that Alleyne does not apply retroactively, this action must be dismissed.[6]

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:

1. The Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, at Docket 542, is DISMISSED with prejudice.
2. The Motions at Dockets 543 and 544 are DENIED.
3. The Clerk of Court is directed to enter a Judgment in this case.
4. A Certificate of Appealability will be DENIED.[7]

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