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Knox v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

September 18, 2017

JAMES D. KNOX MOVANT/DEFENDANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT/PLAINTIFF

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Movant James D. Knox filed a pro se motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (DN 111). On preliminary review pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts, the Court directed Knox to show cause why his motion should not be denied as untimely. Knox has responded.

         I.

         In 2006, after entering a guilty plea, Knox was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base (count 1), possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (counts 2 and 3), possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base and aid and abet the same (count 4), and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and aid and abet same (count 5). He was sentenced as a career offender to 188 months’ imprisonment. Knox did not file a direct appeal of his conviction. He filed the instant § 2255 motion on April 21, 2017.[1]

         II.

         Section 2255 provides for a one-year limitations period, which shall run from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

See § 2255(f).

         As the Court explained in its Memorandum and Order, Knox’s judgment became final on September 29, 2006, and he had one year, or until September 29, 2007, in which to file a timely motion under § 2255. Accordingly, Knox’s motion was filed almost ten years after the statute of limitations expired.

         In the motion, Knox challenged his classification as a career offender under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines based on the recent Supreme Court decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016). The Supreme Court decided Mathis on June 23, 2016. Thus, Knox’s § 2255 motion was filed within one year of that decision. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in Mathis did not create a new rule of law which applies retroactively to cases on collateral review. See Tyler v. Cain, 533 U.S. 656, 663 (2001) (“[A] new rule is not made retroactive to cases on collateral review unless the Supreme Court holds it to be retroactive.”) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Knox’s § 2255 motion also cited to United States v. Descamps, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), and Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). However, Knox’s motion was filed more than one year after either of these decisions. Thus, even were these decisions to be applied ...


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