United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
CAMRON J. JACKSON, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge.
Camron J. Jackson (“Jackson”) pleaded guilty to
one count of Hobbs Act Robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1951(a) and 2, and one count of brandishing a
firearm in connection with a crime of violence, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) & 2.
United States v. Camron J. Jackson, 14-CR-99-5-JPS
(E.D. Wis.) (Jackson's “Criminal Case”),
(Docket #329 at 1). On June 28, 2017, the Court sentenced him
to 114 months' imprisonment for those crimes.
Id. at 2. Jackson did not appeal his convictions or
sentence. Jackson filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 to vacate his convictions on May 15, 2018. (Docket #1).
That motion is now before the Court for screening:
If it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits,
and the record of the prior proceedings that the moving party
is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion
and direct the clerk to notify the moving party. If the
motion is not dismissed, the judge must order the United
States Attorney to file an answer, motion, or other response
within a fixed time, or to take other action the judge may
4(b), Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings.
Court begins by addressing the timeliness of Jackson's
motion. Section 2255(f) provides that there is a one-year
limitations period in which to file a motion seeking Section
2255 relief. That limitations period runs from the date on
which the judgment of conviction becomes final. “[T]he
Supreme Court has held that in the context of postconviction
relief, finality attaches when the Supreme Court
‘affirms a conviction on the merits on direct review or
denies a petition for a writ of certiorari, or when the time
for filing a certiorari petition expires.'”
Robinson v. United States, 416 F.3d 645, 647 (7th
Cir. 2005) (internal citations omitted). Because Jackson did
not appeal, his conviction became final once the deadline for
filing a notice of appeal expired. Clarke v. United
States, 703 F.3d 1098, 1100 (7th Cir. 2013). The
deadline expired on July 12, 2017, fourteen days after
judgment was entered. Thus, Jackson's motion appears
Court turns next to procedural default. Section 2255 relief
is appropriate if the Court determines that “the
sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws
of the United States, or that the court was without
jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence
was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is
otherwise subject to collateral attack.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(a). However, this form of action is not a
substitute for a direct appeal. Varela v. United
States, 481 F.3d 932, 935 (7th Cir. 2007). Therefore,
any claims that Jackson did not raise at trial or on direct
appeal are procedurally defaulted and he cannot raise them.
See Torzala v. United States, 545 F.3d 517, 522 (7th
are two exceptions to this rule. First, claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel may be raised for the first time in a
Section 2255 motion. Massaro v. United States, 538
U.S. 500, 504 (2003). Second, Jackson may raise claims on
which he otherwise procedurally defaulted if he demonstrates
that there was cause for his failure to raise a claim earlier
and that the failure has actually prejudiced him.
Torzala, 545 F.3d at 522 (citing Bousley v.
United States, 523 U.S. 614, 621 (1998)).
raises four grounds for relief, all based on the alleged
ineffective assistance of his trial counsel. First, Jackson
says that his lawyer “lied to [him] about the time [he]
was going to receive” at sentencing. (Docket #1 at 6).
Second, Jackson claims that his lawyer did not file an
appeal, despite Jackson's instruction to do so, because
“the judge could have given me lesser time according to
the current law.” Id. at 7. Third, Jackson
alleges that his counsel did not fully explain the charges
against him “so [he] never fully understood what [he]
was facing.” Id. at 8. Finally, Jackson
maintains that his trial counsel “did not put in a
motion on my behalf which I felt could have helped my
case.” Id. The Court assumes Jackson refers to
a pre-trial motion, such as a motion to suppress. Because
each of these claims are for ineffective assistance of
counsel, they are not procedurally defaulted.
claim fails, however, because they are all plainly meritless.
The Court of Appeal's Blake opinion neatly
summarizes the standards applicable to Jackson's motion:
A party asserting ineffective assistance of counsel bears the
burden of establishing two elements: (1) that his trial
counsel's performance fell below objective standards for
reasonably effective representation, and (2) that
counsel's deficiency prejudiced the defense.
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-88 . . .
To satisfy the first element of the Strickland test,
appellant must direct the Court to specific acts or omissions
by his counsel. In that context, the Court considers whether
in light of all the circumstances counsel's performance
was outside the wide range of professionally competent
assistance. The Court's assessment of counsel's
performance is “highly deferential[, ] . . .
indulg[ing] a strong presumption that counsel's conduct
falls within the wide range of reasonable professional
assistance[.]” [Id. at 689.] . . .
To satisfy the second Strickland element, appellant
must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but
for counsel's errors, the result of the proceedings would
have been different, such that the proceedings were
fundamentally unfair or unreliable. A reasonable probability
is defined as one that is sufficient to undermine confidence
in an outcome.
Blake v. United States, 723 F.3d 870, 878-79 (7th
Cir. 2013) (citations and quotations omitted).
review of the docket of the Criminal Case reveals that
Jackson cannot satisfy the Strickland test as to any
of his grounds for relief. With respect to ground one, the
plea agreement Jackson signed states the range of penalties
available for his crimes, and notes that he discussed the
applicable sentencing guidelines with his attorney. Criminal
Case, (Docket #282 at 3-5). Jackson also acknowledged that
his ultimate sentence was in the Court's hands, not those
of his attorney or the government. Id. at 7-8. Each
of these matters, as well as all of the considerations of
pleading guilty, were discussed with Jackson in detail by
Magistrate Judge David E. Jones ...