United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
PAUL D. SHEGONEE, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge
Paul D. Shegonee was found guilty by a jury on March 17, 2015
of one count of possessing a firearm as a felon and one count
of stealing guns from a federally licensed gun store. (No.
14-CR-55-1, Docket #20 and #70). The trial was held by the
late district judge Rudolph T. Randa. The case was reassigned
to this branch of the Court on December 30, 2015, prior to
sentencing. On February 9, 2016, this Court entered its
judgment against Petitioner, imposing consecutive one-hundred
month terms of imprisonment on the two counts of conviction.
(No. 14-CR-55-1, Docket #108). Petitioner did not appeal.
January 12, 2018, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate his
sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Docket #1). He
asserts two grounds for relief. First, he alleges that his
trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file an appeal
or motion to vacate his sentence. Id. at 3-10.
Second, he contends that the Court erred in imposing
consecutive, rather than concurrent, terms of imprisonment.
Id. at 11-13.
14, 2018, the Court ordered that Attorney Alexander Flynn
(“Flynn”), who was Petitioner's counsel at
the time of sentencing, file an affidavit detailing his
discussions with Petitioner about his appellate rights and
his decision not to appeal. (Docket #3). On June 27, 2018,
Flynn filed an affidavit in compliance with the Court's
order. (Docket #4).
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 § 2255 Proceedings.
Court will address each of Petitioner's grounds for
relief in turn. For the reasons explained below,
Petitioner's motion must be dismissed.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
the Court begins the screening process by examining the
timeliness of the motion and whether the claims therein are
procedurally defaulted. However, as to Petitioner's
ineffective assistance claim, the Court need not address
those matters because the claim is plainly meritless.
the familiar test announced in Strickland v.
Washington for a Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance
claim, a petitioner must show that his “counsel's
representation ‘fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness' and that he was prejudiced as a
result.” Lee v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 1958,
1964 (2017) (quoting Strickland v. Washington, 466
U.S. 668, 688, 692 (1984)). In the first step, the court asks
“whether, in light of all the circumstances, the
identified acts or omissions were outside the wide range of
professionally competent assistance.”
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 690. The assessment of
prejudice centers on whether there is “a reasonable
probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional
errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
different.” Id. at 694.
attorney's decision not to file an appeal is appropriate
if he has consulted adequately with his client about the
decision. Roe v. Flores-Ortega,528 U.S. 470, 478
(2000). “And of course, a defendant who instructs his
attorney not to appeal cannot claim deficient performance
when the attorney complies with his wishes.”
Vinyard v. United States, 804 F.3d 1218, 1225 (7th
Cir. 2015) (citing Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. at 477).
On the other hand, if an attorney has been instructed to
appeal and inadvertently fails to do so, he “has ...