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United States v. Clark

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 17, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
DANE CLARK, Petitioner. Criminal No. 3:03CR79-HEH

MEMORANDUM OPINION (Denying 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion)

HENRY E. HUDSON, District Judge.

Dane Clark ("Clark"), a federal inmate proceeding with counsel, submitted this motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255 Mot."). Clark's § 2255 Motion contains seventeen (17) separately delineated grounds for relief (Mem. Supp. § 2255 Mot. 1-3, ECF No. 224). Nevertheless, many of grounds for relief are entirely duplicative or simple variants of a previously stated ground.[1] Specifically, Clarks demands relief upon the following grounds, which are restated verbatim:

A. The Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution during plea negotiations, leading to the entry of an invalid plea.
B. The Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment at sentencing, when counsel failed to object to the Petitioner being held accountable for acts of a conspiracy of which the Petitioner was not a member.
C. Counsel provided ineffective assistance, leading to the entry of an invalid plea, in that counsel failed to raise a statute of limitations defense.
D. The district court lacked jurisdiction to accept the guilty plea as the statute of limitations had expired.
E. The Petitioner entered an invalid plea due to counsel's ineffectiveness, in that counsel failed to consult a private investigator who could have proved that the Petitioner was not involved in the conspiracy after 1998.
F. The Petitioner entered an invalid plea based upon counsel's ineffectiveness, as counsel failed to compel a witness to testify that the Petitioner was not involved in the conspiracy after 1998. As a result, the drug amount attributed to the Petitioner for purposes of sentencing was greater than it should have been.
G. The Petitioner entered an involuntary plea as a result of counsel's ineffectiveness, as the Petitioner was actually innocent of the money laundering charge.
H. The Petitioner entered an involuntary plea as a result of counsel's ineffectiveness, as the Petitioner was actually innocent of the money laundering charge.
I. The Petitioner entered an involuntary plea as a result of counsel's ineffectiveness, as the money laundering conviction was in violation of the protection against double jeopardy. Further, the money laundering offense resulted in double counting at sentencing.
J. The Petitioner entered an involuntary plea as a result of counsel's ineffectiveness, as counsel failed to challenge Counts One and Nine of the indictment upon grounds of multiplicity.
K. The waiver of the Indictment as to Count One and the subsequent pleading to the new information after the statute of limitations expired stripped the court of jurisdiction and rendered the plea invalid based upon counsel ineffectiveness.
L. The waiver in the plea agreement preventing the raising of a statute of limitations claim was invalid, as the statute of limitations having expired made the plea invalid.
M. The Petitioner entered an invalid plea based upon counsel's ineffectiveness, in that counsel induced the plea by misleading the Petitioner regarding the potential sentence to be faced,
N. The Petitioner entered an invalid plea based upon ineffective assistance of counsel provided at sentencing.
O. The Petitioner entered an invalid plea based upon ineffective assistance of counsel provided at sentencing.
P. Counsel provided ineffective assistance on appeal.
Q. The Petitioner should receive an evidentiary hearing on these issues.

( Id. at 1-3.) For Grounds C through Q, Clark states these grounds are "put forth and briefed in Attachment B, which is a supplemental pleading prepared by the Petitioner in a pro se fashion." (Mem. Supp. § 2255 Mot. 14.) No Attachment B was filed with the Court.[2] As such, many of these grounds are subject to summary dismissal because they "state[] only bald legal conclusions with no supporting factual allegations." Sanders v. United States, 373 U.S. 1, 19 (1963). Nevertheless, where possible, the Court has sought to address the issues that lie at the root of his inchoate grounds for relief.

Finally, on May 26, 2015, Clark proceeded without counsel, and filed a "Motion for Leave to Supplement His Impending Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct His Sentence." ("Mot. to Amend, " ECF No. 239.) Clark has moved to amend his § 2255 Motion to include an additional claim that counsel performed deficiently by failing to ...


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