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Hunter v. United States

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 8, 2019

DAYWINE HUNTER, Movant/Defendant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent/Plaintiff.

          Daywine Hunter. Pro se Movant.

          Jennifer Welsh, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

         Pending before the Court is Movant Daywine Hunter' spro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (D.I. 162) The Government filed an Answer in opposition. (D.I. 178) For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Movant's § 2255 Motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 18, 2015, Movant pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute one hundred grams or more of heroin. (D.I. 70 at ¶ 1; D.I. 172) The Honorable Sue L. Robinson sentenced him to a total of 82 months of incarceration and five years of supervised release. (D.I. 130) Movant did not appeal. (D.I. 70 at ¶ 11)

         The § 2255 Motion is ready for review.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Although the majority of Movant's timely filed § 2255 Motion is hard to understand and at times incomprehensible, the Court considers the following four grounds for relief: (1) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by not filing any defense motions, and by failing to mount any defense; (2) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to provide Movant with discovery; (3) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by telling Movant he would be sentenced to 17 years in prison if he proceeded to trial (D.I. 162 at 10 ¶ 15(c)); and (4) Movant was improperly convicted of distributing more than 100 grams of heroin and improperly sentenced to 82 months of incarceration, because the drug weight attributable to the conspiracy should have been divided among the six co-defendants in the case, which would have resulted in Movant being sentenced to 2 years of incarceration (D.I. 162 at 2-3, 5).

         A. Claim Four: Barred by Collateral Attack Waiver

         Movant's Plea Agreement contains the following appellate/collateral attack waiver provision:

The defendant knows that he has, and voluntarily and expressly waives, the right to file any appeal, any collateral attack, or any other writ or motion after sentencing - including, but not limited to, an appeal under 18 U.S.C. § 3742 or 28 U.S.C. § 1291, or a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the defendant reserves his right (1) to file an appeal or other collateral motion on the grounds that he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (2) to appeal his sentence if: (a) the government appeals from the sentence, (b) the defendant's sentence exceeds the statutory maximum for the offense set forth in the United States Code, or (c) the sentence unreasonably exceeds the Sentencing Guidelines range determined by the District Court in applying the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

         (D.I. 70 at ¶ 11) In its Answer, the Government acknowledges that the collateral attack waiver provision does not bar the Court from reviewing Claims One, Two, and Three. However, the Government does not address whether the collateral attack waiver affects the Court's review of Claim Four.

         As a general rule, a court will enforce a defendant's waiver of his appellate and collateral rights if it is "entered knowingly and voluntarily and [its] enforcement does not work a miscarriage of justice." United States v. Mabry,536 F.3d 231, 236-37 (3d Cir. 2008). A court has an affirmative and "independent obligation to conduct an evaluation of the validity of a collateral waiver." Id. at 238. Specifically, a court must consider: (1) whether the waiver was knowing and voluntary; (2) whether there is an exception to the waiver which prevents its enforcement; ...


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