Relief from a federal sentence under old laws which have been deemed unconstitutional.

Relief from a federal sentence under old laws which have been deemed unconstitutional.

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Petition to
Public affairs United States Sentencing Commission.

Why this petition matters

Started by Malcolm Williams

This petition is intended to express the needs for retroactive application to current amendments within the United States Sentencing Guidelines/Career Offender provision, and to demonstrate the impact it would have on defendants and their families who were devastated by stiff Federal sentences that were handed down. This Career offender provision in question has dramatically shattered the lives of thousands of individuals (myself included)via: enhanced sentences which allow no  alternative avenues for relief.

For the past seven (7)years I, Malcolm Williams have been in pursuit of justice and relief from an unconstitutional Federal sentence. A sentence that was pursuant to an incorrect sentencing range/guideline, and I am a defendant who has factually displayed that absent the error the outcome of the proceeding would have been different.  The sentence in question stems from and was based on the now unconstitutionally void for vagueness "residual clause" of the United States sentencing guideline 4B1.2(a)(2) which led to defendant erroneously being designated a career offender.  This career offender designation increased defendants sentence roughly (8) years above  the original advisory guideline sentence.  

Original guideline range 77-96 months (6-8)yrs.
Enhanced guideline range 151-188 months (12-15)yrs.

Defendant was ultimately sentenced to 184 months 15 yrs.

The offense conduct which led to federal charges were are as followed:  in May of 2015 five defendants rushed into the mayor's jewelry store using Hammers and (no other weapons) smashed glass display cases grabbing an assortment of high-end watches and exiting the store. "No violence" was committed.  
All defendants were charged with one (1)count of Hobbs Act robbery. Case no:15-cr-60120-KAM

At the time of sentencing Mr. Williams had two prior convictions which qualified him as a career offender 

#1. possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine 
#2 Fleeing & attempting  to elude a police officer. 

At the time both the instant offense (Hobbs act robbery)and the prior conviction (fleeing and eluding an officer) were considered crimes of violence.

Williams previously file a section 2255 motion,an appeal in which he wanted to challenge the career offender designation.  U.S v. Williams no.16-60626 CIV-MARRA. The District Courts for the 11th cir denied this appeal.

Following Mr. Williams sentencing, on January 27, 2016 the United States sentencing commission amended the career offender guidelines removing the residual clause from the United States sentencing guidelines.  

As of August 1, 2016 the residual Clause of the career offender guidelines "no longer exist".

Hence, if Mr.Williams were sentenced after the 2016 Amendment to the sentencing guideline his advisory guideline range would have remained at 77-96 months imprisonment.

Nearly five years after Williams was sentence the U.S court of appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on March 24, 2020 reviewed Criminal Appeals for two (2 )of Mr. Williams co-conspirators in this instant case to determine whether a conviction for a Hobbs Act Robbery qualifies as a crime of violence under the sentencing guidelines. The Eleventh Circuit concluded that Hobbs Act robbery "does not" qualify as a crime of violence under the current version of the United States sentencing guideline section 4B1.2 (a).  See U.S v. Eason 953 F.3d 1184 (11th sir 2020).

A conviction for Hobbs Act robbery therefore cannot serve as a predicate for a career offender enhancement based upon the eleventh circuit holding in the co-conspirators Eason & Styles' decision concluding that fleeing and eluding -- like Hobbs Act robbery -- is not a crime of violence.  

One would believe that this intervening ruling would essentially disqualify co-defendant Williams' Hobbs Act conviction as a predicate offense for career offender purposes as well,for without a qualifying predicate offense the career offender enhancement cannot stand.

Williams asserts that his sentence as a career offender under 4B1.1 then resulted from an incorrect guideline range in violation of the due process clause of the United States Constitution. For Williams has demonstrated that his guideline application was erroneous, as noted his base offense level was increased, and the career offender enhancement was applied based on his instant offense (Hobbs act robbery)and his prior conviction (fleeing and eluding), neither of which is a crime of violence.
The lack of retroactive applications continues to expose the cancers within our criminal justice system,while shining a spotlight on the broken trust by our leaders and elected officials. This broken trust is evident when amendments are made to statutes and laws, which are acknowledged as flawed/wrong , but yet and still are not given "retroactive applications" affording those previously victimized by those same statutes and laws the opportunity to seek relief.

My name is Malcolm Williams and I am a defendant who can positively benefit from a retroactive application of the Residual Clause of the U.S.S.G. United States Sentencing Guidelines.

541 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!