The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOSEPH GREENAWAY, District Judge
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] OPINION
Petitioner Nakia Fenner ("Petitioner") filed this pro se
petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255 ("§ 2255").*fn1 Petitioner contends that his sentence
should be vacated or amended for three reasons. First, Petitioner
claims that his sentence should be vacated because the sentencing
court erred when it increased Petitioner's base offense level by
two points for possession of a firearm. Second, Petitioner
alleges that the United States Sentencing Guidelines were applied
in an unconstitutional manner to his case. Third, Petitioner
claims that his sentence should be amended, because the Bureau of
Prisons was negligent, causing him to suffer severe physical
injuries, and failed to award his good time credits properly, thereby depriving him of a reduction of his sentence. For the
reasons set forth below, this petition is denied.
Between August 1998 to August 2000, Petitioner and seven other
individuals, members of the "Crips" organization, conspired to
distribute heroin, cocaine and cocaine base ("crack"). (Answer
dated July 14, 2005, at 1.) On August 22, 2001, a federal grand
jury in the District of New Jersey issued a multi-count
indictment, charging Petitioner and others with conspiracy to
distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, heroin,
cocaine, and cocaine base, in violation of
21 U.S.C. § 846.*fn2 (Petitioner's Brief filed March 6, 2005 ("Pet.
Br."), at 2.) On April 30, 2002, Petitioner pled guilty to
conspiracy to distribute heroin. In his plea agreement with
Respondent, Petitioner waived his right to challenge his
sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Answer at 2.)
On November 4, 2002, the District Court sentenced Petitioner to
a term of imprisonment of 87 months and four years of supervised
release. (Answer at 2.) Petitioner did not file an appeal seeking
direct review of his conviction or sentence. On March 6, 2005,
Petitioner filed the instant motion to vacate his sentence under
28 U.S.C. § 2255. On July 14, 2005, the United States Government
filed an answer.
Federal prisoners may seek relief under § 2255 for any of the
following reasons: (1) the sentence violated the United States Constitution; (2) the Court
did not have proper jurisdiction; (3) the sentence exceeded the
maximum allowed by law; or (4) the sentence is subject to
collateral attack on other grounds. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Errors that may justify reversal on direct appeal are not
necessarily sufficient to support relief on collateral review, as
§ 2255 is not a substitute for direct appeal. See United
States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 184 (1979). Section 2255 is
intended to address "fundamental defects," such as jurisdictional
or constitutional errors, that may have resulted in a "complete
miscarriage of justice," or an outcome that is "inconsistent with
the rudimentary demands of fair procedure." United States v.
Timmreck, 441 U.S. 780, 784 (1979) (internal citations omitted).
The ability to obtain relief under § 2255 is not unlimited.
See Solis v. United States, 252 F.3d 289, 295 (3d Cir. 1989).
For example, a petitioner "would not be entitled to a hearing if
his allegations were contradicted conclusively by the record, or
if the allegations were patently frivolous." Id. Courts have
the discretion to dismiss a § 2255 motion summarily "where the
motion, files, and records show conclusively that the movant is
not entitled to relief." United States v. Nahodil, 36 F.3d 323,
326 (3d Cir. 1994). In addition, prisoners must seek relief
within the one year statute of limitation set forth in § 2255.
The time limitation for filing motions under § 2255 is addressed
at greater length below.
Petitioner raises three claims in support of the instant motion
to vacate his sentence. First, Petitioner claims that the Court
erred when it increased Petitioner's base offense level by two
points for possession of a firearm, in violation of his rights
under the sixth amendment. (Pet. Br. at 3.) Second, Petitioner
argues his sentence is inconsistent with Blakely v. Washington,
542 U.S. 296 (2004), and United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738
(2005). (Pet. Br. at 5.) Third, Petitioner claims that his
sentence should be amended, because the Bureau of Prisons was
negligent, causing him to suffer severe injuries, and failed to
award his good time credits properly.
Respondent contends Petitioner's request should be dismissed
because, in his plea agreement with Respondent, Petitioner
knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to challenge his
sentence under § 2255. (Answer at 2.) Furthermore, Respondent
contends that Petitioner's motion was filed after the one year
statute of limitations expired, and therefore, is time-barred.
(Answer at 3.) Finally, Respondent asserts that, even if the
motion were not barred by waiver, and deemed timely by this
Court, Petitioner's claims seeking retroactive application of
United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), and for the
consideration of post-sentencing events lack merit and must be
denied. This Court agrees, and accordingly, Petitioner's motion
I. Waiver of Right to File § 2255 Motion
Waivers of appeals are valid and enforceable as long as they
are entered into knowingly and voluntarily, and they do not work
a miscarriage of justice. United States v. Khattak,
273 F.3d 557, 563 (3d Cir. 2001). The same principle applies in the
context of a defendant waiving his right to seek collateral
relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See United States v. Garrett,
No. 03-6176, 2005 WL 768761 (10th Cir. 2005); United States v.
Jeronimo, 398 F.3d 1149 (9th Cir. 2005); United States v.
White, 307 F.3d 336 (5th Cir. 2002).
As a preliminary matter, this Court must consider whether, by
stipulating to the plea agreement, Petitioner waived his right to
file this petition. That stipulation provides in part:
Defendant knows that he has, and voluntarily 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 a
motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which challenges the
sentencing court's determination or imposition of the
offense level, if the total offense ...