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Mathis v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

November 22, 2016

DAMON MATHIS, Petitioner,


          Nancy G. Edmunds United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is petitioner Damon Mathis's motion for reduction filed on June 10, 2016. (Docket 46, 49.) Petitioner already filed a motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Dkt. no. 29.) The Court denied Petitioner's motion to vacate in an opinion and order dated September 15, 2015. (Dkt. 38.) The Court granted a certificate of appealability as to the issue of whether Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel; the Sixth Circuit affirmed this Court's holding in an unpublished decision. (Dkt. 43; Mathis v. United States of America, No. 15-2256 (6th Cir. Apr. 7, 2016)). On September 24, 2015, the Court entered an order regarding motion for sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), reducing Petitioner's sentence from 81 months to 75 months based on a guideline sentencing range that was lowered and made retroactive by the United States Sentencing Commission. (Dkt. 39.)

         The Court has reviewed these pleadings and DENIES Petitioner's request for a hearing. The Court DENIES Petitioner's motion for reduction/modification of supervised release terms WITH PREJUDICE and TRANSFERS Petitioner's request for reduction/modification of sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

         I. Background Facts and Procedural History

         In his prior pleadings, Petitioner agreed that the factual background in this matter had been accurately presented in his own and the government's pleadings and was “not disputed." (Pet'r's Reply 1, dkt. 34) The Court in its prior opinion and order (dkt. 38) incorporated the Government's set of facts as follows:

On March 15, 2013, Detroit Police drove past Mathis and a woman, both sitting in a parked car in front of a residential home in Detroit. Recognizing defendant as a neighborhood drug dealer, and noticing the car parked illegally, officers turned around and pulled up behind the car. From their vantage point, they could see Mathis, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, reach down toward the left side of the vehicle as if he were trying to hide something. When the officer approached the car, Mathis jumped out and walked to the front of the car. The officer could smell marijuana. He also observed that Mathis had a plastic baggie hanging out of his pocket. Turns out, Mathis had marijuana, heroin, and crack cocaine on his person. The drugs were packaged in sale-size increments. He also had $309.00 in cash on him. In the location where Mathis had been reaching, officers found a Smith & Wesson .357 caliber handgun.

(United States' Resp. To Pet'r's' Mot. To Vacate Sentence 1-2, dkt. 33.)

         A grand jury indicted Petitioner on three counts: being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a); and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). (Indictment, dkt. 9.) After being indicted, Petitioner was initially out on bond, yet after failing multiple drug tests the Court revoked his bond and he was detained. (United States' Resp. 2, dkt. 33.)

         On December 2, 2013, Petitioner pleaded guilty to two of the three indicted counts, pursuant to a Rule 11 plea agreement. (Plea Hearing Tr., dkt. 22.) On March 20, 2014, this Court sentenced him to 81 months in prison pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. (Doc. no. 28.) As set forth above, his sentence was later reduced to 75 months.

         II. Analysis

         A. Modification of Supervised Release

         As an initial matter, the Court notes that Petitioner's very general motion is in a form that provides no specific reference to his own case and he identifies little to no evidence or specific circumstances to support the arguments for any of the issues raised therein. First, Petitioner asks the Court to modify his supervised release terms. Petitioner specifically asks that his supervised release term be “reheard, reviewed anew, and reduced to 1 year to be discharged as nunc pro tunc not imposed at all ab initio upon successful completion of that 1 year supervised release and/or upon completion of supervised release.” (Pet'r's Mot. 2, dkt. 46.) The Court has the authority to modify conditions or revoke supervised release in certain circumstances, yet the request is premature: Petitioner's release date is not until 2019. See U.S. v. Evers, 669 F.3d 645, 649, 662 (6th Cir. 2012) (the court finding the defendant/appellant's appeal of special conditions of supervised release “premature” in light of the remainder of his sentence left to serve, “the leeway afforded the probation department in tailoring many of these special conditions, and the resultant contingencies that may or may not come to fruition”); see also 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1) (the court may “terminate a term of supervised release and discharge the defendant released at any time after the expiration of one year of supervised release, pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to the modification of probation, . . . .”).

         To the extent Petitioner argues that the terms and length of supervised release are “boilerplate” language not tailored to him, the conditions of his release are reasonably related to the rehabilitation of Petitioner and the protection of the public. For example, one of the special conditions of Petitioner's supervision is participation in a substance abuse program which may include testing to determine whether he has reverted to the use of drugs and alcohol. (Am. J., dkt. 28). This is reasonably related to his conviction for a drug-related crime and a history of drug use. See U.S. v. Kingsley, 241 F.3d 828, 836 (6th Cir. 2001) (even if the court does not expressly explain its reasoning for a particular condition of supervised release, it would be “deemed harmless error if the ...

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