United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
VACATE SENTENCE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Dkt.
A. GOLDSMITH United States District Judge
September 27, 2006, Defendant Douglas Michael Kornacki
pleaded guilty to two counts of using, carrying, and
discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of
violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
See Plea Agreement (Dkt. 102). He was sentenced to
420 month's imprisonment on February 8, 2007. 2/9/2007
Judgment (Dkt. 107). More than twelve years later, he filed
the instant motion, seeking to vacate his sentence pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. 2255 (Dkt. 112). For the reasons that follow,
Kornacki's motion is denied.
was charged with bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a);
robbery affecting commerce, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a); felon
in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1);
receipt and possession of a stolen firearm, 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(j) and 924(a)(2); possession of an
unregistered firearm, 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841, 4861(d),
and 587; and three counts of violating § 924(c).
Superseding Indictment (Dkt. 24).
agreed to plead guilty to two violations of § 924(c) in
exchange for dismissal of the remaining counts. See
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion is brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which
provides in pertinent part:
A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established
by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the
ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court
was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the
sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or
is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court
which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct
28 U.S.C. § 2255.
prevail on a § 2255 motion, “a petitioner must
demonstrate the existence of an error of constitutional
magnitude which has a substantial and injurious effect or
influence on the guilty plea or the jury's
verdict.” Humphress v. United States, 398 F.3d
855, 858 (6th Cir. 2005). Non-constitutional errors are
generally outside the scope of § 2255 relief. See
United States v. Cofield, 233 F.3d 405, 407 (6th Cir.
2000). A movant can prevail on a § 2255 motion alleging
non-constitutional error only by establishing “a
fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete
miscarriage of justice, or an error so egregious that it
amounts to a violation of due process.” Watson v.
United States, 175 F.3d 486, 488 (6th Cir. 1999).
should grant a hearing to determine the issues and make
findings of fact and conclusions of law on a § 2255
motion “[u]nless the motion and the files and records
of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled
to no relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). No evidentiary
hearing is required if the petitioner's allegations
“cannot be accepted as true because they are
contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or
conclusions rather than statements of fact.”
Valentine v. United States, 488 F.3d 325, 333 (6th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Arredondo v. United States, 178
F.3d 778, 782 (6th Cir. 1999)). “If it plainly appears
from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of
prior proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to
relief, the judge must dismiss the motion.” Rules
Governing § 2255 Cases, Rule 4(b).
asserts three grounds for relief in his motion. Grounds one and
three are essentially the same claim: his convictions under
§ 924(c) should be vacated in light of recent decisions
issued by the Supreme Court. Section 924(c) prohibits the use
or carrying of a firearm “during and in relation to a
crime of violence or drug trafficking crime[.]” 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). A “crime of violence”
is an offense that is a felony and “has as an element
the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force
against the person or property of another, ” (the
“elements clause”), or “that by its nature,
involves a substantial risk that physical force against the
person or property of another may be used in the course of
committing the offense, ” (the “residual
clause”). Id. § 924(c)(3)(A-B).
original motion relies on the Supreme Court's recent
decisions in Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204
(2018), and Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), to argue that the residual clause of § 924(c) is
unconstitutional. While neither of these decisions addressed
§ 924(c) directly, the Supreme Court did address the
constitutionality of § 924(c)(3)(B) after briefing on
Kornacki's motion concluded, ...