Shipman v. United States

Shipman pleaded guilty in 2003 to conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C. 846. His presentence report used the 2002 Sentencing Guidelines, which then required courts to increase the offense level of a “career offender.” Shipman had three prior Arkansas convictions for residential burglary in 1986 and 1987. The district court sentenced him to 262 months’ imprisonment as a “career offender.” Neither the presentence report nor the court explained whether Shipman’s career-offender designation rested on the enumerated-offenses clause or the residual clause. In 2005, the Supreme Court rendered the Guidelines “effectively advisory.” In 2015, the Court’s Johnson decision struck down the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause as unconstitutionally vague, subsequently holding that the change applied retroactively on collateral review. Within one year of the Johnson decision, Shipman sought relief under 28 U.S.C. 2255. The Seventh Circuit remanded the denial of his petition. While the Guidelines’ residual clause is unconstitutionally vague, the record does not conclusively show whether Shipman was sentenced under the residual clause or the enumerated-offenses clause. All viable bases for Shipman to attack a career-offender designation under the enumerated-offenses clause were available at sentencing and within the one-year limitations period of section 2255(f)(1); there has been no change in the law since then. View "Shipman v. United States" on Justia Law