United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
his guilty plea for possession of a firearm as a felon (doc.
(plea agreement)), the Court sentenced Larry Eugene Williams
to 72 months' imprisonment. Doc. 41 (judgment). He took
no appeal. See doc. 38 (Notice of Post-Conviction
Consultation). He now moves under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
to vacate his sentence based on counsel's failure to
present (and thus the Court's failure to consider) body
camera footage at his suppression motion hearing, as well as
the arresting officers', the Court's, and
counsel's “malicious profil[ing]” of Williams
at every stage of the proceedings. Doc. 42 at 4-8. He also
repeatedly states that his “appeallate (sic)
rights were never granted conciousionably (sic); If
so; it was through a fraudulent unconscionable
bargain.” Id. 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8. It is
unclear whether he means that he did not knowingly waive his
appellate rights. Regardless, preliminary §
2255 Rule 4 review shows that his motion should be
defendant who enters an unconditional plea of guilty
“may not thereafter raise independent claims relating
to the deprivation of constitutional rights that occurred
prior to the entry of the guilty plea.”
Tollett v. Henderson, 411 U.S. 258, 267 (1973)
(emphasis added). That is, “[a] defendant's plea of
guilty, made knowingly, voluntarily, and with the benefit of
competent counsel, waives all non-jurisdictional defects in
that defendant's court proceedings.” United
States v. Pierre, 120 F.3d 1153, 1155 (11th Cir. 1997);
see also United States v. Patti, 337 F.3d 1317, 1320
(11th Cir. 2003). The bar applies both on appeal and on
collateral attack. See United States v. Broce, 488
U.S. 563, 569 (1989). “A defendant who wishes to
preserve appellate review of a non-jurisdictional defect
while at the same time pleading guilty can do so only by
entering a ‘conditional guilty plea' in accordance
with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(a)(2).”
Pierre, 120 F.3d at 1155.
who have entered an unconditional guilty plea, therefore, may
challenge their pre-plea constitutional claims only by
showing that the advice they received from counsel undermined
“the voluntary and intelligent character of the
plea.” Tollett, 411 U.S. at 267.
defects in the procedure by which the plea was received or
circumstances which make the plea other than voluntary,
knowing and intelligent. It also includes cases where the
guilty plea was induced through threats, misrepresentations,
or improper promises, such that the defendant cannot be said
to have been fully apprised of the consequences of the guilty
plea. . . .
Mikell, 2011 WL 830095 at *2 (cites and quotes
omitted). Otherwise, all substantive claims that could have
been raised before the plea, such as suppression-based
claims, are waived. Franklin v. United States, 589
F.2d 192, 194-95 (5th Cir. 1979) (“By entering a
knowing, voluntary, intelligent guilty plea on the advice of
competent counsel, [petitioner] has waived all
nonjurisdictional complaints . . . [such as] claims regarding
Miranda warnings, coerced confessions, perjury and
illegal searches and seizures. . . .”); Washington
v. United States, 2010 WL 3338867 at * 15 (S.D. Ala.
Aug. 5, 2010) (collecting Eleventh Circuit cases denying
habeas relief on suppression-based IAC claims and concluding
that, “[b]ecause all of [movant]'s asserted claims
of ineffective assistance of counsel relate to the
suppression issue, the denial of which has been waived . . .
they have been waived by petitioner's entry of a knowing
and voluntary plea. . . .”).
who pled guilty unconditionally, cites no legally cognizable
involuntariness grounds (e.g., that he was
threatened or misled by his lawyer, the judge, etc.) that
would undermine his guilty plea. See Tollett, 411
U.S. at 267; Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 59
(1985). Aside from employing the words “fraudulent
unconsciousionable bargain” (see, e.g., doc.
42 at 4), movant does not even hint that his plea was
anything but knowingly and voluntarily made.
simply, Williams conceded his factual guilt (see
doc. 40 at 2 (“Defendant agrees that he is, in fact,
guilty of this offense”), but seeks to indirectly
challenge the Court's ruling on his motion to suppress
(see doc. 42 at 6-7). He waived such a
claim by the entry of his knowing and voluntary plea. Doc. 42
at 6-7 (affirming that he has had the full benefit of
competent, satisfactory counsel to fully apprise him of his
right to proceed to trial and the rights he is giving up by
pleading guilty), see also id. at 10 (Order
accepting plea agreement and finding that Williams has
“freely, voluntarily and knowingly” chosen to
as he also suggests an allegation that he did not intend to
give up his appellate rights (see Id. (his
“appe[a]llate right(s) were never never granted
conciousionably”), that contention is blatantly
contradicted by the record. Williams signed this Court's
Notice of Post-Conviction Consultation, which affirms that he
expressly told counsel, after being fully informed of his
appellate rights, that he did not wish to file an appeal.
movant's wholly conclusory allegation that the arresting
officers, counsel, and this Court were in any way
“extremely partial and prejudice[d]” against him
is dead on arrival. See Caderno v. United States,
256 F.3d 1213, 1217 (11th Cir. 2001) (vague, conclusory
allegations in a § 2255 motion are insufficient to state
basis for relief); Tejada v. Dugger, 941 F.2d 1551,
1559 (11th Cir. 1991) (“when his claims are merely
‘conclusory allegations unsupported by specifics'
or ‘contentions that in the face of the record are
wholly incredible, '” a petitioner is not entitled
to habeas relief).
“§ 2255 action is not designed to account for
buyer's remorse. But that is all that is at issue
here.” Falgout v. United States, 2013 WL
3712336 at * 6 (N.D. Ala. July 12, 2013); Nelson v.
United States, 2015 WL 4756975 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 11,
2015) (“Nelson has wasted this Court's time with a
‘buyer's remorse' filing. He chose to plead
guilty with full knowledge of the consequences. Now he must
live with those consequences.”). Williams' §
2255 motion should be DISMISSED.
Larry Eugene Williams' § 2255 motion should be
DENIED as procedurally barred by his
unconditional plea agreement. Applying the Certificate of
Appealability (COA) standards set forth in Brown v.
United States, 2009 WL 307872 at * 1-2 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 9,
2009), the Court discerns no COA-worthy issues at this stage
of the litigation, so no COA should issue either. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2253(c)(1); Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Habeas
Corpus Cases Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“The district
court must issue or deny a certificate of
appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
applicant”) (emphasis added).
Report and Recommendation (R&R) is submitted to the
district judge assigned to this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) and this Court's Local Rule 72.3.
Within 14 days of service, any party may file written
objections to this R&R with the Court and serve a copy on
all parties. The document should be captioned
“Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendations.” Any request for additional time to
file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that
failure to timely file objections will result in the waiver
of rights on appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v.