In the inbox this evening: my quarterly statement from PACER, reporting that I have a zero balance.
I imagine that’s because Mr. E___ C______ has (finally!) exhausted all legal strategems, and is quietly serving out the remaining years of his sentence.
It’s been five years since my one-and-only call to jury duty in the federal courts; I’m hoping they call me back. I could use a new stalking-target.
Remember E___ C______?
He celebrated the new year with another attempt to undo his conviction & win his release from the graybar hotel:
COMES NOW Petitioner, pursuant to 28 USCS § 1331, United States Constitution Article III, Section 2, Clause 1, and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and moves this court to nullify proceedings in the case of United States vs. E___ C______….
It didn’t work:
Because he is challenging the lawfulness of his confinement, this court concludes that Petitioner’s Motion is properly understood as a Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
However, Petitioner has already filed a Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
…and you only get one § 2255 motion, unless the Court of Appeals says you get another. Which they haven’t.
Better luck next time, sir.
Mr. C______ has fallen silent: no appeals, no motions, no communication of any kind received at the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit; nor at the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois.
The last filing was on April 23, a terse filing from the Court of Appeals: Go away, kid, you’re bothering us. (I paraphrase. Even the most whimsical of federal judges wouldn’t sign his name to an order like that.)
I suppose I’ll have to find something else to do with my time.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has spoken, again:
On consideration of the petition for rehearing …, all of the judges have voted to deny rehearing. It is therefore ordered that the petition for rehearing is DENIED.
It’s unclear whether the unfortunate Mr. C______ has any further avenues of appeal open to him. But according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator, he has another four years (more or less) to think of something.
(At some point, the expected duration of any legal proceeding Mr. C______ may initiate will exceed the remainder of his sentence. When that happens, will he give up?)
The US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, has spoken:
E___ C______ has filed a notice of appeal from the denial of his motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which we construe as an application for a certificate of appealability. This court has reviewed the final order of the district court and the record on appeal. We find no substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
…followed by a paragraph in which the word DENIED appears – in all caps – several times.
Nine days later, Mr. C______ filed another appeal – i.e., an appeal from the denial of his appeal from the denial of his motion under § 2255 to vacate the sentence from his original conviction (way back in 2006).
Good luck with that, sir.
The hapless Mr. C______’s latest legal maneuver continues to work its peristaltic way through the bowels of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The U.S. District Court denied his §2255 motion last June; he is appealing; he has asked the court for a Certificate of Appealability; this request was (apparently) denied without explanation; and so he is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to compel the U.S. District Court to issue a written opinion explaining the denial.
Good luck with that, sir.
At least, I think that’s what he’s doing. The paper trail is a bit hard to follow.
I can’t find any docket entries more recent than last August; perhaps the proceedings have moved to a new court, or are being recorded under a different case number. Or maybe there are no docket entries because nothing is happening.
I can’t imagine the court feeling much urgency toward yet another inmate whiling away the long years of his sentence with appeal after appeal after appeal.
I had the notion this evening to log in to the US District Court’s electronic case filing system, and look for news of Mr. C______.
His §2255 motion was denied – or, as the official court documents like to put it, DENIED – last June. I thought this meant Mr. C______ had nothing left to do but serve the remainder of his sentence (just under five years, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator). I was wrong about that.
He’s appealing – to the US Court of Appeals in Chicago – the US District Court’s decision on his §2255 motion.
I downloaded most of the new documents. (#3 appears to be the complete record of Mr. C______’s original trial: 149 pages! I skipped that one.) Most of it was pretty boring stuff, but the documents from Mr. C______ himself were a little better.
It looks like he’s pursuing the same arguments as before, with a few citations of recent Supreme Court decisions thrown in for extra flavor. I’d be very surprised if this latest attempt got any further than its predecessors.
(I have to wonder how much of the average judge’s time is wasted explaining to inmates, over and over again: There’s a reason you’re behind bars, pal.)
The Court has spoken:
On October 16, 2008, Petitioner E___ C______ filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1). Petitioner also filed a Memorandum of Law (#2). On January 5, 2009, the Government filed its Response (#6), and on January 26, 2009, Petitioner filed a Reply (#7). On May 8, 2009, Petitioner filed a Motion to Take Judicial Notice (#9). Finally, on May 15, 2008, Petitioner filed a Motion for Leave to File 2255 Amendments (#10). For the reasons that follow, Petitioner’s Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (#1), as amended, is DENIED.
The unfortunate Mr. C______ seems to be running out of options. His motion for a retrial was denied. His appeal was dismissed when his own attorney persuaded the Court of Appeals that there were no non-frivolous grounds for appeal. And now his § 2255 motion has been denied.
The Court did leave him one opening:
The Petitioner’s Motions for the Court to Take Judicial Notice and for Leave to File 2255 Amendments are GRANTED.
…which means that if he wants to try again, the Court will permit it.
I suppose I’ll have to check back in a few months & see whether he does.
Mr. C______’s §2255 motion continues to grind its way slowly through the courts. The latest round of Response to Motion and Response to Response to Motion can be summarized as:
- US Attorney: This is the same horse-hockey he argued at trial and appeal. Didn’t work then, shouldn’t work now.
- Mr. C______: Is not!
While justice usually is best served by a healthy skepticism regarding accusations made against citizens by their government, in this case I’m inclined to agree with the US Attorney.
I predict Mr. C______’s latest legal stratagem will go down in flames, just as soon as the judge gets around to writing the order.
In an idle moment this afternoon, I had the notion to see what’s happening with Mr. C______, who’s three years into his ten-year sentence.
It turns out he’s going forward with his "motion under 28 U.S.C. §2855 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence by a person in judicial custody".
I am not a lawyer, but my reading of the motion is that Mr. C______ is recycling the same arguments that were rejected as frivolous in 2007 when he appealed his conviction.
Good luck with that, sir.