2255 Win in Armed Career Criminal Case


This past week the Firm won another 2255 Motion. In US v. Gerome Young, the defendant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. At sentencing he was determined to be an armed career criminal, based on three prior convictions for either a serious drug offense or a crime of violence. As such, he was sentenced to a mandatory 15-year sentence.
Young, represented by C. Justin Brown, filed a Motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 seeking a new sentence. The Motion was based on the fact that one of Young’s convictions should not have counted as a predicate for the Armed Career Criminal Act. Whereas the federal court was led to believe that Young had been convicted of “resisting arrest,” he actually had been convicted of possession of cocaine. Possession of cocaine is not a conviction that counts for the ACCA mandatory 15-year sentence.
It took a state court sentencing transcript to prove that Young actually did not plead guilty to resisting arrest. Once the Government was presented with this transcript, the prosecutor admirably agreed that Young needed to be re-sentenced. The Judge agreed, and Young is now awaiting his new sentence, which cannot possibly be longer than 10 years (as opposed to 15 years).