Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Flint: Shelton Not Extended

In Flint v. Jordan, No. 06-11897 (Jan. 22, 2008), the Court held that a § 2255 petition was untimely, even though the prior state conviction which the defendant challenged had been obtained without the assistance of counsel. The Court noted that the Supreme Court’s decision in Alabama v. Shelton, 535 U.S. 654 (2002) held that a "suspended sentence" that may end up in the deprivation of a person’s liberty may not be imposed if the defendant does not receive the assistance of counsel. Here, Flint challenged a conviction which resulted in a sentence of probation, not one which resulted in a suspended sentence. Thus, Flint was asking for an "extension" of Shelton, not a direct application of it – and he could not therefore claim that Shelton was retroactively applicable, and avoid the AEDPA bar on his untimely § 2255 motion.