Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Willis: Proper Limitations on 2255 resentencing

In U.S. v. Willis, No. 09-15676 (Aug. 17, 2011), the Court rejected a defendant’s arguments that he should have received additional sentence reductions at a § 2255 resentencing beyond no longer categorizing him as a career offender.

The Court found that Willis was barred from asserting additional ineffective assistance of counsel, because these claims were either waived in his brief, or had not been a subject of a certificate of appealability after being denied by the district court. The Court also found that the district court had properly limited Willis’ § 2255 resentencing, because it declined to review aspects of his sentence that were without error.

The Court also rejected the argument that his statutory right to receive 10-days notice of a PSR prior to (re)sentencing was violated. The Court found that any error was harmless, because the resentencing was limited to striking the career offender enhancement, and the resentencing PSR contained the same information as the original PSR, which Willis had received years earlier.