Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Steiner: Rosemond Applies Retroactively But Sufficient Evidence Supported the Conviction

In Steiner v. United States, No. 17-15555 (Oct. 16, 2019) (Wilson, Newsom, Proctor) (per curiam), the Court upheld the denial of a 2255 motion containing three claims.

First, the Court upheld the denial of the movant's claim under the Supreme Court's decision in Rosemond, which required advance knowledge of the firearm for aiding and abetting a 924(c) offense.  The Court agreed with the parties that Rosemond announced a new rule that applied retroactively on collateral review.  However, viewing the trial evidence in the light most favorable to the government, the Court concluded that sufficient evidence supported the movant's advance knowledge and thus his 924(c) conviction.

Second, the Court upheld the denial of a Davis claim because circuit precedent established that aiding and abetting a carjacking satisfied the elements clause.

Third, the Court upheld the denial of a claim that counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the jury instructions as erroneous under Rosemond.  Here, there was no basis to object because the trial occurred years before Rosemond, and the court instructed the jury correctly under the law in effect at the time.

Finally, the Court declined to remand for a COA determination on the movant's claim that the jury instructions themselves were erroneous.  The Court found that the district court's order granting a COA on the three claims above amounted to an implicit denial of a COA on this fourth claim.

Judge Proctor concurred in order to clarify why the movant had advance knowledge of firearm in relation to the underlying carjacking offense.