United States District Court, District of Columbia
D. BATES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Reginald Douglas, Jr.'s motion for
collateral relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See
Mot. under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or
Correct Sentence (“Def.'s Mot.”) [ECF No.
314]. The government opposes the motion. See United
States' Opp'n to Def.'s Mot.
(“Gov't's Opp'n”) [ECF No. 320]. For
the reasons that follow, Douglas's motion is untimely and
is therefore denied.
2012, Douglas pled guilty to second degree murder while armed
in violation of D.C. Code §§ 22-2103 and 22-4502
for the murder of Anthony Morrisey. Plea Agreement [ECF. No.
213] at 1-2; see Tr. of Plea Hr'g (July 10,
2012) [ECF No. 326]. The Court entered judgment on September
21, 2012, and Douglas did not appeal. Def.'s Mot.
¶¶ 2, 12. Douglas's conviction became final
when the time to file a notice of appeal expired fourteen
days later, on October 5, 2012. See Clay v. United
States, 537 U.S. 522, 532 (2003); Fed. R. App. P.
4(b)(1)(A)(i). He filed the instant motion for collateral
relief challenging this Court's jurisdiction over his
caseunder 18 U.S.C. § 2255 on October 26,
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
(“AEDPA”) authorizes federal prisoners to move to
vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence “upon the
ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, . . . or is
otherwise subject to collateral attack.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(a). A prisoner's ability to bring such a
motion is subject to a strict one-year time limitation
triggered by, as relevant to Douglas's motion,
either “the date on which the judgment of conviction
becomes final” or “the date on which the facts
supporting the claim or claims presented could have been
discovered through the exercise of due diligence.”
Id. § 2255(f)(1), (4); see Def.'s
Mot. ¶ 18 (asserting timeliness under §
motion is clearly untimely under § 2255(f)(1) because he
filed the instant motion in October 2018, well over one year
after his judgment of conviction became final in October
motion is also untimely under § 2255(f)(4). Douglas
asserts that his conviction and sentence for D.C. Code
violations were unlawful because this court lacked
jurisdiction over violations of District of Columbia law and
that his “motion is timely based on § 2255(f)(4)
as of October 26, 2017” because that was the date that
“he finally was able to review the Judgment and
Commitment order” to discover that he had been
convicted of D.C. Code violations in federal court.
Def.'s Mot. ¶ 18. Douglas explains that he sought a
copy of the judgment while he was in state custody in New
York completing a term of incarceration for a different
offense, and that he did not actually obtain a copy of the
judgment until the fall of 2017, when he completed his state
sentence and transferred to federal custody to serve the
sentence imposed in this case. Def.'s Reply at 3-5.
Douglas argues that his motion should be deemed timely
because it was filed within one year of his “severely
delayed receipt of his federal judgment-which he diligently
sought.” Def.'s Reply at 4.
late receipt of a copy of his judgment does not make his
motion timely because any relevant facts were known to him at
the time of his plea and sentencing in 2012. Douglas's
signed plea agreement indicated that he was pleading guilty
to D.C. Code offenses in federal court. Plea Agreement at
1-2, 5. During his plea colloquy, the Court noted that
Douglas was pleading guilty to violations of the D.C. Code.
Tr. of Plea Hr'g at 17:10-20; see also id. at
17:20-20:5 (discussing sentencing implications of D.C. Code
offenses as opposed to federal offenses). The Court also
highlighted that Douglas was being sentenced for D.C. Code
violations at Douglas's sentencing hearing. See
Tr. of Sentencing Hr'g [ECF No. 319] at 3:4-4:8. Section
2255(f)(4) “must be triggered by newly discovered
facts, not new legal theories arising out of known
facts.” United States v. Satizabal, 190
F.Supp.3d 183, 185 (D.D.C. 2016). Douglas does not allege
facts “newly discovered, ” and his motion
therefore is not timely under § 2255(f)(4). Id.
also argues that he is entitled to equitable tolling of the
time limit set by § 2255(f) under the actual innocence
exception. The actual innocence “exception is designed
to excuse procedural barriers to relief in only a
‘narrow class' of ‘extraordinary instances
when a constitutional violation probably has caused the
conviction of one innocent of the crime.'”
United States v. Baxter, 761 F.3d 17, 28 (D.C. Cir.
2014) (quoting McCleskey v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467, 494
(1991)). In this context, “‘actual innocence'
means factual innocence, not mere legal insufficiency.”
Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 623 (1998)
identifies information that he believes undermines the
credibility of a witness, Antonio Harper, whose testimony,
Douglas believes, “was the linchpin that . . . allowed
for him to be prosecuted in federal court, ” and
without this testimony, “the federal court did not have
jurisdiction to prosecute the Morrisey murder.”
Def.'s Reply at 7. Douglas accordingly seeks an
evidentiary hearing about Harper's statements in order
“to resolve his actual innocence claim.”
Id. at 10-11.
Douglas is mistaken. Harper and his credibility are unrelated
to Douglas's crime of conviction for the murder of
Anthony Morrisey in the second degree and thus do not support
the application of the actual innocence exception. Douglas
does not allege that he is factually innocent. Nowhere does
he deny what he has previously acknowledged: that he
“shot Morrisey in the head at least two times.”
Factual Proffer [ECF No. 212] at 2. Accordingly, the time to
file his motion is not equitably tolled.
Douglas's motion for collateral relief is untimely under
18 U.S.C. § 2255(f) and no exception applies, it is
that the motion is DENIED.