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McReynolds v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

January 13, 2005, Submitted ; February 2, 2005, Decided

Nos. 04-2520, 04-2632 & 04-2844

Opinion

 [*480]  EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge. Marlon McReynolds, Jamie Thomas, and David Bennett were among the many persons convicted of participating in a large-scale cocaine-distribution enterprise. See United States v. Dumes, 313 F.3d 372 (7th Cir. 2002). After the judgments became final, they sought collateral relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. They contended, among other things, that their sentences are invalid because the juries did not determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, the precise amounts of cocaine base (crack) and cocaine hydrochloride that led to their sentencing [**2]  ranges. The district judge rejected these and related arguments, concluding that the sixth amendment's jury-trial right, as understood in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 147 L. Ed. 2d 435, 120 S. Ct. 2348 (2000), did not require the jury to determine any issue other than the thresholds that set the statutory maximum penalty--and, as the jury found that these three conspired to distribute more than 50 grams of crack, a quantity that exposed each to life imprisonment, see 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii), the court held that the sentences are lawful.

Like the trial itself, the district court's decision followed this circuit's authority. See United States v. Nance, 236 F.3d 820, 824-25 (7th Cir. 2000); United States v. Smith, 223 F.3d 554, 563-66 (7th Cir. 2000). But ] in United States v. Booker, 160 L. Ed. 2d 621, 125 S. Ct. 738 (U.S., 2005), the Supreme Court held that defendants have a right to a jury trial on any disputed factual subject that increases the maximum punishment, and that the federal Sentencing Guidelines come within this rule to the extent that their operation is mandatory. This means that the conditions for a certificate [**3]  of appealability under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) have been satisfied, as each appellant "has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." The court therefore issues certificates of appealability on the question whether the proceedings violated the sixth amendment's right to jury trial. Because this is a collateral attack, however, we must consider the antecedent question whether the rights recognized by Booker apply retroactively on collateral review, and our certificates of appealability include this issue as well. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-85, 146 L. Ed. 2d 542, 120 S. Ct. 1595 (2000).

Although the Supreme Court did not address the retroactivity question in Booker, its decision in Schriro v. Summerlin, 542 U.S. 348, 159 L. Ed. 2d 442, 124 S. Ct. 2519 (2004), is all but conclusive on the point. Summerlin held that Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584, 153 L. Ed. 2d 556, 122 S. Ct. 2428 (2002)--which, like Booker, applied Apprendi's principles to a particular subject--is not retroactive on collateral review.

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397 F.3d 479 *; 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 1638 **

MARLON McREYNOLDS, JAMIE L. THOMAS, and DAVID BENNETT, Petitioners-Appellants, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee.

Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by McReynolds v. United States, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 3478 (7th Cir. Ind., Feb. 24, 2005)

US Supreme Court certiorari denied by McReynolds v. United States, 545 U.S. 1110, 125 S. Ct. 2559, 162 L. Ed. 2d 285, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 4609 (2005)

Decision reached on appeal by United States v. Dumes, 322 Fed. Appx. 460, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 7752 (7th Cir. Ind., 2009)

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Nos. 1:03-cv-1360-LJM-VSS et al. Larry J. McKinney, Chief Judge.

United States v. Dumes, 313 F.3d 372, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23595 (7th Cir. Ind., 2002)

CORE TERMS

sentences, retroactively, Guidelines, collateral

Criminal Law & Procedure, Sentencing, Appeals, Appealability, Sentencing Guidelines, General Overview, Habeas Corpus, Certificate of Appealability, Procedural Defenses, Retroactivity of Decisions, Imposition of Sentence, Statutory Maximums