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Law School Case Brief

Yates v. United States - No. 10cv312-MMA, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33274 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 29, 2011)

Rule:

The court need not hold an evidentiary hearing if the allegations are "palpably incredible" or "patently frivolous," or if the issues can be conclusively decided on the basis of the evidence in the record.

Facts:

A jury convicted Petitioner on nine counts of  mail fraud and six counts of wire fraud. The District Court sentenced Petitioner under the then mandatory sentencing guidelines to 78 months. Petitioner now moves the Court for an order vacating, setting aside, or otherwise correcting his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, setting forth multiple grounds for relief. Petitioner failed to raise the alleged errors at trial or on direct appeal.

Issue:

Was petitioner entitled to relief even he failed to raise the alleged errors at trial or on direct appeal?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

Petitioner is procedurally barred from raising an issue in a Section 2255 petition if it could have been raised earlier, unless the petitioner can demonstrate both "cause" for the delay and "prejudice" resulting from the alleged error. "To obtain collateral relief based on trial errors to which no contemporaneous objection was made, a convicted defendant must show both (1) 'cause' excusing his double procedural default, and (2) 'actual prejudice' resulting from the errors of which he complains." The Court finds Petitioner's claims to be barred, defaulted, and/or without merit. The Court declines to hold an evidentiary hearing, as the issues can be conclusively decided on the basis of the existing record.

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