Carl Leo Davis v. United States

In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ Nos. 17-2282 & 17-2724 DE’ANGELO A. CROSS, Petitioner-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee, and CARL LEO DAVIS, Petitioner-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee. ____________________ Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 15-C-1338 — J. P. Stadtmueller, Judge, and No. 16-C-747 — William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge. ____________________ JANUARY 10, 2018 — DECIDED JUNE 7, 2018 ____________________ 2 Nos. 17-2282 & 17-2724 Before WOOD, Chief Judge, HAMILTON, Circuit Judge, and BUCKLO, District Judge. * WOOD, Chief Judge. When compliance with the U.S. Sen- tencing Guidelines was still understood to be mandatory, dis- trict courts were required to impose an extended term of in- carceration on so-called career criminals. This class of repeat felons was limited to those previously convicted twice for drug crimes or crimes of violence. The latter offenses included any felony “involv[ing] conduct that present[ed] a serious po- tential risk of physical injury to another.” U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2) (1992); U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2) (2000). We will call that definition of a crime of violence the “residual clause” in this opinion. The Supreme Court jettisoned the mandatory nature of the guidelines in 2005, in its decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220. The Booker decision did not, however, immedi- ately affect sentences imposed on defendants previously. Thus, De’Angelo Cross and Carl Davis continued to serve ob- ligatory sentences as career offenders as required by the man- datory guidelines. Both Cross and Davis qualified for that designation because of the residual clause. Their present ap- peal challenged the constitutionality of that clause. Two recent developments form the backdrop for our deci- sion: first, the Supreme Court’s holding in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), that the identical language in the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (2012), is un- constitutionally vague; and second, the Court’s ruling in Beck- les v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 886 (2017), that Johnson does not extend to the post-Booker advisory guidelines, including the * Of the Northern District of Illinois, sitting by designation. Nos. 17-2282 & 17-2724 3 career-offender guideline. We conclude that Beckles applies only to advisory guidelines, not to mandatory sentencing rules. Under Johnson, the guidelines residual clause is uncon- stitutionally vague insofar as it determined mandatory sen- tencing ranges for pre-Booker defendants. Cross and Davis are both entitled to be resentenced. I Cross and Davis brought their cases to the district court through motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 for relief from their sentences. Each was unsuccessful before the district court and appealed to this court. In light of the substantial overlap in the issues presented, we consolidated their cases. When the district court sentenced Cross (2000) and Davis (1992), the then-mandatory sentencing guidelines prescribed an elevated sentence for those denominated career offenders. U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. A defendant qualified as a career offender upon his third felony conviction for either a crime of violence or ...

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