Thursday, September 29, 2016

Failure to file a reply brief dooms residual-clause argument

U.S. v. Peterman, 2016 WL 1273033 (4/1/16) (okl/) (unpub'd) - Mr. Peterman contended he was ineligible for the ACCA because, to qualify as a violent felony, one of his convictions depended on the unconstitutionally vague residual clause. The government agreed the district court relied on the residual clause to impose the ACCA sentence. However, in its answer brief the government pointed out Mr. Peterman did not argue he was entitled to relief under the plain-error standard in his opening brief. Mr. Peterman did not file a reply brief. Since Mr. Peterman never claimed plain error, he waived any chance for relief, says the 10th. So it affirms a concededly unconstitutional sentence. Hopefully Mr. Peterman files a ยง 2255 alleging ineffectiive-assistance of appellate counsel and gets relief that way.