United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. Payne United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant/Petitioner Porfirio
Gatica-Rodriguez's (“Defendant”) “Pro
Se Motion Requesting the Court with the Consent of the
Government to Reduce His Sentence to a More Fair and Just
Sentence Pursuant to the Holloway Doctrine.” (Doc. No.
59). Defendant argues his sentence is excessive and asks the
Court to reduce his sentence in the interests of justice and
fairness. The Government opposes Defendant's motion.
(Doc. No. 63). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's
Motion is DENIED.
18, 2009, after initially being charged via Complaint, a
federal grand jury indicted Defendant with one count of
Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and
841(b)(1)(A)(viii). (Doc. No. 1 (Complaint); Doc. No. 14
(Indictment)). Defendant pleaded guilty pursuant to a sealed
written plea agreement. (Doc. No. 31 (Minutes of Change of
Plea Hearing); Doc. No. 36 (Sealed Plea Agreement)).
advance of sentencing, the United States Probation Office
prepared a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report
(“PSR”), in which Defendant was assigned an
offense level of 33 based on the amount of methamphetamine
possessed (at least 500 grams but less than 1.5 kilograms)
and a three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility.
(PSR ¶¶ 17, 23, 24). The Probation Office
determined Defendant had a total of six criminal history
points, resulting in a Category III criminal history
designation. (PSR ¶ 33). Based on his offense level of
33 and a criminal history designation of Category III, his
advisory imprisonment range was 168-210 months. (PSR ¶
Defendant was determined to be a Career Offender, based on
two prior convictions for controlled substance offenses. (PSR
¶ 25). The Career Offender determination raised
Defendant's offense level to 34 and criminal history
category to Category VI, which resulted in an advisory
imprisonment range of 262-327 months. (PSR ¶¶ 25,
sentencing, the Court found Defendant to be a Career Offender
subject to an enhanced guideline calculation. (See
Doc. No. 43 (Minute Sheet - Sentencing)). The Court sentenced
Defendant to imprisonment for 262 months on Count 1 of the
Indictment. (Doc. No. 44 (Judgment)). Within one year of his
sentence becoming final, Defendant filed a motion under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence. (Doc. No. 47). Defendant alleged his counsel was
ineffective for failing to file an appeal on his behalf. On
October 25, 2010, the Court denied Defendant's §
2255 motion in its entirety. (Doc. No. 5 in Case No.
Defendant sought authorization to file a second or successive
§ 2255 motion to challenge the use of his prior
convictions to designate him as a career offender, pursuant
to Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013).
(Doc. Nos. 50, 51). The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals denied
Defendant's motion for authorization, finding the Supreme
Court did not make Alleyne retroactive to cases on
collateral review. (Doc. No. 55). Next, Defendant sought
reduction of his sentence pursuant to Amendment 782 of the
United States Sentencing Guidelines, which reduced the base
offense level for many drug offenses by two levels. (Doc. No.
56). However, the Court denied relief, because Defendant had
been sentenced based on the Career Offender guideline rather
than the drug quantity involved in his case, making him
ineligible for a reduction under Amendment 782. (Doc. No.
present motion, Defendant seeks a reduction of his sentence
pursuant to United States v. Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d
310 (E.D.N.Y. 2014).
seeks to reduce his sentence under what he calls the
“Holloway Doctrine, ” which takes its name from a
case filed in the Eastern District of New York, United
States v. Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d 310 (E.D.N.Y. 2014).
Defendant describes the Holloway Doctrine as
“recogniz[ing] that District courts have the
discretion, inherent in our American system of justice, to
subsequently reduce a defendant[']s sentence in the
interest of fairness [ e]ven after all appeals and collateral
attacks have been exhausted, and there is neither a claim of
innocence nor any defect in the ‘conviction or
sentence' when it has clearly been demonstrated that the
original sentence sought by the United States and imposed by
the court (even when mandated by law) is revealed to be
disproportionately severe.” (Doc. No. 59, at 2).
district court does not have inherent authority to modify a
previously imposed sentence; it may do so only pursuant to
statutory authorization.” United States v.
Smartt, 129 F.3d 539, 540 (10th Cir. 1997) (quotation
omitted). In Holloway, the district court permitted
a sentence reduction in the “spirit of fairness,
” using the authority of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b) to revisit the defendant's excessive
sentence. 68 F.Supp.3d at 311, 314. The defendant in
Holloway stole three cars at gunpoint over the
course of two days. Id. at 312. Each carjacking was
charged as a separate count, accompanied by three separate
charges for crimes of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
for use of a gun during each carjacking. Id.
Holloway went to trial and was convicted on all counts.
Id. Under the then-mandatory Sentencing Guidelines,
he was sentenced to 151 months in prison for the carjacking
counts. Id. He was also sentenced to mandatory
consecutive sentences on the three § 924(c) counts: 5
years for the first conviction and 20 years each for the
other two convictions. Id. The § 924(c)
sentences were required by statute to run consecutively to
each other and to the carjacking sentence, which resulted in
a total sentence of 691 months, or 57 years and 7 months.
Id. at 312-313. Both the Second Circuit and the
United States Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and
sentence. Id. at 313. The district court denied
Holloway's § 2255 petition, and the Second Circuit
declined to issue a certificate of appealability.
Id. The Second Circuit also denied Holloway's
request to file a successive § 2255 petition.
Id. at 313-14.
serving approximately twenty years of his sentence, Holloway
filed a motion to reopen his § 2255 proceeding under
Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, based on
the unduly harsh sentence produced from the mandatory
“stacking” of the § 924(c) counts.
Id. at 314. District Judge John Gleeson, the
sentencing judge, thereafter asked the United States Attorney
to “consider exercising her discretion to agree to an
order vacating two or more of Holloway's 18 U.S.C. §
924(c) convictions” so he could face a more just
resentencing. Id. After initially declining Judge
Gleeson's request, the United States Attorney ultimately
agreed to withdraw her objection to Holloway's Rule 60(b)
motion and agreed to the vacating of two of Holloway's
§ 924(c) convictions, so that Judge Gleeson could
resentence Holloway based on the remaining convictions.
Id. at 314-16.
prosecutor's decision was based on her office's view
“that this is both a unique case and a unique defendant
in many ways.” Id. at 315. The prosecutor
believed this case was unique, partly because of
Holloway's exemplary prison record-Holloway had only a
few minor infractions, and he had taken advantage of
educational and other opportunities in prison. Id.
The prosecutor also indicated the victims of Holloway's
crimes supported Holloway's release, which made
Holloway's case unique. Id. The Assistant United
States Attorney took care to emphasize the unique nature of
Holloway's case: “I want to be clear on this
point-that the United States Attorney's position in this