United States v. Mason, No. 12-8042 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of powder cocaine, appealed the district court's denial of his 28 U.S.C. 2255 petition for collateral relief. The court rejected petitioner's claim that he received ineffective assistance because counsel declined to raise an Equal Protection claim of racially selective law enforcement where petitioner's counsel, by choosing to pursue a Fourth Amendment claim, acted effectively under Strickland v. Washington. The court also rejected petitioner's contention that the district court should have held an evidentiary hearing to evaluate whether counsel were ineffective for failing to raise an Equal Protection claim. Further, counsel was not ineffective by failing to properly challenge the use of petitioner's post-arrest silence in the prosecutor's closing remarks. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.