In re: Tadd Vassell, No. 13-284 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Movant was convicted of conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances and sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without parole. He was 17 years old when the conspiracy began and the conspiracy continued until he had turned 18. After the Supreme Court issued its decision in Miller v. Alabama, movant filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. 2255(h) seeking authorization to file a successive section 2255 motion. The court denied the motion, concluding that, even assuming that movant qualified as a juvenile offender, his proposed motion would necessarily rely on a right that became available to him in 2010 with the Supreme Court's decision in Graham v. Florida, which held that sentencing a juvenile who did not commit a homicide to life imprisonment without parole violated the Eighth Amendment, and not on Miller, which extended the Graham rule to prohibit mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles convicted of committing homicide. Because Graham was decided more than one year before movant filed his section 2255(h) motion, the successive section 2255 motion he sought leave to file would be barred by the applicable one year statute of limitations under 28 U.S.C. 2255(f)(3).