United States v. Barnes, No. 18-60497 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Defendant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and waived his right to challenge his conviction and sentence. After defendant was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), the Supreme Court held in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), that the ACCA's residual clause was unconstitutional. Defendant filed a 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion to vacate his sentence, which the district court dismissed.
The Fifth Circuit dismissed defendant's appeal and held that defendant's section 2255 motion was barred by his collateral-review waiver in his plea agreement. The court held that precedent foreclosed defendant's contention that a defendant cannot waive a right that is unknown at the time that the waiver provision is executed, and that he cannot waive his right to challenge an illegal or unconstitutional sentence.