Grzegorczyk v. United States, No. 18-3340 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
In 2012, Grzegorczyk hired two men to kill his ex-wife and others whom he deemed responsible for his divorce and the loss of custody of his son. The men he hired were undercover law enforcement officers. During a final meeting, Grzegorczyk gave the undercover officers $3,000 in cash, and showed them pictures, $45,000 in cash that he intended to pay upon completion of the murders, a semi-automatic handgun, and ammunition. Grzegorczyk was arrested.
In 2014, Grzegorczyk pled guilty to murder-for-hire, 18 U.S.C. 1958(a) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)., Grzegorczyk waived the right to “all appellate issues that might have been available if he had exercised his right to trial”; he could only appeal the validity of his guilty plea and the sentence imposed. The district court imposed a within-Guidelines sentence of 151 months, with consecutive 60 months for the firearm offense, which was affirmed on appeal. The Supreme Court then invalidated the definition of a “violent felony” under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) (Johnson decision), later extending the holding to section 924(c)'s residual clause definition of “crime of violence.”
Grzegorczyk sought relief under 28 U.S.C. 2255 from his 924(c) conviction. The district court denied relief. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Grzegorczyk has long unconditionally waived his right to contest the validity of his plea agreement and the legal sufficiency of the 924(c) charge.