Walkaway Escapes Not ACCA Predicates

U.S. v. Shipp, 2009 WL 4827367 (12/16/09) (Published) - A great defense win and a reason to encourage clients who suffered from the former case law that walkaway escapes were violent felonies and crimes of violence to file 2255s before Jan. 13, 2010. The defendant had contended on appeal that his prior walkaway escape should not have counted as a violent felony under the ACCA. The 10th Circuit, by virtue of its precedent, rejected the claim. Undaunted, the defendant filed a timely 2255 raising the same issue. While his 2255 denial was on appeal, the S. Ct. decided Chambers v. U.S., 129 S. Ct. 687 92009) on Jan. 13, 2009. The 10th decides the defendant's due process rights extend to the length of his sentence and due process was violated because his sentence was improperly enhanced. Chambers applies retroactively because it's substantive, not procedural, in nature. It declared what the ACCA has always meant. The ACCA sentence was a miscarriage of justice that the federal courts can now correct. This case did not present the statute of limitations and successive petition problems that other cases might present. But it would seem all defendants who would now benefit from Chambers should try to get their sentences overturned ASAP.