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On January 7, 2020, the Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s decision dismissing a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion in the matter of United States v. Dixon (4th Cir. No. 16-7752)(Jan. 7, 2020).  Joseph King represented Mr. Dixon in both the Fourth Circuit and Eastern District of Virginia.

In his 2255 motion, Dixon had challenged his firearm conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence where the underlying offense was conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery) as void based on Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015).

Johnson v. United States Residual Clause Unconstitutionally Vague

That is, Dixon contended that his § 924(c) conviction was void because Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), retroactively invalidated § 924(c)(3)(B), that statute’s “residual clause,” as unconstitutionally vague.

Conspiracy to Commit Hobbs Act Robbery is Not a Crime of Violence

The Fourth Circuit held: “In light of United States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319, 2336 (2019) (holding that residual clause of § 924(c) is unconstitutionally vague); United States v. Simms, 914 F.3d 229, 232-34 (4th Cir. 2019) (holding that conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery is not a crime of violence under the force clause of § 924(c)), we grant a certificate of appealability and vacate the district court’s order.

Click here to read more in the opinion

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