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Sadipe v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division

February 2, 2018

OLUWASEYI ADEMOLA SADIPE, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING PETITIONER'S MOTION UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2255 TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE

          MARK W. BENNETT U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................... 2

         A. Criminal Proceedings .............................................................. 2

         B. Section 2255 Proceedings ......................................................... 4

         II. LEGAL ANALYSIS ........................................................................ 4

         A. General Standards For § 2255 Relief ........................................... 4

         1. Grounds for § 2255 relief ................................................. 4

         2. Standards for an evidentiary hearing ................................... 6

         B. Petitioner's Claims ................................................................. 7

         1. Standards for ineffective assistance claims ............................ 7

         2. Failure to contest the jurors selected by the prosecution ................................................................ 11

         a. Arguments of the parties ....................................... 11

         b. Analysis ............................................................ 11

         3. Failure to object to a prosecution exhibit ............................ 13

         a. Arguments of the parties ....................................... 13

         b. Analysis ............................................................ 14

         4. Failure to spend enough time with Sadipe ........................... 14

         a. Arguments of the parties ....................................... 14

         b. Analysis ............................................................ 15

         5. Failure to properly cross-examine a witness ........................ 16

         a. Arguments of the parties ....................................... 16

         b. Analysis ............................................................ 17

         C. Certificate Of Appealability ..................................................... 18

         III. CONCLUSION ............................................................................ 19

         This case is before me on petitioner Oluwaseyi Ademola Sadipe's February 13, 2017, pro se Motion Under § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence By A Person In Federal Custody (§ 2255 Motion). In his pro se § 2255 Motion, Sadipe seeks relief based on various allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel, but his appointed habeas counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. State of California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), stating counsel's belief that Sadipe's claims are without merit. The respondent also denies that Sadipe is entitled to any relief on his claims.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         A. Criminal Proceedings

         On December 2, 2014, Sadipe was indicted as the sole defendant in a five-count Indictment. Count 1 of the Indictment charged Sadipe with misuse of a Social Security account number in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B). Count 2 charged Sadipe with aggravated identity theft involving transfer, possession, and use of a means of identification, specifically, a social security number, of another actual person, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1). Counts 3 through 5 charged Sadipe with separate counts of making false claims of United States citizenship, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 911. An attorney from the Federal Defender's Office was appointed to represent him. At his initial appearance and arraignment on December 10, 2014, Sadipe pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

         Although the prosecution made a plea offer, which Sadipe's counsel discussed with him and recommended he accept, Sadipe proceeded to a jury trial on February 9, 2015. All exhibits were pre-admitted at a pre-trial conference, although I directed that pages 19 and 20 of the prosecution's Exhibit 2 be deleted. Sadipe points out that all the potential jurors in the pool were Caucasian. During voir dire, one prospective juror stated that a black man stole the juror's credit card and that the juror was a victim of identity theft. The juror was not excused for cause nor did either party use a peremptory strike to remove him. The parties do not dispute that the prosecution exercised six peremptory strikes, while Sadipe's counsel exercised ten. Presentation of evidence was completed on February 9, 2015. Prior to closing arguments on February 10, 2015, Sadipe addressed the court personally, outside the presence of the jury, to express some of his concerns about the trial. I advised Sadipe to hold his arguments until the conclusion of the trial. The jury heard closing arguments on February 10, 2015, and later that day returned a guilty verdict on all five charges against Sadipe.

         Sadipe's sentencing hearing was on June 1, 2015. I sentenced Sadipe to one month on Counts 1, 3, 4, and 5, to be served concurrently, and 24 months, the mandatory minimum sentence, on Count 2, to be served consecutively to all other counts.

         Sadipe filed a Notice of Appeal on June 15, 2015, but on March 11, 2016, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and judgment, finding sufficient evidence to support Sadipe's conviction on all five counts. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to consider Sadipe's “unspecified and unpreserved pro se arguments challenging pretrial matters and voir dire, and the record is not adequately developed to address his broad and undeveloped claim of ...


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