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Lane v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

March 6, 2015

Ryan Patrick Lane
v.
United States of America. Opinion No. 2015 DNH 042

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

PAUL BARBADORO, District Judge.

Ryan Patrick Lane pleaded guilty in this Court to three bank robberies, two of which took place in Massachusetts and one of which took place in New Hampshire. He was sentenced to 168 months in prison. He now moves pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to withdraw his guilty plea and vacate his sentence. He also moves to appoint counsel and to convene a hearing on a prior motion for a non-guideline sentence. For the reasons that follow, I deny Lane's motions.

I. BACKGROUND

In August 2013, a grand jury indicted Lane for an April 2013 robbery of a New Hampshire bank. Cr. Doc. No. 1.[1] A separate information also charged Lane with two other 2013 bank robberies that took place in Massachusetts. Cr. Doc. No. 14. On November 25, 2013, Lane pleaded guilty to the New Hampshire bank robbery. After waiving venue and indictment, he also pleaded guilty to the two Massachusetts bank robberies during the same proceeding. See Cr. Doc. Nos. 16, 17. In March 2014, I sentenced Lane to one 168-month prison term for each of the three robberies, with all terms to run concurrently. Cr. Doc. No. 24 at 2.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Where, as here, no evidentiary hearing is held on a § 2255 motion, I must "take as true the sworn allegations of fact set forth in the petition unless those allegations are merely conclusory, contradicted by the record, or inherently incredible." Owens v. United States, 483 F.3d 48, 57 (1st Cir. 2007) (internal quotation omitted). In reviewing this pro se motion, I must construe the petitioner's pleading liberally. Ayala Serrano v. Lebron Gonzales, 909 F.2d 8, 15 (1st Cir. 1990).

III. ANALYSIS

In his motion, Lane first argues that he received ineffective assistance from his attorney before he pleaded guilty. See Doc. No. 1 at 3-6. He then argues that he should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea because it was not knowing and voluntary. See id. at 7-9. I address, and reject, each argument in turn. I then turn to Lane's requests for an evidentiary hearing, the appointment of counsel, and a hearing regarding his previous motion for a non-guideline sentence. See id. at 10; Doc. Nos. 5, 8.

A. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Lane argues that he received ineffective assistance from his attorney before he pleaded guilty. To succeed on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a § 2255 petitioner must show both "deficient performance by counsel and resulting prejudice." Peralta v. United States, 597 F.3d 74, 79 (1st Cir. 2010) (citing Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)); see also Kimmelman v. Morrison, 477 U.S. 365, 382 (1986) (adopting the two-prong Strickland standard for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel on habeas review). Although a petitioner must satisfy both the deficient performance and prejudice prongs to prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance, "a reviewing court need not address both requirements if the evidence as to either is lacking." Sleeper v. Spencer, 510 F.3d 32, 39 (1st Cir. 2007). To satisfy the "deficient performance" prong of this standard, a petitioner must prove that his trial counsel's representation fell below "an objective standard of reasonableness." Pina v. Maloney, 565 F.3d 48, 54 (1st Cir. 2009); Owens v. United States, 483 F.3d 48, 57 (1st Cir. 2007). To establish prejudice, a petitioner must demonstrate "that, but for counsel's unprofessional error, there is a reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome." Sleeper, 510 F.3d at 39 (internal citation omitted).

Lane raises four separate claims of ineffective assistance by his attorney. See Doc. No. 1. None of Lane's four claims, however, meet the ineffective assistance standard.

1. Competency Hearing

Pointing to his history of mental illness, Lane first argues that his attorney was ineffective for failing to move for a competency hearing after he was arrested. See Doc. No. 1 at 3.[2] This claim fails because Lane has not shown that his attorney's advice to plead guilty without moving for a competency hearing was objectively unreasonable.

There is no doubt that Lane has suffered from mental illness for much of his life. In the past, he has been diagnosed at various points with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, unspecified psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, provisional cognitive disorder secondary to traumatic brain injury, and provisional personality change also secondary to traumatic brain injury. Cr. Doc. No. 19 at 26-27. He has tried to ...


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