Duka v. United States

The Third Circuit upheld the District Court’s invocation of the concurrent sentence doctrine. Petitioner-Appellants are serving multiple sentences for various crimes arising out of a plot to attack the United States Army base at Fort Dix and other military bases and facilities. Appellants moved for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, primarily contending their 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) convictions must be vacated under United States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319 (2019). The District Court denied relief. The trial judge declined to consider the merits of Appellants’ challenge to their Section 924(c) convictions, reasoning that, since they were each subject to an unchallenged life sentence, any potential vacatur of their Section 924(c) convictions would result in no practical change to their confinement. The Third Circuit affirmed and ruled that it was not an abuse of discretion for the trial judge to preserve judicial resources by declining to consider the substance of Appellants’ constitutional challenge under the logic of the concurrent sentence doctrine.

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