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Man can't collaterally attack sentence again

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again denied a man's attempt to have his drug conviction overturned or sentence reduced because he had used the one 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 motion he was allowed and he can't challenge his sentence again under the same section.

Kevin Unthank appealed his 262-month sentence for drug convictions in Kevin Unthank v. Brian Jett, Warden, Federal Correctional Institute at Terre Haute, Indiana, No. 08-1417, something he had been doing for more than a decade, the federal appellate court noted.

Unthank filed his latest post-conviction appeal in 2007 after he was transferred to the prison in Terre Haute. U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney dismissed that petition.

Unthank appealed because he believed since one of his state convictions was vacated, his federal sentence should be reduced. But his collateral attack in his 1998 motion under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 blocks access to the kind of review of his case authorized by Johnson v. United States, 544 U.S. 295 (2005), wrote Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. Section 2255 allows for only one collateral attack unless a prisoner meets the conditions under subsection (h), which Unthank doesn't qualify for, wrote the chief judge.

Unthank also can't use Section 2241 to challenge his sentence, which he thinks can be used when a motion under Section 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention. The case, Taylor v. Gilkey, 314 F.3d 832 (7th Cir. 2002), rejected this line of argument, wrote Chief Judge Easterbrook.

"If Unthank wanted to use (Section) 2255 to argue for a lower sentence after asking a state court to vacate one or more of his prior convictions, he had only to refrain from filing a collateral attack until the state court had acted," he wrote. "He may have used unwisely the one (Section) 2255 motion allowed as of right, but he did use it in 1998 and has not met the statutory requirements for an additional round of collateral review."

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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