« Seeking to clear up Clintonian confusion on crack retroactivity | Main | The severity of felony murder responsibility »

December 3, 2007

Weldon Angelos files 2255 motion

Regular readers will recall the name Weldon Angelos; Angelos faced a mandatory minimum sentencing term of 55 years following three small hand-to-hand marijuana sales.  Some months ago, Weldon's sister asked if I would help with his 2255 motion.  Aided by a great legal team working pro bono, this motion was completed and filed in federal district court today.  The full 50-page motion, which makes an array of constitutional arguments, can be downloaded here:

Download angelos_2255_motion.pdf

Because I am essentially counsel of record, I do not plan to discuss or debate the merits of the motion on this blog.  But I cannot help but use this forum to try to solicit amici support.  Persons concerned with any number of criminal justice issues — ranging from extreme mandatory minimum sentences, prosecutorial charging and bargaining practices, convictions based solely on informant testimony, the reach of the Second, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments and principles of equal justice — should find the Angelos case interesting and perhaps worthy of some "friendly" brief writing.

UPDATE:  The Salt Lake Tribune reports on the filing in this article.

December 3, 2007 at 09:41 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Weldon Angelos files 2255 motion:


Good luck.

May I suggest you close the comments on this thread? Nothing good can come from them and there's no need to give opposing counsel some ideas in the form of potential responses in the comments. I'm sure any of your normal contributors who have something helpful to say can e-mail you.

Posted by: Confused | Dec 4, 2007 1:43:18 AM

Question: Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases in the United States District Courts clearly states that 2255 Motions must follow the standard form:

Standard Form. The motion must substantially follow either the form appended to these rules or a form prescribed by a local district-court rule.

Whenever I file 2255 motions, I always fill out the standard form (unless the district court provides a different one, which I've yet to encounter) and include a lengthy "memorandum in support" which I file as an exhibit to the standard-form 2255 motion.

I noticed that you did not use the standard 2255 form for your 2255 Motion. Am I the only attorney who actually takes rule 2(c) seriously? I've filed many 2255 motions on the standard form with a supplemental brief, and I assumed everyone did it that way.

Posted by: bruce | Dec 4, 2007 5:17:22 AM

Bruce, I have been filing 2255's for more than 25 years in Cal., Hawaii, Alaska, and Oregon and have never used the standard form. Haven't had a problem yet.

Posted by: Mike Levine | Dec 4, 2007 8:07:42 AM

I think the standard form is just for prisoner pro se purposes so that some semblance of order can be maintained in processing the influx of habeas and the like (e.g., 2255s).

Posted by: SPD | Dec 4, 2007 9:17:52 AM

SPD: Someone once told me they thought that too, but other than the general statement that 2255 motions are "for people incarcerated under federal sentence" (to paraphrase) there is no indication that that one subsection of that one rule is only for pro se prisoners. Out of an abundance of caution I've always filled out the form and then filed my own brief along with it.

Also, in Texas state court, ALL writs of habeas corpus have to be on a similar rule-provided form. Whether you are a pro se inmate writing it in your own feces or a $2000/hr lawyer, the court will kick it back to you if you don't use the current form. And they change the form once a year or so. So when I see a rule that says "The motion must substantially follow ... the form appended to these rules..." I fill out the form (and then file a brief along with it).

But it is interesting to know that others have not used the form with no problem. Maybe next time I'll jump into the deep end and forego the form.

Posted by: bruce | Dec 4, 2007 11:22:37 AM

I was sentenced to 3 months in prison for Violation of Federal Probation, for failing to satisfy court ordered restitution. I would like to request house arrest, because if I lose my job, I will never be able to pay my restitution. I was at the end of my 2 year probation. I served 25 months in Federal Prison of a 30 month. I was a whistleblower, I started the investigation, and though my employer did get 236 months. I just want to know is a 2255 the correct motion to file, Pro Se, to see if the judge will change my sentence.

Posted by: Donna Sottile | Dec 7, 2008 6:16:40 PM

Dear Law Professors, On October 15th, 2004, in the little town of Oracle, AZ, I exercised my 1st Amend. rights to freedom of speech/religion/opinion/and
expression after a bitch/abusive woman postal worker refused to sell me one .47 stamped envelope. I got tired of her verbal abuse and we had a "war of words." I looked at her and said, "od, I pray a bomb falls on your stupid fucking head!" (Basically, I was praying to God in a post office and using Imprecatory Prayer, i.e., yelling and screaming down curses upon my enemy! See - Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 - "The act of praying often involves body posture and movement as well as utterances. It is nonetheless protected under the Free Exercise Clause.") Ya, right!! I am now a "convicted terrorist" under Title 18 U.S.C. 2332a - Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. I served four years of prison HELL being tortured and terrorized. I need serious help and assistance with a 2255. I have no money, no income, no car, no housing, nothing! My SSI was even taken away from me after fifteen years of being disabled and chronically-ill. Will someone please help me to right this gross legal wrong and travesty of justice??? Thank you. Contact:[email protected] or Mary @(520)908-8510.

Posted by: Mary Elizabeth Schipke -innocent victim of the "justice" system | May 16, 2009 1:09:55 PM

I read it as frequently as I possibly can. For the past 15 years, I have used the form and filed an accompanying memorandum of points and authorities. l

Posted by: a armstrong | Jun 23, 2009 3:42:31 PM

GPS tracking systems are only a small part of what it takes to keep our children safe from sexual predators. First of all, legislators need to ensure that these sex offenders cannot reside anywhere near children. Police need to spend less time hiding with their radar guns to give speeding tickets and more time monitoring areas where sex offenders reside. GPS tracking bracelets are a must! The people monitoring GPS trackers most be competent and knowledgeable.

Posted by: jordan shoes 1 | Nov 29, 2010 3:06:32 AM

The 2255 form is a Supreme Court form required for all (not just pro se) filers. However, for some reason, most courts do not require attorneys to use it. Nonetheless, recently here in the S/D FL a 2255 was kicked back by the court for failure to submit the completed form, filed by none other than nationally-recognized post-conviction specialist Benson Weintraub, Esq.!!

Posted by: J.L. Murphy | Apr 15, 2013 4:00:12 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB