Because clemency is not a realistic option, the United States Attorney is respectfully requested to reconsider her decision not to agree to an order vacating two or more of Holloway’s 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) convictions. The onerous enhancement in § 924(c)(1)(c) for “second or subsequent conviction[s]” under § 924(c) masquerades as a recidivism enhancement, but when the “second or subsequent” conviction occurs in the very same case as the first one, as they did here, the result is frequently a manifestly unjust mandatory sentence with a disparate impact on black men.1 Holloway deserved harsh punishment for his three robberies, but no one can reasonably contend that his mandatory sentence was not excessive.Fantastic.
The case will be called for a status conference on June 20, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. The government is respectfully directed to take the steps necessary to produce Holloway in court at that time. Harlan Protass is appointed pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act to represent Holloway. Once again, I ask the United States Attorney to exercise her discretion to permit me to reopen the sentence in this case to do justice.In the absence of a government agreement to reopen the sentencing, I will address the pending application to reopen Holloway’s collateral challenge to his conviction. The extraordinary trial penalty in this case may warrant further briefing on the constitutional issues raised by such a use of prosecutorial power. In addition, though I long ago rejected a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel based on trial counsel’s admission in his opening statement that Holloway in fact robbed the three victims of their cars, upon further reflection I may direct a closer inspection of that issue as well.
The Attorney General should be applauded for taking steps (even if they are small steps) to fix the ridiculous sentences and incarceration rates in the U.S., but we need more judges like Gleeson who is willing to tell it like it is.