As Professor Michael W. Martin and I pointed out in our new articles in the Fordham Law Review (here and here), although a huge swath of litigation occurring in federal courts is a result of filings from pro se prisoners, very few of those litigants actually obtain some modicum of success, let alone win a new trial or resentencing. Even fewer file a pro se motion that a federal court of appeals says raised a “relatively sophisticated argument” about the Sentencing Guidelines, an argument which ultimately prevails against multiple attacks against it by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Rarer still does such a thing happen on an appeal of a habeas corpus motion. And almost never has such a thing occurred in the conservative Eighth Circuit.
But that is exactly what occurred in Johnnie King v. United States, No. 09-2212, a case I ran across today that was decided by the Eighth Circuit back in 2010. Pro se prisoner Johnnie King won his appeal where he requested resentencing without the application of the career offender Sentencing Guidelines provision.
Miracles do happen. Good for Mr. King.