UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. JOHNNIE BUTLER JR

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff – Appellee, v. JOHNNIE BUTLER, a/k/a JR, Defendant - Appellant.

No. 16-6561

Decided: October 28, 2016

Before SHEDD, KEENAN, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges. Johnnie Butler, Appellant Pro Se. Christine Marie Celeste, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Joshua Thomas Ferrentino, Assistant United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

Johnnie Butler seeks to appeal the district court's orders denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion. The orders are not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(B) (2012). A certificate of appealability will not issue absent “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) (2012). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find that the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). When the district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must demonstrate both that the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable, and that the motion states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484-85.

We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Butler has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability and dismiss the appeal. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.

DISMISSED

PER CURIAM: