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Buitron v. Holder

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 10, 2014

GABRIEL BUITRON, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC HOLDER and JAMES N. CROSS Respondents.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.

Currently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Respondents Eric Holder and James N. Cross asking the Court to dismiss Gabriel Buitron's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus for lack of jurisdiction (Doc. 17). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 17) is granted, and the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1) is dismissed.

BACKGROUND

A. Relevant Facts

Gabriel Buitron is currently incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution at Greenville, Illinois ("FCI-Greenville"). He was arrested and convicted of aggravated homicide in 1997 in Mexico (Doc. 17-1; Doc. 17-3). The Mexican court sentenced him to a term of 330 months' imprisonment (Doc. 17-1; Doc. 17-3). In March 1999, Buitron, an American citizen, was transferred to the United States to serve the time remaining on his Mexican sentence pursuant to the Treaty on Execution of Penal Sentences between the United States and Mexico ("Prisoner Transfer Treaty" or "Treaty") (Doc. 17-4).

Following his transfer to the United States, the U.S. Parole Commission initiated proceedings to translate Buitron's Mexican sentence into one comparable to what he would have received had he committed the same crime in the United States. The Parole Commission ultimately set a release date of June 29, 2021 after 312 months of incarceration, to be followed by a period of supervised release of 60 months or until the full-term date of his Mexican sentence, whichever is earlier (Doc. 17-3, p. 2).

B. Buitron's Habeas Petition & Respondents' Motion to Dismiss

On September 20, 2013, Buitron filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1). In his petition, Buitron argues that the Parole Commission's determination violates the Prisoner Transfer Treaty and federal law. In particular, Buitron claims that the combined period of imprisonment and supervised release imposed by the Parole Commission is 372 months, which impermissibly exceeds his Mexican sentence of 330 months (Doc. 1-2, p. 3).

Buitron also argues, in the alternative, that the Parole Commission imposed an "indeterminate term [of supervised release] as a contingent remainder of the sentence of imprisonment, " which he claims impermissibly negates his earned good conduct credits (Doc. 1-2, pp. 9, 11). In other words, as he earns good conduct credits, the amount of time he will spend incarcerated is shortened, while the amount of time he will spend on supervised release is simultaneously extended.

Buitron seeks to have the Parole Commission's Transfer Treaty Determination corrected to 252 months' imprisonment followed by a 60-month period of supervised release (Doc. 1-2, p. 11).

Respondents construed Buitron's petition as attacking the Parole Commission's decision to impose a period of supervised release and the particular length of that period (Doc. 17). They filed their motion to dismiss the petition arguing that Buitron's claims are not cognizable under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and the Court lacks jurisdiction over the petition (Doc. 17).

Buitron responded that he is not challenging the propriety of the Parole Commission's determination (Doc. 19). Instead, he asserts that "the sole issue" is "the issue of good time credits" and "the calculation of good time credits" by the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") (Doc. 19). Therefore, he argues, a habeas petition is the proper vehicle for his claims and this Court has jurisdiction over his § 2241 petition (Doc. 19).

DISCUSSION

The writ of habeas corpus may be granted where the defendant is in custody in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). In this instance, Buitron claims the Prisoner Transfer Treaty and related federal laws have been violated. Based on the nature of Buitron's claims, as an initial matter, the ...


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