United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.
Petitioner Thomas Reedy, an inmate in the Federal Correctional Institution located in Marion, Illinois ("USP-Marion"), brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge his conviction and sentence ( United States v. Reedy, et al., Case No. 00-cr-00054 (N.D. Tex. 2000) ("criminal case")). Petitioner invokes the savings clause of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e), based on newly discovered evidence of his "actual innocence." For the reasons set forth below, the petition shall be DISMISSED.
This matter is now before the Court for preliminary review of the habeas petition. Rule 4 of the Federal Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts provides that upon preliminary consideration by the district judge, "[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge shall make an order for its summary dismissal and cause the petitioner to be notified." Rule 1(b) of those Rules gives this Court the authority to apply the rules to other habeas corpus cases.
Petitioner and his wife owned and operated a company that provided computerized credit card verification services to webmasters whose websites contained adult and child pornography. On May 17, 2000, petitioner was charged on an 89-count superseding indictment with numerous felonies related to the sexual exploitation of minors. A jury found petitioner guilty on counts 1-89 of the superseding indictment on December 1, 2000. United States v. Reedy, et al., Case No. 00-cr-00054 (N.D. Tex. 2000) (Doc. 143, criminal case). Twice, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to the district court for resentencing (Docs. 242, 297, criminal case). See United States v. Reedy, Case No. 01-11042 (5th Cir. 2002) (vacating sentence imposed and remanding); see also United States v. Reedy, Case No. 03-10511 (5th Cir. 2005) (affirming sentence imposed by district court on May 12, 2003, on counts 1-3, 7, 13, 16, 21, 25, 26, 31, and 38, but remanding for resentencing on count 89). On August 29, 2005, petitioner was ultimately sentenced to 180 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of minors, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(1), (b)(1), and ten counts of sexual exploitation of minors and aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252 and 2 (Doc. 294, criminal case). He was also sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment on one count of possession of materials shipped in interstate or foreign commerce containing child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A.
Petitioner subsequently filed two motions for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Reedy v. United States, Case No. 07-cv-00024 (N.D. Tex. 2007); Reedy v. United States, Case No. 12-cv-00271). The first § 2255 motion was denied in an order filed on November 3, 2008. Reedy v. United States, Case No. 07-cv-00024 (N.D. Tex. 2007) (Doc. 12). The order was affirmed on appeal. United States v. Reedy, Case No. 09-10009 (5th Cir. September 1, 2010).
Following the denial of the first § 2255 motion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals authorized petitioner to file a successive § 2255 motion to address his claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to inspect copies of computer servers provided to the defense. In re: Thomas Reedy, Case No. 12-10129 (5th Cir. March 27, 2012). However, the district court dismissed the successive § 2255 motion, after finding that the claim did not satisfy the requirements for a successive motion under § 2255(h)(1). Reedy v. United States, Case No. 12-cv-271 (N.D. Tex. February 27, 2013). Petitioner's request for a certificate of appealability was denied. United States v. Reedy, Case No. 13-10370 (5th Cir. January 28, 2014). The instant petition followed.
II. Habeas Petition
Petitioner is before this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, to challenge his conviction and sentence under the savings clause of § 2255(e), based on newly discovered evidence of his "actual innocence." Along with the standard form petition, petitioner filed a 43-page memorandum raising the following single argument: "Counsel for the defense proved deficient in his performance upon proper and upon appropriate challenge to the sentencing outcome when comparing the sentence as based upon the elements' of the crime rather than that which was based upon the evidence' of the crime, therein, violating defendant's constitutional rights as analyzed under Alleyne v. United States " (Doc. 1-1, p. 11). See Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013). This argument is nearly incomprehensible, but has appeared in numerous § 2241 petitions filed by USP-Marion inmates in recent weeks.
Petitioner goes on to explain that exonerating evidence in the form of a computer disc was discovered in his father's garage. Although he refers to the disc as "new" evidence, petitioner does not indicate when the disc was discovered. He also does not fault his attorney for its late discovery. Petitioner argues that this "new" evidence would have raised a reasonable doubt about his complicity or guilt in the minds of the jurors and resulted in his acquittal (Doc. 1-1, pp. 11-14). In light of this "new" evidence, petitioner asserts that his conviction amounts to a miscarriage of justice under Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), and Descamps v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013) (Doc. 1-1, p. 12).
Petitioner cannot proceed under the savings clause of § 2255(e), based on the recent Supreme Court cases he cited in his § 2241 petition or his newly discovered evidence. As a general matter, "28 U.S.C. § 2241 and 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provide federal prisoners with distinct forms of collateral relief. Section 2255 applies to challenges to the validity of convictions and sentences, whereas [Section] 2241 applies to challenges to the fact or duration of confinement." Hill v. Werlinger, 695 F.3d 644, 645 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing Walker v. O'Brien, 216 F.3d 626, 629 (7th Cir. 2000)). See also Valona v. United States, 138 F.3d 693, 694 (7th Cir. 1998).
A federally convicted person may challenge his conviction and sentence by bringing a motion pursuant to § 2255 in the court that sentenced him. Indeed, a § 2255 motion is ordinarily the "exclusive means for a federal prisoner to attack his conviction." Kramer v. Olson, 347 F.3d 214, 217 (7th Cir. 2003). However, the statute generally limits a prisoner to one challenge of his conviction and sentence under § 2255. A prisoner may not file a "second or successive" motion unless a panel of the appropriate court of appeals certifies that such motion contains either: (1) newly discovered evidence "sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense;" or (2) "a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
Under very limited circumstances, a prisoner may challenge the legality of a conviction or sentence in cases pursuant to the "savings clause" of § 2255(e), where a remedy under § 2255 is "inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention." See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e); see also United States v. Prevatte, 300 F.3d 792, 798-99 (7th Cir. 2002). "Inadequate or ineffective' means that a legal theory that could not have been presented under [Section] 2255 establishes the petitioner's actual innocence.'" Hill, ...