United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
THOMAS L. TAYLOR, #02079-025, Petitioner,
JAMES CROSS, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. HERNDON JUDGE.
Taylor's petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) is now before the Court. Based on
the following, the Court denies and dismisses with prejudice
1991, petitioner was convicted in this District of conspiracy
to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, three counts of
possession of three separate firearms by a convicted felon,
and sale of a stolen firearm. Petitioner was sentenced to
serve concurrent sentences totaling 420 months. Petitioner
received enhanced sentences on the conspiracy to distribute
and felon in possession charges because he had three prior
felonies. Taylor v. Cross, No. 14-cv-304-DRH, 2014
WL 1256371 (S.D. 111. Mar. 26, 2014). These convictions were
a 1970 burglary conviction, a 1973 delivery of a controlled
substance offense, and a 1984 delivery of a controlled
substance offense. Doc. 1, pp. 25-26.
1997, petitioner filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. §2255
with this Court. The motion claimed a violation of his plea
agreement based on ineffective assistance of counsel. The
motion was denied. See Taylor v. United States, Case
No. 97-cv-360 (S.D. 111., filed Apr. 23, 1997).
2004, petitioner brought his first 28 U.S.C. §2241
petition before this Court. Taylor v. Veltri, Case
No. 04-cv-57 (S.D. 111.). He argued that his sentence for the
conspiracy charge should not have been enhanced under the
career offender guidelines and that he was actually innocent
of the facts used to enhance his sentence as a career
offender. Id. The motion was denied because
petitioner failed to challenge the legality of his sentence
in his prior §2255 motion. (Doc. 3 in Case No.
04-cv-57). Petitioner then filed a motion to consider a
second or successive §2255 motion. This §2255
failed because petitioner did not obtain the requisite
permission from the Seventh Circuit to file the petition.
This Court found it had no jurisdiction to consider the
successive §2255 and the petition was dismissed without
prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.
March 2014, petitioner filed the instant petition. Petitioner
raised two arguments, both claiming petitioner is
"actually innocent" of the enhanced sentences he
received. Petitioner's first claim, that this Court did
not have statutory jurisdiction to sentence him outside of 21
U.S.C. §841(a)(1) and his 420 month sentence should be
vacated, was dismissed pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing §2254.See Doc. 4.
second claim is that he is actually innocent of the 405 month
enhanced sentence for the felon-in-possession counts. This
sentence was imposed because petitioner had three prior
qualifying felony convictions within the parameters of 18
U.S.C. § 924(e) (Doc. 1, pp. 15-18). One of the
convictions was from 1970 for burglary and another was from
1973 for delivery of a controlled substance. He raises no
issue as to the third prior felony, for another delivery of
controlled substance offense in 1984.
relies on Caron v. United States, 524 U.S. 308
(1998); United States v. Adams, 698 F.3d 965 (7th
Cir. 2012); and United States v. Osborne, 262 F.3d
486 (5th Cir. 2001), and claims that under the Illinois
statute in effect prior to 1984, his civil rights
were restored as of 1980, which was five years after he
completed his sentences on the 1970 and 1973 felonies. He
argued that those two convictions should not have been
counted against him, and without them, he did not have the
requisite three prior felonies for his sentence to be
petitions for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C.
§2241 may not be used to raise claims of legal error in
conviction or sentencing, but are limited to challenges
regarding the execution of a sentence. See, Valona v.
United States, 138 F.3d 693, 694 (7th
Cir.1998). Rather, the vehicle for challenging a federal
conviction or sentence is a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§2255, brought in the court of conviction. 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(7thCir. 2003).
prisoner is generally limited to only 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).
possible, under very limited circumstances, for a prisoner to
challenge his federal conviction or sentence under
§2241. 28 U.S.C. §2255(e) contains a "savings
clause" which authorizes a federal prisoner to file a
§2241 petition where the remedy under §2255 is
"inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention." 28 U.S.C. §2255(e). See, United
States v. Prevatte, 300 F.3d 792, 798-99 (7th Cir.2002).
"A procedure for postconviction relief can be fairly
termed inadequate when it is so configured as to deny a
convicted defendant any opportunity for judicial
rectification of so fundamental a defect in his conviction as
having been imprisoned for a nonexistent offense."
In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th Cir. 1998).
Seventh Circuit has explained that, in order to fit within
the savings clause following Davenport, a petitioner
must meet three conditions. First, he must show that he
relies on a new statutory interpretation case rather than a
constitutional case. Secondly, he must show that he relies on
a decision that he could not have invoked in his first
§2255 motion and that case must apply
retroactively. Lastly, he must demonstrate that there has
been a "fundamental defect" in his conviction or
sentence that is grave enough to be deemed a ...