United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ANTHONY ENIS, No. N-82931, Petitioner,
KIMBERLY BUTLER, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon United States District Judge.
Anthony Enis, a state prisoner currently incarcerated in the
Menard Correctional Center, brings this habeas corpus action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge the
constitutionality of his confinement.
petition was filed on July 27, 2016. Enis challenges his life
sentence, which he is serving as a result of former Governor
George H. Ryan's January 2003 commutation of the death
sentence imposed after petitioner's murder conviction in
Lake County. People v. Enis, Lake County Circuit
Court No. 91-CF-9. He invokes § 2241 as the basis for
his petition, arguing that his current custody is the result
of the Governor's “executive order of detention,
” and that he is no longer in custody pursuant to the
Lake County judgment of conviction (Doc. 1, p. 9). He seeks
immediate release from custody, based in part on his argument
that the governor exceeded his authority by ordering Enis to
be held indefinitely when he was “actually innocent of
his former sentence of death” (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10).
of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in United States
District Courts provides that upon preliminary consideration
by the district court judge, “[i]f it plainly appears
from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court,
the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to
notify the petitioner.” Rule 1(b) gives this Court the
authority to apply the rules to other habeas corpus cases.
After carefully reviewing the petition in the present case,
the Court concludes that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain
the petition, and it must therefore be dismissed.
original conviction and death sentence for the 1987 murder
were reversed, People v. Enis, 139 Ill.2d 264, 564
N.E.2d 1155 (1990), and the case was remanded for a new
trial. Upon retrial, Enis was convicted again, and again
sentenced to death. This time, the conviction and sentence
were affirmed on appeal. People v. Enis, 163 Ill.2d
367, 645 N.E.2d 856 (1994). The Illinois Supreme Court
specifically found that Enis' eligibility for the death
penalty had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Id., 163 Ill.2d. at 412-13, 645 N.E.2d at 876.
filed a post-conviction petition, which was dismissed by the
trial court. On appeal, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed
the dismissal of the petition, finding that trial and
appellate counsel did not render ineffective assistance, and
finding no error in the trial court's decision to quash a
postconviction subpoena and deny a substitution of judge.
People v. Enis, 194 Ill.2d 361, 743 N.E.2d 1 (2000),
cert. denied, Enis v. Schomig, 533 U.S. 908
2001, Enis filed a habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, Enis v. Schomig, Case No. 01-C-4429
(N.D. Ill.). He raised numerous grounds for relief, including
(1) the trial court improperly denied his motions to suppress
witnesses' identification testimony; (2) the trial
court's rulings on evidentiary and discovery matters were
erroneous; (3) trial and appellate counsel were ineffective;
(4) he was denied his right to testify at trial; (5) he was
not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (6) the State
engaged in prosecutorial misconduct: (7) the trial court
wrongly denied his discovery requests; and (8) the cumulative
effect of the listed errors violated his constitutional
rights. Enis v. Schomig, No. 01-C-4429, 2004 WL
2203420, at *5-6 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 29, 2004). In January 2003,
while the habeas action was pending, petitioner's death
sentence was commuted to life without parole by an executive
order of former Governor Ryan. Ultimately, the § 2254
habeas petition was denied. Id. at *28-29.
made another attempt to challenge his sentence and conviction
in federal court in September 2011, when he filed a second
§ 2254 habeas petition. Enis v. Rednour, Case
No. 11-C-6911 (N.D. Ill., filed Sept. 30, 2011). In that
action, Enis raised claims that no evidence supported his
eligibility for the death penalty; his counsel was
ineffective for failing to investigate evidence to rebut his
eligibility for the death penalty; and his indictment failed
to include an aggravating factor that elevated the charge to
a capital offense. He argued that the petition should not be
construed as second or successive, because it was his first
attack on his life sentence and his eligibility for that
sentence (Doc. 1 in Case No. 11-C-6911). The Northern
District rejected that argument, and dismissed the habeas
petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A) for lack
of jurisdiction, because Enis had failed to obtain leave from
the court of appeals before filing the action. Enis v.
Rednour, Case No. 11-C-6911 (N.D. Ill., Oct. 28, 2011).
then sought authorization to file a second or successive
§ 2254 petition. Enis v. Atchison, No. 12-2973
(7th Cir. filed Aug. 27, 2012). In denying the application,
the Seventh Circuit noted that in his original § 2254
habeas action, Enis had withdrawn all of the claims regarding
his sentence following the governor's commutation.
Presuming that Enis wished to assert the claims he had
included in his 2011 petition (N.D. Ill. Case No. 11-C-6911),
the court determined that none of the proposed claims relied
on new facts or new law, as required by § 2244(b)(2).
Instead, Enis could have raised the claims regarding his
death-sentence eligibility and the indictment in his initial
habeas proceeding. The court therefore denied authorization
for a second/successive § 2254 action. Enis v.
Atchison, No. 12-2973 (7th Cir. Sept. 6, 2012).
grounds for relief are raised in the instant § 2241
habeas petition. First, Enis claims that he is “no
longer in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court[,
]” but is instead being detained “pursuant to the
judgment of the former chief executive of the State of
Illinois” (Doc. 1, p. 9). As such, Enis seeks to bring
this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Secondly, he
asserts that Governor Ryan exceeded his authority by ordering
petitioner to be held indefinitely when he was
“actually innocent (ineligible) of his former sentence
of death.” (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10). As such, the life
sentence violated the Eighth Amendment's cruel and
unusual punishment clause, as well as the due process clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment. Within that claim, he raises
several arguments attacking his conviction. Third, Enis
claims he was indicted for a class of offense that did not
exist under Illinois law, and his indictment was deficient
for failing to allege any elements to sustain either the
death sentence or his current sentence (Doc. 1, p. 11).
relief, Enis seeks immediate release from custody, and a
hearing to “determine the validity of the executive
order of detention” and whether he may be detained
beyond the 40-year maximum sentence that was in effect at the
time of his offense (Doc. 1, p. 12). He ...