United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R.HERNDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
currently incarcerated in United States Penitentiary Marion,
brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241 to challenge his enhanced sentence as a career offender
under USSG § 4B1.1 based on prior convictions for
Arkansas Residential Burglary. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
was sentenced to 180 months' imprisonment on October 26,
2011 after pleading guilty to 1 count of possession with
intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841.
(Doc. 1, p. 9). Previously, Petitioner filed a Motion
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255; the Motion was denied on
November 6, 2012. Id. Goodwin v. United States
of America, 4:12-cv-0290-BSM (E.D. Ark. November 6,
2012). Petitioner filed a subsequent § 2255 Petition in
light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), but that decision was denied after Beckles v.
United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017), which found that
Johnson did not apply to sentences enhanced pursuant
to the sentencing guidelines. (Doc. 1, p. 10); Goodwin v.
United States of America, 4:16-cv-452-BSM (E.D. Ark.
November 23, 2016). Petitioner now argues that his conviction
is improper pursuant to Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016). (Doc. 1, p. 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) of those Rules gives
this Court the authority to apply the rules to other habeas
argues that he should not have received an enhanced sentence
under the career offender sentencing guideline and that the
use of 4 prior convictions for Arkansas Residential Burglary
was improper. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Prior to the application of
the enhancement, Petitioner's total offense level was 12,
but following his designation, the total offense level
increased to 32. Id. Petitioner also states that he
would be eligible for a further 2-point reduction without the
enhancement. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Petitioner argues that the
Arkansas statute under which he was convicted defines
residential burglary to include vehicles; Mathis
found a very similar provision made the Iowa burglary
statutes broader than generic burglary and justified relief.
(Doc. 1, p. 12). Petitioner concludes that the Arkansas
statute is overly inclusive under the standard in
Mathis. Id. Petitioner requests that his
sentence be vacated and he be resentenced without the career
offender enhancement. (Doc. 1, p. 16).
a prisoner may challenge his federal conviction or sentence
only by means of a § 2255 motion brought before the
sentencing court, and this remedy typically supersedes the
writ of habeas corpus. Brown v. Caraway, 719 F.3d
583, 586 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Brown v. Rios, 696
F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012)). A writ of habeas corpus under
§ 2255 requires the petitioner to file his challenge in
the district that imposed the criminal sentence on him. See
28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). In this case, Petitioner is clearly
attacking his sentence. However, he has already filed a
motion pursuant to § 2255, and that remedy is no longer
available to him without leave of the appellate court.
“savings clause” under § 2255(e) allows a
federal prisoner to file a petition under § 2241, if the
remedy provided by § 2255 is “inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” See
28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). In considering what it means to be
“inadequate or ineffective, ” the Seventh Circuit
has held that a federal prisoner should be permitted to seek
relief under § 2241 “only if he had no reasonable
opportunity to obtain earlier judicial correction of a
fundamental defect in his conviction or sentence because the
law changed after his first 2255 motion.” In re
Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th Cir. 1998). A federal
prisoner must meet 3 criteria in order to invoke the Savings
Clause and obtain collateral relief pursuant to § 2241.
First, a prisoner “must show that he relies on a [new]
statutory-interpretation case rather than a constitutional
case;” second, he “must show that he relies on a
retroactive decision that he could not have invoked in his
first § 2255 motion;” and third, “[the]
sentence enhancement [must] have been a grave enough error to
be deemed a miscarriage of justice corrigible therefore in a
habeas corpus proceeding.” Brown v. Caraway,
719 F.3d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 2013) (citations omitted)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
attempt to trigger application of the savings clause,
Petitioner relies on Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (U.S. 2016). Mathis addresses the
“enumerated clause” of the Armed Career Criminal
Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e);
specifically it addresses what test a court should apply when
determining whether a state conviction falls within the
enumerated crimes clause.
has met the first two requirements to bring a § 2241
case. Mathis is a case of statutory interpretation.
Dawkins v. United States, 829 F.3d 549, 551 (7th
Cir. 2016) (Because Mathis “is a case of
statutory interpretation, ” claims based on
Mathis “must be brought, if at all, in a
petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.”); Jenkins v.
United States, No. 16-3441 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2016)
(“Mathis is not amenable to analysis under §
2244(b) because it announced a substantive rule, not a
Petition also meets the second requirement. The Seventh
Circuit has indicated that Mathis is a substantive
rule. Dawkins, 829 F.3d at 551 (7th Cir. 2016).
Controlling precedent indicates that substantive Supreme
Court rules are applied retroactively. See Narvaez v.
United States, 674 F.3d 621, 625 (7th Cir. 2011);
Montana v. Cross, 829 F.3d 775, 783 (7th Cir. 2016).
has also plausibly stated that his sentence enhancement may
be a miscarriage of justice. In Mathis, the Supreme
Court discussed the correct approach to applying the
enumerated clause in the ACCA. 136 S.Ct. 2243 (U.S. 2016). A
prior crime qualifies as a predicate offense only if its
elements are the same as, or narrower than, those of the
generic offenses listed in the statute. Id. at 2247.
When a statute is indivisible, a court can determine whether
the crime counts as an ACCA predicate by lining up the
crime's elements alongside those of the generic offense
to see if the elements match. Id. at 2248. In the
case of a divisible statute, where the statute lists elements
in the alternative, a court employs a “modified
categorical approach” by which the court may examine a
limited class of documents to determine what crime, with what
elements, the defendant was convicted of. Id. at
2249. Mathis stands for the proposition that when a
statute enumerates various facts that meet an element of the
crime, a court must still apply the categorical approach,
without reference to the facts of the specific case.
Id. at 2251. That is, if the statute is indivisible,
but specifies that certain alternative facts may satisfy an
element, a court cannot look to the facts of the case to
determine whether the conduct involved satisfied the generic
version of the crime if the state statute involved is broader
than the generic version. Id.
Sentencing Guidelines, like the ACCA, also refer to specific
crimes as grounds for sentencing enhancements. Some of the
language of the Sentencing Guidelines tracks the ACCA quite
closely. Petitioner has alleged that Mathis is
directly applicable because, like the petitioner in that
case, Petitioner has been convicted of burglary pursuant to a
state law that is broader than the generic offense of
burglary. Petitioner has also pointed to an 8th Circuit case
where the court found that the defendant's prior
convictions for residential burglary pursuant to Arkansas law
did not qualify as predicate offenses under the ACCA.
United States v. Sims, 854 F.3d 1037 (8th Cir.
2017). As it appears that Petitioner is raising a valid