United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BARON HOSKINS, No. 10177-029, Petitioner,
T.G. WERLICH, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon, District Judge
currently incarcerated in the FCI-Greenville, brings this
habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to
challenge the constitutionality of his confinement. He
asserts that in light of Mathis v. United States, __
U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 2243, 2250 (2016), his prior Iowa
convictions for drug offenses and a Florida battery
conviction should not have been used to impose an enhanced
sentence under the career offender sentencing guidelines.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 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 corpus
cases, such as this action under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Without commenting on the merits of Petitioner's claims,
the Court concludes that the Petition survives preliminary
review under Rule 4 and Rule 1(b).
pled guilty in the Northern District of Iowa to conspiracy to
distribute cocaine base within 1, 000 feet of a protected
location, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1),
841(b)(1)(B), 846, 851, and 860. United States v.
Hoskins, Case No. CR 08-1001-1-LRR (N.D. Iowa). In
November 2008, Petitioner was originally sentenced to 262
months, but the sentence was reduced to 188 months in
December 2010. (See Judgment in criminal case, Doc.
41; and Amended Judgment, Doc. 49); (Doc. 1, p. 10).
did not appeal his sentence, nor did he challenge it through
a motion brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
In connection with his guilty plea, Petitioner executed a
“Waiver of Appeal” (Doc. 33 in criminal case), in
which he waived his rights to appeal and to collaterally
attack his sentence. That waiver contained an exception in
the event his sentence was “unconstitutionally
defective.” (Doc. 33, p. 2, in criminal case).
Petitioner argues that under Mathis v. United
States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), he should not have been
subject to a career-offender sentence enhancement based on
the 3 drug-related Iowa convictions and the Florida battery
conviction. He asserts, based on a Florida district court
decision, that his 1995 Florida conviction for battery on a
police officer “no longer qualifies as a violent felony
for ACCA [Armed Career Criminal Act] purposes.” (Doc.
1, p. 7); Lopez v. United States, 2016 U.S. DIST
LEXIS 162636 (S.D. Fla.).
also has two Iowa state convictions from 1999 for delivery of
cocaine, and a 1998 Iowa state conviction for possession with
intent to deliver cocaine. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He notes that the
Iowa controlled substance statute in effect at the time of
his convictions could have been violated in several distinct
ways: manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to
deliver, possession with intent to manufacture, and
conspiracy. (Doc. 1, p. 8). He contrasts this statute with
the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) § 41.2,
which states that a career offender enhancement may be
applied where the defendant has a prior conviction for the
“manufacture, import, export, distribution, or
dispensing [of a] controlled substance . . . or the
possession of a controlled substance with intent to
manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense.”
(Doc. 1, p. 8). According to Petitioner, his convictions for
“delivery” and “possession with intent to
deliver” are not enumerated offenses within the USSG,
and should not have been used to enhance his sentence.
notes that absent the career-offender enhancement, he would
have faced a minimum sentence of 10 years. However, after the
application of the career-offender guidelines, he had a Base
Offense Level of 31, and a Criminal History of VI, yielding a
guideline range of 188-235 months. (Doc. 1, p. 10). He seeks
to be resentenced without the career-offender enhancement.
(Doc. 1, p. 12).
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 § 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 Brown v.
Rios, 696 F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012); Valona v.
United States, 138 F.3d 693, 694 (7th Cir. 1998). Here,
Petitioner is attacking his enhanced sentence, which points
to § 2255 as the proper avenue for relief.
very limited circumstances, a prisoner may employ § 2241
to challenge his federal conviction or sentence. 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 Hill, 695 F.3d at 648
(“‘Inadequate or ineffective' means that
‘a legal theory that could not have been presented
under § 2255 establishes the petitioner's actual
innocence.'”) (citing Taylor v. Gilkey,
314 F.3d 832, 835 (7th Cir. 2002). See also United States
v. Prevatte, 300 F.3d 792, 798-99 (7th Cir. 2002). The
fact that Petitioner may be barred from bringing a §
2255 petition at this time is not, in itself, sufficient to
render it an inadequate remedy. See In re Davenport,
147 F.3d 605, 609-10 (7th Cir. 1998) (§ 2255 limitation
on filing successive motions does not render it an inadequate
remedy for a prisoner who had filed a prior § 2255
motion). Instead, a petitioner under § 2241 must
demonstrate the inability of a § 2255 motion to cure the
defect in the conviction. “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.” Davenport, 147 F.3d at
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 ...