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Chapman v. T.G. Werlich

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 27, 2017

LAMADRAE CHAPMAN, Petitioner,
v.
T. G. WERLICH, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner Lamadrae Chapman filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §2241 (Doc. 1) challenging the enhancement of his sentence as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. He purports to rely on Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). Now before the Court is Respondent's Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 9. Petitioner responded to the motion at Doc. 13.

         Respondent argues that the petition must be dismissed because petitioner cannot challenge his classification as a career offender in a § 2241 petition and because he waived his right to file a collateral attack in his plea agreement.

         Relevant Facts and Procedural History

         Pursuant to written plea agreement, Chapman pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in the Southern District of Illinois in 2009. United States v. Chapman, Case No. 09-cr-30096-DRH. The agreement provided that the government would recommend a sentence at the low end of the sentencing range. Case No. 09-cr-30096-DRH, Doc. 30.

         At sentencing, the court found petitioner to be a career offender and calculated the advisory Guidelines range as 151 to 188 months imprisonment. The Court sentenced petitioner to 151 months. Case No. 09-cr-30096-DRH, Docs. 35 & 37.

         The plea agreement contained a waiver of the right to appeal or file a collateral attack:

2. The Defendant is aware that Title 18, Title 28, and other provisions of the United States Code afford every defendant limited rights to contest a conviction and/or sentence. Acknowledging all this, and in exchange for the recommendations and concessions made by the United States in this plea agreement, the Defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives his right to contest any aspect of his conviction and sentence that could be contested under Title 18 or Title 28, or under any other provision of federal law, except that if the sentence imposed is in excess of the Sentencing Guidelines as determined by the Court (or any applicable statutory minimum, whichever is greater), the Defendant reserves the right to appeal the reasonableness of the sentence. The Defendant acknowledges that in the event such an appeal is taken, the Government reserves the right to fully and completely defend the sentence imposed, including any and all factual and legal findings supporting the sentence, even if the sentence imposed is ·more severe than that recommended by the Government. Defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives his right to seek a pardon, whether before or after his release from custody.
3. Defendant's waiver of his right to appeal or bring collateral challenges shall not apply to: 1) any subsequent change in the interpretation of the law by the United States Supreme Court or the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which is declared retroactive by those Courts and which renders the defendant actually innocent of the charges covered herein; and 2) appeals based upon Sentencing Guideline amendments which are made retroactive by the United States Sentencing Commission (see U.S.S.G. § 1B 1.10). The Government reserves the right to oppose such claims for relief.

Case No. 09-cr-30096-DRH, Doc. 30.

         Chapman filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 arguing that his sentence was unconstitutional in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). That motion was denied because Chapman had not been sentenced under the residual clause of the career offender Guideline. Rather, he was a career offender because he had two prior convictions for crimes of violence, Illinois residential burglary and Illinois aggravated battery. The Court explained that residential burglary was an enumerated crime and aggravated battery had as an element the use or attempted use of force. Chapman v. United States, Case No. 16-691, Doc. 11.

         Analysis

         Ostensibly relying on Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), Chapman argues that his prior conviction for Illinois residential burglary no longer qualifies as a crime of violence for purposes of the career offender enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. This argument would likely fail under the reasoning of Smith v. United States, __F.3d__, 2017 WL 6350072 (7th Cir. Dec. 13, 2017), holding that Illinois residential burglary is no broader than generic burglary. However, it is unnecessary to decide the substantive merits of his argument because the petition must be dismissed for other reasons.

         First, petitioner cannot bring a Mathis claim in a § 2241 petition. There are some errors that can be raised on direct appeal but not in a collateral attack such as a § 2255 motion or a § 2241 petition. A claim that a defendant was erroneously treated as a career offender under the advisory Sentencing Guidelines is one such claim. Hawkins v. United States, 706 F.3d 820 (7th Cir. 2013), supplemented on denial of rehearing, 724 F.3d 915 (7th Cir. 2013). See also, United States v. Coleman, 763 F.3d 706, 708-09 (7th Cir. 2014)(“[W]e held in Hawkins that the error in calculating the Guidelines range did not constitute a miscarriage of justice for ยง 2255 ...


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