United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ANTWON D. JENKINS, No. 09778-025, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES MARSHALS, and FEDERAL BUREAU of PRISONS, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Herndon United States District Judge
is a federal prisoner, and is currently incarcerated in the
White County Jail. He brings this habeas corpus action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge the
constitutionality of his confinement. Specifically, he
challenges the detention order issued by this Court in
February 2014, in United States v. Jenkins, No.
12-cr-30239-DRH. (Doc. 1, p. 2). He claims that his
continued detention is in violation of the Eighth and Fifth
Amendments, and requests the Court to release him on bond.
(Doc. 1, pp. 6, 8).
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. After
carefully reviewing the Petition, the Court concludes that
this action is subject to dismissal.
has been convicted in 2 separate cases in this Court,
following a jury trial in each. In 2012, he was charged with
kidnapping and using a firearm to commit a crime of violence
(the kidnapping was the crime of violence). United States
v. Jenkins, No. 12-cr-30239-DRH (kidnapping/firearm
case); (Doc. 1-1, p. 1). In 2013, he was charged with
possession with intent to distribute cocaine. United
States v. Jenkins, No. 13-cr-30125-DRH (drug case);
(Doc. 1-1, p. 2).
kidnapping/firearm case, Petitioner was sentenced in August
2014 to a total of 308 months (188 months on the kidnapping
charge (Count I), and a consecutive 120-month sentence on the
firearm charge (Count II)). However, in 2017 the firearm
conviction was reversed on appeal. United States v.
Jenkins, 849 F.3d 390 (7th Cir.), reh'g
denied (Apr. 20, 2017). The appellate court found that
in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), kidnapping could not be considered a “crime of
violence” under the unconstitutionally vague Residual
Clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”),
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) nor does it qualify as a
violent crime under the Force Clause, § 924(c)(3)(A).
The case was remanded to this Court for further proceedings
in light of the reversal of the firearm conviction (Count
II). The matter was set for resentencing, but is now stayed
pending the outcome of the Government's petition for
certiorari to the Supreme Court. (Doc. 337, No.
12-cr-30239-DRH (July 24, 2017)).
drug case, Petitioner was sentenced in September 2015 to 27
months, to be served consecutively to his 188-month
kidnapping sentence. (Docs. 539, 542 in No. 13-cr-30125).
That conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal.
United States v. Jenkins, 850 F.3d 912 (7th Cir.
Mar. 13, 2017).
seeks release on bond, under any condition deemed appropriate
by the Court, while the petition for certiorari
remains pending. He has been held at the White County Jail
since July 24, 2017, under “unbearable”
conditions. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 3, 17-18). He points out that he
has been in custody for approximately 6 years, far longer
than the 27-month sentence for his drug case, which was to
“run consecutive to the kidnapping case (which is
vacated).” (Doc. 1-1, p. 6). During Petitioner's 6
years in custody, he has made significant efforts to
rehabilitate himself by maintaining employment during the
entire time he has been in federal prison, avoiding
disciplinary infractions, taking classes, and signing up for
the anger management program. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 16-17). He has
maintained strong family ties, and his family will take
responsibility to ensure his appearance in court if he is
released. (Doc. 1-1, p. 17). He argues that he is not a
danger to the community and does not pose a flight risk.
(Doc. 1-1, pp. 21-26).
choice to seek release on bond in this habeas proceeding,
rather than in his remanded criminal proceeding where he is
represented by counsel, appears to be an attempt to make an
end-run around the usual procedure for seeking bond in the
criminal case itself. The Supreme Court has noted that a
District Court “should withhold relief in [a]
collateral habeas corpus action where an adequate remedy
available in the criminal proceeding has not been
exhausted.” Stack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1, 6-7
(1951) (remanding to district court with directions to
dismiss habeas petition without prejudice, and instructing
prisoners to seek reduction of bail in criminal proceeding).
Petitioner has not sought release on bond in his criminal
case since the appellate court's decision. Additionally,
the Seventh Circuit has observed that while a district judge
in a habeas proceeding has the “inherent power”
to admit a petitioner to bail while the habeas case is
pending, this is a “power to be exercised very
sparingly.” Cherek v. United States, 767 F.2d
335, 337-38 (7th Cir. 1985). The court explained, “A
defendant whose conviction has been affirmed on appeal . . .
is unlikely to have been convicted unjustly[.]”
commentary is instructive in Petitioner's case, because
while the Seventh Circuit reversed his conviction for using
or carrying a firearm to commit a federal crime of violence
(18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) (Count II), the court did
not reverse the kidnapping conviction. United States v.
Jenkins, 849 F.3d 390, 395 (7th Cir.), reh'g
denied (Apr. 20, 2017). Petitioner was sentenced to 188
months for kidnapping, and he has not completed serving that
sentence. At this juncture, Petitioner is not being
imprisoned beyond the term of his federal sentences, and his
continued confinement does not violate the Constitution.
the allegedly onerous conditions in the White County Jail,
even if they are unconstitutional, would not provide grounds
for Petitioner to be released. A § 2241 proceeding is
not an appropriate action for an inquiry into the conditions
of a prisoner's confinement. See Pischke v.
Litscher, 178 F.3d 497, 500 (7th Cir. 1999); Graham
v. Broglin, 922 F.2d 379, 381 (7th Cir. 1991). A
challenge to the conditions of confinement must instead be
brought as a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(if against state officials), or pursuant to Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), if the
Defendants are federal officers. That being said, the Court
expresses no opinion on the potential merits of such a suit.
Release from custody is not an available remedy in a civil
shall note that if he wishes to file a motion in his criminal
case to seek release on bond, he must do so through his
appointed counsel. The Court does not accept pro se