United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
KEVYN TAYLOR, No. 07941-025, Petitioner,
B. TRUE, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, DISTRICT JUDGE
Kevyn Taylor is currently incarcerated in the United States
Penitentiary located at Marion, Illinois
(“USP-Marion”). He brings this habeas corpus
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). Relying
on the United States Supreme Court's decision in Dean
v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 1170 (2017),
Taylor challenges the sentence imposed against him in
United States v. Taylor, No. 08-cr-30061-JPG-DGW
(S.D. Ill. 2008) (“criminal case”). (Doc. 1, p.
7). He asks the Court to vacate his sentence. Id.
matter is now before the Court for review of the § 2241
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases in United States District Courts, which 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. For the reasons set forth below, the § 2241
Petition shall be dismissed.
a jury trial on June 17, 2009, Taylor was found guilty of 6
counts related to his involvement in a crack cocaine dealing
operation, including conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine,
distribution of crack cocaine, possession with intent to
distribute crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in
furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in
possession of a firearm. See United States v.
Taylor, No. 08-cr-30061-JPG-DGW (S.D. Ill. 2008)
(“criminal case”) (Docs. 53, 69, criminal case).
On September 29, 2009, he was sentenced to a total of 240
months of imprisonment and 5 years of supervised
release. Id. Judgment was entered the same
day. (Doc. 69, criminal case).
appealed. On March 29, 2011, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed Taylor's
conviction and sentence. United States v. Taylor,
637 F.3d 812 (7th Cir. 2011). Taylor filed a Petition for a
Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
Taylor v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 257 (2011). The
Petition was denied on October 3, 2011. Id.
subsequently filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct
Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on September 30,
2012. Taylor v. United States, No. 12-cv-01049-JPG
(S.D. Ill. 2012) (“§ 2255 Motion”). In the
§ 2255 Motion, he raised the same arguments that he
addressed in his direct appeal. (Doc. 1, § 2255 Motion).
On December 13, 2012, the sentencing court denied the §
2255 Motion, after declining to reconsider the same arguments
absent any change in his circumstances. (Doc. 2, pp. 3-4,
§ 2255 Motion).
subsequently filed a Motion to Reduce Sentence pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), and the Motion was granted on May
5, 2016. (Doc. 150, criminal case). Accordingly, Taylor's
total sentence was reduced from 240 months (20 years) to 211
months (17.5 years) of incarceration. Id. Plaintiff's
previous offense level of 36 (with a Guideline range of
188-235 months) was reduced to 34 (with a Guideline range of
151 to 188 months). Id. His reduced sentence was
outside the guideline range because of the 60-month
consecutive sentence on Count 4. Id.
instant § 2241 Petition, Taylor now asserts that his
sentence was imposed in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)
and the United States Supreme Court's decision in
Dean v. United States, __U.S.__, 137 S.Ct. 1170
(2017). (Doc. 1, p. 4). In Dean, the Supreme Court
addressed 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), a statute which creates a
separate offense for using or possessing a firearm in
connection with a violent or drug trafficking crime.
Id. That separate offense carries a mandatory
minimum sentence of 5 years for the first conviction and 25
years for a second conviction. Dean, 137 S.Ct. at
Supreme Court in Dean specifically considered the
question of whether sentencing courts must ignore the fact
that the defendant will serve the mandatory minimums imposed
under § 924(c) when calculating the sentence for the
predicate offense. Dean, 137 S.Ct. at 1174. The
Supreme Court answered that question in the negative-holding
that § 924(c) does not prevent the sentencing court from
considering a mandatory minimum imposed under that provision
when calculating an appropriate sentence for the predicate
offense. Id. at 1175-78. Regardless of the sentence
for the predicate offense, a district court does not violate
the terms of § 924(c) as long as it imposes the
mandatory minimum “in addition to” the sentence
for the violent felony or drug trafficking crime.
Id. The language of § 924(c) simply requires
any mandatory minimum under § 924(c) to be imposed in
addition to the sentence for the predicate offense and to run
consecutive to that sentence. Id.
points out that the holding in Dean is contrary to
Seventh Circuit precedent that was in effect when he was
sentenced in 2009. (Doc. 1, p. 6). At the time, the
sentencing court operated under United States v.
Roberson, 474 F.3d 432 (7th Cir. 2007). In
Roberson, the Seventh Circuit specifically held that
a sentencing judge “cannot reduce the sentence for a
predicate crime to balance out the mandatory consecutive
sentence prescribed for a conviction under 18 U.S.C. §
924(c).” United States v. Starwalt, 701
Fed.Appx. 508, 510 (7th Cir. 2017) (citing Roberson,
474 F.3d at 436-37). Taylor insists that the court would not
have sentenced him to the 17.5 years he is currently serving,
had Dean been decided when he was sentenced. (Doc.
1, pp. 6-7). He now asks this Court to resentence him
consistent with Dean and § 3553(a). (Doc. 1, p.
federally convicted person may challenge his conviction and
sentence by bringing a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 in the court that sentenced him. Brown v. Rios,
696 F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012); Hill v.
Werlinger, 695 F.3d 644, 645 (7th Cir. 2012); Kramer
v. Olson, 347 F.3d 214, 217 (7th Cir. 2003); Walker
v. O'Brien, 216 F.3d 626, 629 (7th Cir. 2000).
Section 2241 applies to challenges to the fact or duration of
confinement. Id. In ...