United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
WILLIAM A. WHITE, No. 13888-084, Petitioner,
WILLIAM TRUE Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
William A. White, who is an inmate in the United States
Penitentiary located in Marion, Illinois
(“USP-Marion”), brings this habeas corpus action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner challenges his
conviction for soliciting an unnamed person to commit a
federal crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
373. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Petitioner was convicted in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
United States v. White, No. 08-cr-851 (N.D. Ill).
This matter is now before the Court for preliminary review of
the habeas petition.
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
was charged with soliciting the commission of a violent
federal crime against a juror in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 373. The alleged solicitations at issue were messages
that Petitioner posted to a website that he created to
advance white supremacy, which included a 2005 statement that
“[e]veryone associated with the Matt Hale trial has
deserved assassination for a long time, ” and a 2008
publication of information related to the foreperson,
“Juror A, ” of the jury that convicted Hale. The
2008 post disclosed Juror A's home address and mobile,
home, and work phone numbers, though it did not contain an
explicit request for Juror A to be harmed.
January 2011, Petitioner was tried and convicted by a jury.
Petitioner then filed a Rule 29 motion for entry of a
judgment of acquittal, arguing that the evidence was
insufficient to convict him of solicitation. The district
court granted the motion, finding that the government failed
to present sufficient evidence for a reasonable juror to
conclude that Petitioner was guilty of criminal solicitation,
and that Petitioner's speech was protected by the First
Amendment. The government appealed, and the Seventh Circuit
reversed, reinstating Petitioner's conviction. Petitioner
was sentenced to 42 months' imprisonment.
December 2013, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, Petitioner
moved to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence.
White v. United States, No. 13-cv-9042 (N.D. Ill.).
Petitioner argued that his trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance by removing non-whites and Jews from the jury and
by failing to bring to the attention of the government or the
court Petitioner's cooperation with law enforcement in a
Virginia murder investigation. Id. at Doc. 53.
order dated May 4, 2016, the district court denied
Petitioner's § 2255 motion. Id. In April
2017, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit declined
to issue a certificate of appealability because Petitioner
had failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right. White v. United States, No.
16-2108 (7th Cir. 2017).
January 2017, Petitioner asked for leave to file another
collateral attack, claiming he was incompetent at the time of
trial. White v. United States, No. 17-1143 (7th Cir.
2017). The Seventh Circuit denied the request, finding the
proffered evidence did not speak to Petitioner's mental
state at the time of trial and noting that Petitioner did not
explain why he failed to raise the claim when he filed his
original § 2255 petition. Id.
April 2018, Plaintiff, once again, sought leave to file a
successive § 2255 petition. White v. United
States, No. 18-1899 (7th Cir. 2018). Petitioner cited to
Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018), which
struck down the “residual clause” of 18 U.S.C.
§ 16(b) as unconstitutionally vague. Id.
Petitioner argued that, because he was convicted of
soliciting a “crime of violence” under §
373, his conviction could have rested on the invalidated
§ 16(b). The Seventh Circuit concluded Dimaya
had no bearing on Petitioner's conviction and rejected
Petitioner's alternative argument pertaining to whether
the crime he solicited contained the required element of
force. Id. Accordingly, the request was denied.
21, 2018, after Petitioner filed a civil suit, the FBI
released documents to Plaintiff, including a report dated
June 27, 2007. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 6, 13-14). According to
Petitioner, this report reveals that the author, apparently
an FBI agent, reviewed postings on Petitioner's website
and concluded that he “was not motivated to cause
physical harm to persons discussed, but, merely to embarrass
them.” (Doc. 1, p. 6). Petitioner believes that this
report, as well as other documents released by the FBI on May
21, 2018, demonstrates that he did not possess the requisite
intent. According to Petitioner, the newly released documents
exonerate him and withholding them violated Brady.
contends that, in light of the newly released documents, he
is eligible for relief under § 2241. In support of this
contention, Plaintiff cites to Webster v. Daniels,
784 F.3d 1123 (7th Cir. 2015), a decision from the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals addressing whether newly discovered
evidence, bearing directly on the constitutionality of a
prisoner's death sentence, allowed that prisoner to
pursue relief under § 2241.