United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Darrow Chief United States District Judge.
before the Court is Petitioner Jerome Dixon's Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2241
(Doc. 1). Also before the Court are Petitioner's Motions
to Supplement/Amend his Petition (Docs. 11 and 23). For the
reasons set forth below, the Petition (Doc. 1) is DENIED.
Petitioner's Motions to Supplement/Amend his Petition
(Docs. 11 and 23) are DENIED as futile.
has also filed a letter (Doc. 28) requesting copies of every
filing in this case. As a courtesy, the Clerk is DIRECTED to
mail a copy of the docket sheet along with this order. If
Petitioner is seeking a full copy of every document filed in
this case, the Court notes that, pursuant to the Judicial
Conference of the United States' policy, and in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1914, parties are only
entitled to receive one free copy of case filings. The Clerk
is DIRECTED to send Petitioner information on the costs and
process for obtaining these documents.
December 22, 2011, Dixon pleaded guilty to being a felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g), pursuant to a plea agreement before the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
United States v. Dixon, No. 11 CR 73, Plea Agreement
(N.D. Ill.); Resp. at App. 3 (Doc. 10-2). The plea agreement
contained a waiver of Dixon's collateral attack rights.
Specifically, the plea agreement provided that Dixon
“waived his right to challenge his conviction and
sentence, and the manner in which the sentence was
determined, . . . in any collateral attack or future
challenge, including but not limited to a motion brought
under [§ 2255].” Id. at App. 16.
plea agreement, Dixon also admitted that he qualified as an
Armed Career Criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) due to
three predicate convictions: (1) a December 11, 1998
conviction for manufacturing/delivering a controlled
substance in violation of 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1) in the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois; (2) a June 13, 2001
conviction for aggravated battery of a peace officer, in
violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(6), in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois; and (3) a July 31, 2003 conviction for
manufacturing/delivering a controlled substance, in violation
of 720 ILCS 570/401(D). Id. at App. 5-6.
Accordingly, he agreed that the Armed Career Criminal Act
(“ACCA”) sentencing enhancement applied, making
his statutory imprisonment range 15 years to life
imprisonment. See 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). Had he
not had three predicate convictions, he would have been
subject to a statutory maximum of only ten years.
See 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2). On May 14, 2012, the
district court sentenced Dixon to 180 months'
imprisonment. He did not appeal his conviction or sentence.
14, 2013, Dixon filed his first Motion to Amend, Correct, or
Vacate his Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255,
arguing that he should not have been sentenced as an Armed
Career Criminal in light of Buchmeier v. United
States, 581 F.3d 561 (7th Cir. 2009), and that his
attorney was ineffective. See Dixon v. United
States, No. 13-cv-3591, Memorandum and Order, d/e 18
(N.D. Ill. July 28, 2014). The district court denied his
motion, finding that his Buchmeier claim was waived
by the collateral attack waiver in his plea agreement, and
that his ineffective assistance of counsel claim was
obtaining authorization from the Seventh Circuit, Dixon filed
a second § 2255 motion relying on Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), which held that the
residual clause in the definition of violent felony under
§ 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) was unconstitutionally vague. See
United States v. Dixon, No. 15 C 10906, 2017 WL 661595,
at *1 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 17, 2017). Dixon argued his conviction
for aggravated battery of a peace officer under 720 ILCS
5/12-4(b)(6) no longer qualified as a predicate offense for
the ACCA enhancement under § 924(e) because it only
qualified under the now-unconstitutional residual clause.
However, the district court found Dixon's argument was
foreclosed by the Seventh Circuit's decision in
Stanley v. United States, 827 F.3d 562, 564 (7th
Cir. 2016), which held that aggravated battery of a peace
officer under 720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(6) remained a violent felony
under § 924(e)(2)(B)(i) (the elements clause).
Id. Accordingly, his motion was denied. Id.
filed this Petition (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241 on July 21, 2017, again challenging the use of his
aggravated battery of a peace officer conviction as a
predicate conviction for his Armed Career Criminal
designation. His Petition relies on Mathis v. United
States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), to argue to that the
Illinois statute is broader than the definition of
“violent felony.” Respondent filed his response
(Doc. 10), arguing that his claim is waived and fails on the
file a reply (Doc. 11), and included a motion to amend his
Petition to add a claim that his controlled substance
offenses also should not have been used as predicate offenses
in light of Mathis. The Court initially denied his
motion to amend in an October 3, 2017 Text Order, finding it
duplicative of his previous claim. However, the Court vacated
this order on March 11, 2019, finding, upon further review,
that the claim was, in fact, distinct from his original
claim, and ordered Respondent to respond to the Motion to
Amend. Respondent filed his response on April 1, 2019. Dixon
has not filed a timely reply. This Order follows.
federal prisoners who seek to collaterally attack their
conviction or sentence must proceed by way of motion under 28
U.S.C. § 2255, the so-called “federal
prisoner's substitute for habeas corpus.”
Camacho v. English, 16-3509, 2017 WL 4330368, at *1
(7th Cir. Aug. 22, 2017) (quoting Brown v. Rios, 696
F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012)). The exception to this rule is
found in § 2255 itself: a federal prisoner may petition
under § 2241 if the remedy under § 2255 “is
inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Under the
“escape hatch” of § 2255(e), “[a]
federal prisoner should be permitted to seek habeas corpus
only if he had no reasonable opportunity to obtain earlier
judicial correction of a fundamental defect in his conviction
or sentence because the law changed after his first 2255
motion.” In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611
(7th Cir. 1998). Thus, the Seventh Circuit has held that
“alternative relief under § 2241 is available only
in limited circumstances: specifically, only upon showing
“(1) that he relies on ‘not a constitutional
case, but a statutory-interpretation case, so [that he] could
not have invoked it by means of a second or successive
section 2255 motion,' (2) that the new rule applies
retroactively to cases on collateral review and could not
have been invoked in his earlier proceeding, and (3) that the
error is ‘grave enough ... to be deemed a miscarriage
of justice corrigible therefore in a habeas corpus
proceeding,' such as one resulting in ‘a conviction
for a crime of which he was innocent.'” Montana
v. Cross, 829 F.3d 775, 783 (7th Cir. 2016), cert.
denied sub nom. Montana v. Werlich, 137 S.Ct. 1813, 197
L.Ed.2d 758 (2017) (citing Brown, 696 F.3d at 640).
argues that Dixon's claims are barred by the collateral
attack waiver in his plea agreement, as well as meritless.
The Court agrees. Since his claim is barred by his plea
agreement, the Court need not address the merits of his
claims. See Mason v. United States, 211 F.3d 1065,
1069-70 (7th Cir. 2000) (holding it is unnecessary to reach
the merits of a claim when a petitioner has waived the right
to bring it in his plea agreement). However, for the sake of
completeness, the Court also addresses Dixon's ability to
proceed under the § 2255(e) savings clause, and finds
that he would not be entitled to relief even if his claims
were not barred by the collateral attack waiver in his plea
Dixon Waived His ...