United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
Troy Martin, an inmate in the Bureau of Prisons, filed a
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2241 on August 7, 2017. (Doc. 1). Martin was sentenced to
life imprisonment in 2007 after a jury found him guilty of a
large-scale drug distribution conspiracy. United States
v. Troy Martin, et al., No. 04-cr-0495-1, Doc. 1791-1
(N.D. Ill. May 4, 2007). Martin's sentence was based in
part on the jury's finding that he was responsible for
distribution of more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and more
than 5 kilograms of powder cocaine, but was also driven by
factors unrelated to the specific quantity of drugs,
including his prior murder conviction and subsequent role in
organizing and leading a Chicago gang. Id. at Doc.
2483, pp. 2-3. Martin's Sentencing Guidelines range was
also enhanced pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.5(1) and (2)(A)
after the sentencing court found that Martin's offense
conduct involved the use of body armor. Id. at Doc.
1752, p. 2; (Doc. 12, pp. 6-7). Martin's life sentence
was later reduced to 360 months' imprisonment.
Martin, No. 04-cr-0495-1, Doc. 2818 (N.D. Ill. Aug.
now invokes Mathis v. United States, ___ U.S.___,
136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016) to challenge the enhancement for the
use of body armor in drug trafficking crimes. Specifically,
he argues that the sentencing court erred in finding that he
qualified for the body armor enhancement and that his actual
conduct “f[ell] outside the scope of [the body armor
enhancement].” (Doc. 1, p. 4). Respondent opposes
issuance of the Writ on two grounds: (1) Martin's
allegedly incorrectly-calculated Guidelines range based on
the body armor enhancement cannot satisfy the requirements of
§ 2255(e)'s savings clause because his sentence fell
within the statutory maximum penalty for his crimes of
conviction notwithstanding the body armor enhancement (Doc.
12, pp. 3-5); and (2) Mathis' rationale is
wholly inapplicable to Martin's body armor enhancement
and cannot be the basis for his requested relief.
(Id. at pp. 5-6). Martin replied to Respondent's
Response. (Doc. 14).
matter is now ripe for resolution. For the reasons discussed
below, Martin's § 2241 Petition (Doc. 1) will be
History and Relevant Facts
October 12, 2006, a jury found Martin guilty of one Count of
Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled
Substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), 21
U.S.C. § 846, and 18 U.S.C. § 2, and sixteen Counts
of Use of a Communication Facility to Facilitate the
commission of the Distribution of a Controlled Substance in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b). United States v.
Troy Martin, et al., 04-cr-0495-1, Doc. 1484 (N.D. Ill.
Oct. 12, 2006). The jury specifically found that “Troy
Martin was responsible for distribution of more than 50 grams
of crack cocaine [also referred to as “cocaine
base”] and more than 5 kilograms of powder
cocaine.” Id. at Doc. 2483, p. 2. As a result,
Martin's statutory sentencing range included a maximum of
life imprisonment. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(ii). The
Presentence Report (“PSR”) applied the
Guidelines' body armor enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G.
§ 3B1.5(1) and (2)(A), which added two offense levels to
Martin's Guidelines calculation. Id. at Doc.
1752, p. 2; (Doc. 12, pp. 6-7). Martin was ultimately
sentenced to life imprisonment on May 4, 2007, id.
at Doc. 1791-1.
filed a direct appeal relating to the district court's
pretrial and trial rulings and also challenged aspects of his
sentencing. His conviction and sentence was affirmed in all
respects except for a “limited remand for
reconsideration” of Martin's sentences in light of
2007 amendments to the Guidelines regarding the disparity
between sentencing ranges for crack and powder cocaine.
United States v. Martin, et al., 618 F.3d 705, 739
(7th Cir. 2010). On remand, the sentencing court declined to
modify Martin's life sentence, United States v.
Martin, et al., No. 04-cr-0495, Doc. 2483, pp. 2-3, 7
(N.D. Ill. Oct. 7, 2011); this decision was affirmed on
appeal. United States v. Martin, et al., No.
07-2272, 2011 WL 5519811, at **1-3 (7th Cir. Nov. 14, 2011).
has also sought relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. His first
motion, filed in March 2013, argued that his trial counsel
was “constitutionally ineffective with respect to the
plea bargaining process.” It was denied by the district
court and the denial was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit on
appeal. Martin v. United States, No. 13-3826, Doc.
33 (7th Cir. June 12, 2015).
2016, Martin sought a sentence reduction pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) based on a Guidelines amendment that
lowered the base offense levels for certain drug offenses.
The district court recalculated his Guidelines range at 360
months to life, which included the 2-level enhancement for
use of body armor, and granted the motion, thereby reducing
Martin's life sentence to 360 months' imprisonment.
United States v. Troy Martin, et al., No.
04-cr-0495-1, Doc. 2818 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 15, 2016).
filed an application for leave to file a second § 2255
motion on June 26, 2017, arguing Mathis v. United
States, ___ U.S.___, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016) invalidated
his body armor Guidelines enhancement and sentence.
Martin v. United States, No. 17-2317, Doc. 1 (7th
Cir. June 26, 2017). The Seventh Circuit summarily denied
Martin's application. Id. at Doc. 2.
petitions for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2241 may not be used to raise claims of legal error in
conviction or sentencing, but are instead limited to
challenges regarding the execution of a sentence. See
Valona v. United States, 138 F.3d 693, 694 (7th Cir.
1998). Aside from the direct appeal process, a § 2255
motion is ordinarily the “exclusive means for a federal
prisoner to attack his conviction.” Kramer v.
Olson, 347 F.3d 214, 217 (7th Cir. 2003). A prisoner is
generally limited to one challenge of his conviction
and sentence under § 2255. A prisoner may not file a
“second or successive” § 2255 motion unless
a panel of the appropriate court of appeals certifies that
such motion either 1) contains newly discovered evidence
“sufficient to establish by clear and convincing
evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the
movant guilty of the offense, ” or 2) invokes “a
new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on
collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously
unavailable.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
very limited circumstances, however, it is possible for a
prisoner to challenge his federal conviction or sentence
under § 2241. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) contains a
“savings clause” under which a federal prisoner
can file a § 2241 petition when the remedy under §
2255 is “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality
of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). See
United States v. Prevatte, 300 F.3d 792, 798-99 (7th
Cir. 2002). The Seventh Circuit construed the savings clause
in In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th Cir.
1998): “A procedure for postconviction relief can be
fairly termed inadequate when it is so configured as to deny
a convicted defendant any opportunity for judicial
rectification of so fundamental a defect in his conviction as
having been imprisoned for a nonexistent offense.”
Following Davenport, a petitioner must meet three
conditions to trigger the savings clause. First, he must show
that he relies on a new statutory interpretation case rather
than a constitutional case. Secondly, he must show that he
relies on a decision that he could not have invoked in his
first § 2255 motion and that case must apply
retroactively. Lastly, he must demonstrate that there has
been a “fundamental defect” in his conviction or
sentence that is grave enough ...