United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
DeAngelo Sanders, an inmate in the Bureau of Prisons, filed a
Petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2241 on November 15, 2016. (Doc. 1). Sanders was convicted of
possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a firearm
by a felon following a jury trial in this District in
2006. United States v. DeAngelo Sanders, No.
05-cr-30200-MJR, Docs. 104, 105 (S.D. Ill. October 16, 2006).
He was sentenced to a term of 295 months imprisonment
(Id. at Doc. 127, p. 2) and is now in custody at the
Federal Correctional Institution at Jesup, Georgia
sentence was enhanced pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal
Act (“ACCA”) based in part on a prior Illinois
felony conviction; namely, a 1992 residential burglary
conviction pursuant to Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 38 ¶ 19-3
(1985) and Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 38 ¶ 2-6
(1987). 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii). Sanders
now invokes Mathis v. United States, __ U.S. __, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016) to challenge the enhancement and asserts
that he is entitled to be resentenced without the ACCA
enhancement. Specifically, Sanders argues that the definition
of “dwelling” contained in Illinois'
residential burglary statute includes “house[s],
apartment[s], mobile home[s], trailer[s], and other living
quarters, ” which criminalizes more conduct than the
“generic” definition of burglary as defined by
the Supreme Court. (Doc. 1-1, p. 4; Doc. 15, pp. 2-4).
Sanders also argues that the 1992 residential burglary
conviction cannot be used as a predicate for his ACCA
enhancement because his civil rights were restored to him via
letter from the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) following his discharge from IDOC's
custody in 1994 and parole in 1996. (Doc. 26, pp. 2-3).
opposes issuance of the writ, arguing that while Illinois
residential burglary does criminalize conduct involving
several “types of locations that individuals might
consider the sanctuary of their home, ” that does not
in itself make it broader than generic burglary, which, as
defined by the Supreme Court, criminalizes certain conduct
relating to “building[s] or other structure[s].”
(Doc. 12, pp. 8-11). Respondent also argues that Sanders has
failed to meet his burden to establish the existence and
contents of the alleged restoration of rights letter, let
alone that Sanders actually received such a letter and was
misled by it. (Doc. 27, pp. 6-8). Sanders filed a Reply (Doc.
15) and the parties submitted several additional briefs that
included supplemental authority. (Docs. 16, 26, 27, 28, 29,
34). This matter is now ripe for resolution. For the reasons
discussed below, Sanders' Section 2241 Petition (Doc. 1)
will be DENIED.
Facts and Procedural History
was found guilty on one Count of Felon in Possession of a
Firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) on October 16,
2006. United States v. Sanders, No.
05-cr-30200-MJR. The Presentence Report (“PSR”)
listed three prior felony convictions that qualified Sanders
as an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) and
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.4; a 1992 Illinois Residential Burglary
conviction and 1999 and 2002 Illinois Aggravated Battery
convictions. (Doc. 13, p. 7). Sanders does not dispute that
the Aggravated Battery convictions were properly categorized
as “violent felonies” under 18 U.S.C. §
924(e). He did not object to that portion of the PSR, and was
he sentenced to 295 months imprisonment on January 19, 2007.
United States v. Sanders, No. 05-cr-30200-MJR, Docs.
117, 118, 127 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 19, 2007).
Appeal and First Petition for Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255
direct appeal, Sanders argued that there was insufficient
evidence to support his conviction, that the court erred in
responding to a question from the jury during deliberations,
and that the court erred in sentencing him to a greater term
of imprisonment than the mandatory minimum sentence imposed
by the ACCA. United States v. Sanders, 520 F.3d 699
(7th Cir. 2008). However, Sanders did not appeal the
court's determination that his prior felony convictions,
including the residential burglary conviction presently at
issue, qualified him for a mandatory 15-year minimum sentence
under the ACCA. Id. at pp. 699-703. The Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Sanders' conviction and
sentence in their entirety. Id. at p. 703.
filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in this District
in March 2009. Sanders v. United States, No.
09-cv-0182-MJR, Doc. 1 (S.D. Ill. March 6, 2009). At that
time he asserted, among other things, that his counsel
provided ineffective representation both at trial and during
his sentencing. Id. at Doc. 10, pp. 8-16.
Sanders' objection to his representation during
sentencing focused entirely on his claims that counsel failed
to effectively argue for a downward departure under the
sentencing guidelines (Id. at p. 13) and did not
address the sentencing court's finding that he was
subject to the ACCA's 15-year mandatory minimum sentence
due to his prior felony convictions. Id. at pp.
1-17. The motion was denied in all respects. Id. at
pp. 16-17. The Seventh Circuit then denied Sanders'
request for a certificate of appealability, finding that
Sanders failed to make a “substantial showing of the
denial of a constitutional right.” Sanders v.
United States, No. 10-2302, Doc. 12 (7th Cir. October 5,
Applications for Authorization to File a Second or Successive
in 2011, Sanders began filing applications for authorization
to file a second or successive petition for collateral review
with the Seventh Circuit. The first application was premised
on alleged misrepresentations made by Sanders' trial
attorney relating to a potential Brady motion about
certain pieces of evidence at trial. Sanders v. United
States, No. 11-1772, Doc. 1, p. 5 (7th Cir. April 1,
2011). Sanders did not make arguments relating to his status
as an armed career criminal or his alleged restoration of
rights relating to his 1992 residential burglary conviction.
Id. This application was summarily dismissed.
Id. at Doc. 2.
second application argued that Johnson v. United
States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) invalidated
his enhanced sentence under the ACCA. Sanders v. United
States, No. 15-2875, Doc. 1 (7th Cir. August 31, 2015).
Sanders again made no argument that his sentence enhancement
was invalid because his residential burglary conviction did
not fit the generic definition of burglary in the ACCA. He
did for the first time argue that he was “actual[ly]
innocen[t]” of his ACCA enhancement because his
“civil rights were restored by a restoration of rights
letter for a residential burglary from 1992, ” but he
neither developed that argument further in his application
nor addressed it in his reply to the Government's
response. Id. at pp. 5-6; id. at Doc. 5.
The Seventh Circuit denied this application in all respects
and specifically found that Sanders' sentence enhancement
was not made pursuant to the ACCA's residual clause and
that his prior convictions for aggravated battery and
burglary were violent felonies as defined by the ACCA.
Id. at Doc. 6, pp. 1-2 (citing Taylor v. United
States, 495 U.S. 575, 598 (1990)).
final application for authorization to file a successive
§ 2255 petition was filed on June 29, 2016. Sanders
v. United States, No. 16-2822, Doc. 1 (7th Cir. June 29,
2016). Sanders again attempted to rely on Johnson v.
United States to invalidate his ACCA enhanced sentence,
but also argued that Mathis v. United States, __
U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016) required the invalidation of
the enhancement as well. Id. at p. 4. Sanders made
no mention of his restoration of rights legal theory in this
application. Id. The Seventh Circuit again denied
Sanders' application, stating that “we concluded
[in Sanders' previous application] that burglary in
Illinois is equivalent to generic burglary, ” and
noting that any argument Sanders wished to make under
Mathis would have to be done via a petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. Id. at Doc. 7, pp. 1-2.