United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dennis Putzier, an inmate currently incarcerated at the
United States Penitentiary located in Greenville, Illinois,
brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. He challenges his enhanced sentence as a career
offender in United States v. Putzier, No.
10-cr-04114-MWB-KEM (N.D. Iowa, 2011) (“Criminal
Case”) based on his prior Iowa burglary conviction.
(Doc. 1). Putzier relies on Mathis v. United States,
136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), in which the Supreme Court concluded
that convictions under Iowa's burglary statute cannot
give rise to sentence enhancement under the Armed Career
Offender Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).
matter is now before the Court for review of the Petition
pursuant to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules Governing § 2254
Cases in United States District Courts, which provides that
upon preliminary consideration by the district 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) gives this Court the authority
to apply the rules to other habeas corpus cases.
pled guilty to federal methamphetamine charges and was
sentenced to 262 months incarceration as a career offender
under § 4B1.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual.
See Putzier v. United States, No.
14-cv-04047-MWB-KEM (N.D. Iowa, Oct. 14, 2014) (Doc. 4)
(Order denying § 2255 motion and discussing case
history). On appeal, Putzier challenged the career
offender enhancement and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
affirmed the sentence. Id. Putzier also filed a
Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 in 2014, arguing the sentencing court
erred in “using the modified categorical approach to
determine that his 2011 Iowa burglary in the third degree
conviction constituted a crime of violence for the purposes
of career offender guidelines[, ]” in violation of the
Supreme Court's ruling in Descamps v. Unites
States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013). Id. at p. 1. The
sentencing court found that the ruling in Descamps
was not retractive and dismissed the Motion as time-barred.
Id. at p. 6. The court also concluded that even if
the ruling in Descamps was applied retroactively to
Putzier's criminal case, his “burglary conviction
would still constitute a crime of violence for purposes for
the career offender guideline.” Id. at p. 7.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Putzier's
Application for a Certificate of Appealability,
(Id., Doc. 12, May, 15, 2015) and Petition for
Authorization to File a Successive Habeas Application
(Id., Doc. 14, Feb., 4. 2019).
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
limited to one challenge of his conviction and
sentence under § 2255 and 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, a prisoner may 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.”
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 to be deemed a miscarriage of
justice. Brown v. Caraway, 719 F.3d 583, 586 (7th
Cir. 2013). See also Brown v. Rios, 696 F.3d 638,
640 (7th Cir. 2012). In other words, something more than a
lack of success with a § 2255 motion must exist before
the savings clause is satisfied.” See Webster v.
Daniels, 784 F.3d 1123, 1136 (7th Cir. 2015).
errors can be raised on direct appeal but not in a collateral
attack pursuant to §§ 2255 or 2241. A claim that a
defendant was erroneously treated as a career offender under
the Sentencing Guidelines is one such claim. As the Seventh
Circuit has noted, “[W]e held in Hawkins that
the error in calculating the Guidelines range did not
constitute a miscarriage of justice for [Section] 2255
purposes given the advisory nature of the Guidelines and the
district court's determination that the sentence was
appropriate and that it did not exceed the statutory
maximum.” United States v. Coleman, 763 F.3d
706, 708-09 (7th Cir. 2014); see also Hawkins v. United
States, 706 F.3d 820 (7th Cir. 2013), supplemented on
denial of rehearing, 724 F.3d 915 (7th Cir. 2013). More
recently, the Seventh Circuit reiterated that the Guidelines
have been advisory ever since the Supreme Court decided
United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).
Perry v. United States, 877 F.3d 751 (7th Cir.
argues that in light of Mathis and related case law,
is entitled to relief under the savings clause from a
sentence that exceeds the statutory maximum because his
previous Iowa third degree burglary conviction no longer
qualifies as a predicate crime under the Sentencing
Guidelines. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 6). However, the sentencing
Guidelines enhancement and sentencing range that applied to
Putzier were advisory, not mandatory, because he was
sentenced in 2011 - well after the Booker decision.
Putzier received a sentence well within the statutory
maximum; he was sentenced to 262 months, and the statutory
maximum sentence for his conviction was life imprisonment.
See 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and
841(b)(1)(B); see also Criminal Case, Doc. 50, p. 2.
Moreover, the sentencing court noted that had the career
enhancement not applied, it would have applied “an
upward departure for substantial underrepresentation of
criminal history” under sentencing guidelines §
4A1.3. Criminal Case, Doc. 83, pp 15-16 (Sentencing
Transcript). Thus, Putzier cannot demonstrate a miscarriage
of justice so as to permit a § 2241 petition, and the
savings clause affords him no relief.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is
DISMISSED with prejudice.
Petitioner wishes to appeal this dismissal, he may file a
notice of appeal with this Court within sixty (60) days of
the entry of judgment. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4). A motion for
leave to appeal in forma pauperis should set forth the issues
Petitioner plans to present on appeal. See Fed. R.
App. P. 24(a)(1)(C). If he does choose to appeal and is
allowed to proceed IFP, Petitioner will be required to pay a
portion of the $505.00 appellate filing fee in order to
pursue his appeal (the amount to be determined based on his
prison trust fund account records for the past six months)
irrespective of the outcome of the appeal. See Fed.
R. App. P. 3(e); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); Ammons v.
Gerlinger, 547 F.3d 724, 725-26 (7th Cir. 2008);
Sloan v. Lesza, 181 F.3d 857, 858-59 (7th Cir.
1999); Lucien v. Jockisch, 133 F.3d 464, 467 (7th
Cir. 1998). A timely motion ...