United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Alexander, an individual in the custody of the Bureau
of Prisons, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge the length of his
incarceration after his parole was revoked. (Doc. 1). At the
time he brought this action, Alexander was incarcerated at
the USP-Marion. He was later transferred to another federal
prison, and most recently informed the Court that he is in
the custody of a Residential Reentry Management Center in
Atlanta, Georgia. (Doc. 27). Alexander is serving a sentence
of approximately 239 months as a result of a 2012 revocation
of his parole. (Doc. 1, p. 12).
Facts and Procedural History
was convicted of bank robbery in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Georgia and, on April 3,
1987, he was sentenced to a 20 year term of imprisonment.
(Doc. 15, p. 1; Doc. 15-1). He was released on parole in
September 1993. (Doc. 15, p. 1). In March 1997, his parole
was revoked for the first time, and he was released on parole
again in September 1997. Id.
2000, Alexander was arrested in Georgia on three charges:
rape (Count 1); enticing a child for indecent purposes (Count
2); and child molestation (Count 3). (Doc. 15, p. 1; Doc.
15-3). In December 2002, Alexander pled guilty to a reduced
charge of statutory rape and was sentenced to 20 years
imprisonment. (Doc. 1, p. 1; Doc. 15, p. 2; Doc. 15-3).
February 20, 2012, after Alexander completed serving his
required period of incarceration on the Georgia offense, the
United States Parole Commission executed the parole
revocation warrant it had issued in 2000 shortly after
Alexander's state arrest. (Doc. 15, p. 2; Doc. 15-4, p. 1).
The Commission's parole revocation hearing was held on
June 28, 2012. (Doc. 15-4). Based on Alexander's rape
conviction and information contained in the police reports
relating to the enticing and child molestation charges, the
hearing officer found him in violation as to all three
charges. (Doc. 15-4, p. 2). Alexander chose not to testify
about the offense conduct, to avoid possible
self-incrimination regarding a pending state habeas action.
Id. The officer noted that Alexander had already
served 143 months in custody, and calculated his re-parole
guideline range at 78-110 more months to be served before
release. (Doc. 15-4, p. 3). This was based on an Offense
Severity Category of 7, because the revocation was based on a
rape conviction, and a Salient Factor Score of 5.
Id. The officer recommended that Alexander should be
incarcerated “above the guidelines” until the
expiration of his sentence, however, because he presented a
more serious risk to the public than indicated by the
numerical scores. (Doc. 15-4, pp. 4-5). In particular, the
officer cited evidence that Alexander had drugged the
12-year-old victim and continued to deny the assault until
DNA testing confirmed he had impregnated her and given her a
sexually transmitted disease. Id. Alexander's
parole was revoked on September 24, 2012. (Doc. 1, pp. 12-14;
Doc. 15-4; Doc. 15-5).
appealed the revocation of his parole, but the National
Appeals Board affirmed the Commission's action as well as
its Category 7 rating and above-guidelines incarceration
decision. (Doc. 1, p. 15; Doc. 15-6).
Commission held an interim hearing in March 2016 and
determined that there was no reason to change the previous
decision to keep him in custody until expiration. (Doc. 1,
pp. 16-17; Doc. 15-7). That decision was affirmed after
Alexander's appeal. (Doc. 1, p. 18; Doc. 15-8).
federal prisoner may challenge the execution of his or her
sentence in a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See
Romandine v. United States, 206 F.3d 731, 736 (7th Cir.
2000); Waletzki v. Keohane, 13 F.3d 1079, 1080 (7th
Cir. 1994) (Where petitioner is “attacking the fact or
length of his confinement in a federal prison on the basis of
something that happened after he was convicted and sentenced,
habeas corpus is the right remedy.”).
United States Parole Commission is vested with broad
discretion to grant or deny parole, as well as to make parole
revocation determinations; relief from the Commission's
action may only be granted in limited circumstances. See
Walrath v. Getty, 71 F.3d 679, 684 (7th Cir. 1995). On
review, the district court's “inquiry is only
whether there is a rational basis in the record for the
[Commission's] conclusions.” Id.; see
also Kramer v. Jenkins, 803 F.2d 896, 901 (7th Cir.
1986) (“Our review ... is confined to the record before
the Commission and limited to a search for ‘some
evidence' in support of the decision.”). A court
cannot reverse a decision of the Commission “unless,
absent procedural or legal error, it is arbitrary,
irrational, unreasonable, irrelevant or capricious.”
Schieselman v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 858 F.2d
1232, 1237 (7th Cir. 1988) (internal quotations omitted);
see also Pulver v. Brennan, 912 F.2d 894, 896 (7th
Cir. 1990); Storm v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 667
Fed.Appx. 156, 157 (7th Cir. 2016).
the Commission revokes parole, it also has discretion to
determine how much of the prisoner's remaining sentence
must be served in custody before he or she may again be
released on parole. Incarceration above the applicable
guidelines may be ordered for “good cause, ” so
long as the prisoner is provided “with particularity
the reasons for [the] determination, including a summary of
the information relied upon.” 18 U.S.C. § 4206(c);
28 C.F.R. § 2.20(c) & (d). The legislative history
of § 4206(c) suggests a broad reading of “good
cause, ” to include grounds set forth by the Commission
in good faith which are “not arbitrary, irrational,
unreasonable, irrelevant, or capricious.” Solomon
v. Elsea, 676 F.2d 282, 287 (7th Cir. 1982).
asserts four grounds for habeas relief: (1) the Commission
failed to comply with its statutory obligation or exceeded
the limits of its statutory authority, and violated his due
process rights, by categorizing his offense severity level
based on the predicate rape charge instead of the reduced
charge to which he pled guilty; (2) the Commission used the
same information (the original rape charge) both to establish
the parole guidelines and to justify a departure from the
guidelines; (3) the Commission treated him differently by not