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Terrence Washington v. J. C. Holland

April 30, 2013

TERRENCE WASHINGTON,
PETITIONER,
v.
J. C. HOLLAND, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

Terrence Washington is an inmate confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Washington has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the sentence he received for violating 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B). [R. 1] He has paid the $5.00 filing fee. [R. 2]

The Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 F. App'x 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). The Court must deny the petition "if it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (applicable to § 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b)). The Court evaluates Washington's petition under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003). At this stage, the Court accepts Washington's factual allegations as true, and liberally construes his legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

Having reviewed the petition, the Court must deny relief. Washington's claims are not appropriately pursued in a habeas corpus proceeding under § 2241.

I

On June 7, 2002, Washington and co-defendant Albert Brewer were charged in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois with possession of 500 grams or more of cocaine with intent to distribute. United States v. Terrence Washington, 2:02-cr-20049-MPM (C.D. Ill. 2002). Washington did not go to trial; instead, he entered into an unconditional guilty plea. On February 18, 2003, Washington received a 420-month sentence of imprisonment, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. Id. Washington appealed, contending that the district court erred in its calculation of drug quantity and its decision not to lower his offense level for acceptance of responsibility. On July 30, 2003, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court, finding Washington's arguments to be without merit. United States v. Washington, 70 F. App'x 897 (7th Cir. 2003).

In 2006, Washington moved to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, but this motion was denied, and he did not appeal.*fn1 In 2008, Washington filed a motion to modify his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) on the basis of Amendment 706 to the Sentencing Guidelines. The district court agreed that Amendment 706 lowered his offense level by two, to 36, and resentenced him to 364 months imprisonment. United States v. Terrence Washington, 2:02-cr-20049-MPM (C. D. Ill., Sept. 16, 2008, at R. 99 therein). Washington appealed on the ground that he was entitled to a greater reduction of his sentence than the district court awarded. The Seventh Circuit affirmed because § 3582(c)(2) does not authorize the district court to conduct a full resentencing. United States v. Terrence Washington, No. 08--3648 (April 3, 2009).

In 2011, Washington filed a second motion to reduce his sentence under § 3582(c)(2), this time relying on Amendment 750 to the Sentencing Guidelines. The district court denied that motion because his offense level calculation under Amendment 750 remained unchanged from the prior amendment. United States v. Terrence Washington, 2:02-cr-20049-MPM (C. D. Ill., Feb. 7, 2012, at R. 117 therein). On June 4, 2012, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. United States v. Washington, 468 F. App'x 641 (7th Cir. 2012).

II

In his Section 2241 petition, Washington claims he is entitled to relief for the following reasons:

The petitioner now seeks relief pursuant to Title 28 United State Code, Section 2241 in order to correct a miscarriage of justice in light of the fact he was sentenced pursuant to a statute which did not apply to him, yet increased his offense statutory maximum in violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendment right to due process of law.

Specifically, this petitioner was sentenced for the possession with intent to distribute cocaine base commonly known as 'crack,' although he was neither charged with, nor convicted of, said act.

This offense carried a higher statutory maximum, and minimum, than the drug this petitioner was actually charged with and convicted of (cocaine), carried much less time.

The petitioner would submit that said miscarriage occurred only due to the fact that his counsel was totally incompetent and ineffective, in violation of the constitution, at sentencing.

As such, the petitioner would submit that the constitution mandates his sentence be vacated and he be resentenced at ...


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