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Douglas v. Butler

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

November 21, 2014

DAMIEN T. DOUGLAS, a/k/a DAMIEN DOUGLAS, [1] Petitioner,
v.
SANDRA BUTLER, Warden, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KAREN K. CALDWELL, Chief District Judge.

Damien T. Douglas is confined by the BOP in the Federal Correctional Institution-Manchester located in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding without counsel, Douglas has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1], challenging his federal convictions and the resulting 454-month sentence which he is currently serving. Douglas has paid the $5.00 filing fee. [ Id. ]

The Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 F.Appx. 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 under Rule 1(b)). The Court evaluates Douglas'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). The Court also accepts his factual allegations as true and construes his legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

As explained below, the Court will deny Douglas's habeas petition because the claims which he asserts cannot be pursued under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

LITIGATION HISTORY

On December 19, 2001, a seven-count superseding indictment was filed in a Tennessee federal court, naming Douglas in the first five counts. United States v. Damien Douglas, No. 1:01-CR-188 (E. D. Tenn., 2001) [R. 58, therein] Count One charged that in or about early March 2001 and continuing until about April 27, 2001, Douglas and Dameyon Stamper ("Stamper"), Lorenzo Suttles ("Suttles"), and coconspirators Timothy Douglas ("T. Douglass"), Bryce Gilbert ("Gilbert"), and Corey Young ("Young"), named in the Superseding Indictment as unindicted coconspirators, and others, conspired to rob the Memorial Hospital Employees Credit Union and the Allied Printers/IBEW 846 Papermill Employees Credit Union by using a dangerous weapon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) & (d), and conspired to rob a Taco Bell restaurant by means of actual and threatened force and violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1915, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

Count Two charged that Stamper and Douglas, aided and abetted by each other and coconspirators T. Douglas and Young, and others, robbed the Memorial Hospital Employees Credit Union in Chattanooga, Tennessee by using a dangerous weapon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) & (d) and 2(a) & (b).

Count Three of the superseding indictment charged that Stamper and Douglas, aided and abetted by each other and coconspirators Douglas and Young, and others, used, by brandishing, a firearm during and in relation to the crime of violence charged in Count Two of the Superseding Indictment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and 2(a) & (b).

Count Four charged that on or about April 2, 2001, Suttles and Douglas, aided and abetted by each other and Gilbert, and others, affected interstate commerce by robbing a Taco Bell Restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee by the means of actual and threatened force and violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2(a) and (b) and 1951. Count Five charged that on or about April 2, 2001, Suttles and Douglas, aided and abetted by each other and Gilbert, and others, used, by brandishing, a semi-automatic pistol during and in relation to the crime of violence charged in Court Four of the Superseding Indictment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and 2(a) & (b).

A jury convicted Douglas on all five counts. [ Id., Verdict Form, R. 133, therein] On November 18, 2002, the district court sentenced Douglas to prison term of 454 months. This sentence was comprised of: (1) a 60-month prison term on the conspiracy conviction, and 70-month prison terms on each of the robbery convictions, to served concurrently with each other; and (2) statutory mandatory minimum sentences of 84 and 300 months, respectively, on the two § 924(c) convictions, to run consecutively to each other and to any other sentences imposed, resulting in a total sentence of 454 months. [ Id., R. 150; R. 152, therein]

On June 7, 2004, the Sixth Circuit affirmed Douglas's convictions and sentence. [ Id., R. 166, therein; see United States v. Douglas, 100 F.Appx. 449 (6th Cir. 2004)). On January 24, 2005, however, the United States Supreme Court vacated Douglas's sentence in light of United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005). Douglas v. United States, 543 U.S. 1109, 125 S.Ct. 1016, 160 L.Ed.2d 1038 (2005). On June 23, 2005, the Sixth Circuit remanded the case for resentencing. See Douglas Criminal Action, R. 172, therein.

On March 27, 2006, the district court reconsidered Douglas's sentence under the noadvisory Guidelines and other relevant factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), but selected the same sentence it had previously imposed. Douglas appealed, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence. [ Id., R. 209, therein; see United States v. Lorenzo Suttles; Damien Douglas, Nos. 06-5461/5462 (6th Cir. Mar. 14, 2008)][2] According to the BOP's website, Douglas's projected release date from federal custody is November 20, 2034. See http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited on November 18, 2014).

On November 26, 2008, Douglas filed a timely § 2255 motion, alleging that in numerous instances during his criminal proceeding, he had been denied effective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. [ Id., R. 212, therein][3] On March 30, 2012, the district court denied Douglas's § 2255 motion, finding that he had "... failed to present any facts which establish his conviction or sentence is subject to collateral ...


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