United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE
Leach is an inmate who was previously confined at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding
without an attorney, Leach filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [R. 1]. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Leach's
2010, Leach pled guilty to possession of a firearm in
furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c). See United States v. James
Leach, No. 4:09-cr-579-RWS (E.D. Mo. 2010). Leach was
determined to be a career offender pursuant to section 4B1.1
of the United States Sentencing Guidelines because he had at
least two prior felony convictions for either a crime of
violence or a controlled substance offense. See Id.
at R. 355. Therefore, Leach's sentence was enhanced, and
his advisory guidelines range was 262 months to 327 months in
prison. See Id. That said, the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri sentenced
Leach to a total of 204 months of in prison. See id.
did not file a direct appeal. See Id. While Leach
did move to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255, that motion was denied. See Leach v. United
States, No. 4:16-cv-904-RWS (E.D. Mo. 2016).
Leach has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court.
[R. 1]. Leach appears to be arguing that, in light of the
Supreme Court's decisions in Descamps v. United
States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013), and Mathis v. United
States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), his prior felony
convictions are no longer valid predicate offenses to subject
him to the career-offender enhancement under the sentencing
§ 2241 petition, however, is an impermissible collateral
attack on his sentence. That is because while a federal
prisoner may challenge the legality of his sentence in a
§ 2255 motion, he generally may not do so in a §
2241 petition. See United States v. Peterman, 249
F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001) (explaining the distinction
between a § 2255 motion and a § 2241 petition).
After all, a § 2241 petition does not function as an
additional or alternative remedy to the one available under
§ 2255. Hernandez v. Lamanna, 16 F. App'x
317, 360 (6th Cir. 2001). Instead, a § 2241 petition is
usually only a vehicle for challenges to actions taken by
prison officials that affect the manner in which the
prisoner's sentence is being carried out, such as
computing sentence credits or determining parole eligibility.
See Terrell v. United States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th
Cir. 2009). Simply put, Leach cannot use a § 2241
petition as a way of challenging his sentence.
nevertheless suggests that § 2255(e)'s savings
clause permits him to attack his sentence in a § 2241
petition, and he relies on the Sixth Circuit's recent
decision in Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir.
2016), to support his position. But that suggestion is off
base. To be sure, the Sixth Circuit has said that “the
so-called savings clause of section 2255 provides that if
section 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to test the
legality of his detention, . . . then a federal prisoner may
also challenge the validity of his . . . sentence under
§ 2241.” Bess v. Walton, 468 F. App'x
588, 589 (6th Cir. 2012) (internal citations and quotation
marks omitted). And it is also true that, in Hill v.
Masters, the Sixth Circuit held that, under certain
circumstances, a prisoner may challenge a sentence
enhancement in a § 2241 petition. See Hill, 836
F.3d at 599-600. However, the Sixth Circuit expressly limited
those circumstances to
a narrow subset of § 2241 petitions: (1) prisoners who
were sentenced under the mandatory guidelines regime
pre-United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 . . .
(2005), (2) who were foreclosed from filing a successive
petition under § 2255, and (3) when a subsequent,
retroactive change in statutory interpretation by the Supreme
Court reveals that a previous conviction is not a predicate
offense for a career-offender enhancement.
Id. at 599-600.
circumstances do not apply here. After all, the trial court
sentenced Leach in 2010- well after the Supreme Court decided
Booker and held that the sentencing guidelines were
advisory. And, notably, the trial court imposed a sentence on
Leach that was well below the applicable guidelines range,
further distinguishing his case from Hill. In short,
Leach's argument regarding § 2255(e)'s savings
clause and his reliance on Hill are unavailing.
IT IS ORDERED that:
Leach's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1] is DENIED.
action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from ...