United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. Bunning, United States District Judge
Lamont Turner is an inmate who was previously confined at the
Federal Correctional Institution in Manchester, Kentucky.
Proceeding without an attorney, Turner filed a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
(Docs. # 1, 11). For the reasons set forth below, the Court
will deny Turner's petition.
2012, Turner pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the
intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine
hydrochloride. See United States v. Turner, No.
1:11-cr-103-JAR (E.D. Mo. 2012) (Docs. # 2, 613 therein). The
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri determined that Turner was 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. Therefore, Turner's advisory guideline
range was 262 to 327 months in prison. The trial court
ultimately sentenced Turner to a below-guideline range
sentence of 192 months imprisonment. See Id. at Doc.
it does not appear that Turner filed a direct appeal, he did
move to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. However, the district court denied
that motion, see Turner v. United States, No.
1:15-cv-241-JAR (E.D. Mo. 2016) (Doc. # 9 therein), and the
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit denied
Turner a certificate of appealability. See Turner v.
United States, No. 16-2108 (8th Cir. 2016).
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court. Turner
argues that, in light of the Supreme Court's decision in
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prior felony convictions are no longer valid predicate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 guidelines. Turner also argues that he
is entitled to a minor role reduction in his sentence
pursuant to a recent amendment to the sentencing guidelines.
§ 2241 petition, however, is an impermissible collateral
attack on his sentence. Although 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). That is because 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, 320 (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). For that
reason, a petitioner generally cannot use a § 2241
petition to challenge the legality of his sentence.
nevertheless argues that § 2255(e)'s savings clause
permits him to attack his sentence in a § 2241 petition.
The savings clause allows for a § 2241 petition to
challenge the legality of a sentence if § 2255 “is
inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of [the]
detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). “Invocation
of the savings clause is restricted to cases where prisoners
can show an intervening change in the law that establishes
their actual innocence.” Bess v. Walton, 468
F. App'x 588, 589 (6th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). And “[t]he prisoner has
the burden of proving that his remedy under section 2255 is
inadequate or ineffective.” Id.
relies on the Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Hill
v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016), to argue that
his remedy under § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective.
But that argument fails. In Hill, 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.
circumstances do not apply here. The trial court sentenced
Turner in 2012-well after the Supreme Court decided
Booker and held that the sentencing guidelines were
advisory. And the trial court also imposed a sentence well
below the applicable guidelines range, further distinguishing
Turner's case from Hill. In short, Turner's
argument regarding § 2255(e)'s savings clause and
his reliance on Hill are unavailing.
while Turner argues that he is entitled to a minor role
reduction in light of a recent amendment to the sentencing
guidelines, he cites no legal authority permitting him to
raise this claim in a § 2241 petition. If anything,
“numerous courts, including this one, have consistently
held that challenges based on subsequent changes to the
federal sentencing guidelines cannot be raised by way of a
§ 2241 petition, but should be brought by filing a
motion in the sentencing court pursuant to [18 U.S.C.] §
3582(c).” Williams v. Sepanek, No.
0:13-cv-069-HRW, 2013 WL 3463424, at *3 (E.D. Ky. July 9,
light of the foregoing analysis, the Court will deny
Turner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus without
prejudice to his ...