United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
WILLIE E. BOYD, Petitioner,
FRANCISCO QUINTANA, Warden, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves, United States District Judge
inmate Willie Boyd has filed a pro se petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [Record No.
1] Boyd seeks to invalidate his federal convictions, arguing
that he has newly-discovered, exculpatory evidence that the
prosecution failed to disclose during his criminal
proceedings. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
deny the petition. The Court will further bar Boyd from
filing any new civil action or habeas corpus petition
challenging his convictions or sentence in this district
without obtaining prior permission.
Willie Boyd was convicted in 1998 for numerous federal crimes
including distribution of cocaine, being a felon in
possession of a firearm, use of false social security
numbers, and failing to comply with reporting requirements
involving currency transactions. He was sentenced to an
aggregate term of 276 months imprisonment. United States
v. Boyd, No. 4: 97-CR-301-ERW-1 (E.D. Mo. 1997). The
Eighth Circuit affirmed the conviction and sentence on direct
appeal. United States v. Boyd, 180 F.3d 967 (8th
has filed dozens of collateral attacks of his conviction,
both by miscellaneous motions filed in his criminal case,
motions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and by
petitions for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Several of these challenges were predicated upon
slight variations of the same basic claim: that federal
investigators and prosecutors failed to disclose exculpatory
evidence in violation of the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §
3500, and/or Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
of Boyd's § 2241 petitions, the habeas court has
dismissed the claim for the same reason: even if proven, the
failure to disclose exculpatory evidence is a procedural
violation. It is not a substantive violation which would or
could render Boyd actually innocent of the crimes for which
he was convicted. Accordingly, § 2241 is not an
available mechanism to assert the claim. Cf. Boyd v.
Revell, No. 06-CV-711-WDS (S.D. Ill. 2006),
aff'd, No. 07-2246 (7th Cir. 2007).
has consistently disregarded such adverse holdings, and has
responded by filing a new petition asserting essentially the
same claim, often purporting to rely upon a recent Supreme
Court decision. Each petition has been denied, noting that
the new authority cited by Boyd plainly does not further his
claim. Cf. Boyd v. Cross, No. 13-651-DRH (S.D. Ill.
2013). Because of his persistent and abusive litigation
conduct, several federal district courts have barred Boyd
from filing any further habeas corpus petitions in their
courts to collaterally attack his sentence. See id.
In addition, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit has fined Boyd for his conduct on two
occasions: the first time for $500.00 and the second time for
$5, 000.00. See Boyd v. Quintana, No. 14-1726 (7th
Cir. Sept. 2, 2014).
the Bureau of Prisons transferred Boyd to a prison located
within this district in 2014, he has filed four § 2241
petitions. Boyd initially asserted entitlement to relief
under Logan v. United States, 552 U.S. 23 (2007), a
claim he had asserted in five prior habeas petitions without
success. This Court denied that petition. Boyd v.
Quintana, Civil Action No. 5: 15-04-DCR (E.D. Ky. 2015),
aff'd, No. 15-6123 (6th Cir. 2016). In a
separate petition, the Court denied relief pursuant to
Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), because such a claim could and therefore must be
pursued in a § 2255 motion. Boyd v. Quintana,
Civil Action No. 5: 16-211-DCR (E.D. Ky. 2016).
another petition, Boyd asserted numerous claims of trial
error regarding the admissibility of evidence, prosecutorial
misconduct, and the credibility of witnesses. Boyd argued
that McQuiggin v. Perkins, __ U.S. __, 133 S.Ct.
1924 (2013), permitted him to assert these claims in a
collateral attack. The United States District Court for the
Southern District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit had
already rejected this claim in a prior petition, as did this
Court. Boyd v. Quintana, Civil Action No. 5:
15-288-JMH (E.D. Ky. 2015). The Sixth Circuit affirmed on
direct appeal, noting that McQuiggin cannot be used
as a basis to proceed under § 2241 because its time-bar
ruling does not make it more likely than not that no
reasonable juror would have convicted Boyd. The Sixth Circuit
further held that a prisoner may not assert a pure factual
innocence claim based upon newly-discovered evidence in a
§ 2241 petition precisely because such a claim can be
pursued in a second or successive motion pursuant to §
2255(h)(1). Because the remedy under Section 2255 cannot be
“inadequate and ineffective” to assert a factual
innocence claim, § 2255(e) does not permit resort to
§ 2241 to assert it. Boyd v. Quintana, No.
16-5543 (6th Cir. 2016).
contends in his most recent petition that he has obtained
newly-discovered evidence that would have undermined the
credibility of the government's witnesses at trial and
should have been disclosed to him pursuant to Brady.
Boyd purports to rely upon the Supreme Court's recent
decision in Wearry v. Cain, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct.
1002 (2016), as a basis for relief. [Record No. 1 at 6-15]
Accompanying Boyd's 77-page petition are 643 pages of
exhibits, consisting primarily of documents and transcripts
from his criminal prosecution in 1997-98. [Record Nos. 1-2 to
Supreme Court stated in its opinion and as Boyd himself
argues, the Wearry decision broke no new ground.
Instead, it merely constituted the application of principles
long established under Brady and its progeny. And a
review of the arguments made and documents provided by Boyd
make plain that his present petition asserts the same claim
under Brady that he has asserted without success for
nearly two decades. Indeed, much of the “newly”
discovered evidence presented by Boyd was obtained by him
between 1999 and 2005. [Record No. 1 at 25-29]
universally established that a federal prisoner must
challenge the legality of his federal conviction or sentence
by filing a motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 in the court that convicted and sentenced him.
Capaldi v. Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123 (6th Cir.
2003). A habeas petition filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241 may not generally be used for this purpose because it
does not function as an additional or alternative remedy to
the one available under § 2255. Hernandez v.
Lamanna, 16 Fed.Appx. 317, 320 (6th Cir. 2001). By its
terms, 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) only permits a challenge to a
criminal conviction to be raised in a § 2241 petition
where the remedy afforded by § 2255 is “inadequate
or ineffective” to test the legality of the
prisoner's detention. Truss v. Davis, 115
Fed.Appx. 772, 773-74 (6th Cir. 2004); Taylor v.
Gilkey, 314 F.3d 832, 835 (7th Cir. 2002) (holding that
§ 2241 is available “only when a structural
problem in § 2255 forecloses even one round of effective
collateral review ...”).
Boyd's challenge to his convictions is based upon
“newly” discovered evidence which he alleges
undermines the credibility of the government's witnesses
and uncovers previously-undisclosed evidence. But 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(h)(1) expressly provides an avenue to present
such a claim in a § 2255 motion, and the Sixth Circuit
has held that the availability of that remedy logically
forecloses resort to § 2241. Boyd v. Quintana,
No. 16-5543 (6th Cir. 2016). Nor do Boyd's allegations
set forth a claim of “actual innocence, ” as they
do not demonstrate or even suggest that he did not ...