United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division
TERRY B. YOUNG, Petitioner,
FRANCISCO QUINTANA, Warden Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. REEVES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Terry Young is an inmate confined at the Federal Medical
Center-Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky. Proceeding without
counsel, Young has filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [Record No. 1] This
matter is pending for initial screening of Young's
petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2243. The Court will deny the
relief sought because Young's claims cannot be asserted
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
April 13, 1998, a federal jury sitting in the Northern
District of Illinois found Young guilty of conspiring to
possess with intent to deliver narcotics in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 846 (Count 1); possession with intent to
deliver narcotics in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
(Count 2); and money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) (Count 14). Young was sentenced on
September 22, 1999, to a term of life imprisonment on Counts
1 and 2 and a 240-month concurrent sentence on Count 14, to
be followed by a 5-year term of supervised release.
United States v. Young, No. 1: 97-cr-63-1 (N.D. Ill.
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
affirmed Young's conviction on August 29, 2002, but
vacated his sentence and remanded the case to the district
court for further proceedings. United States v.
Mansoori, 304 F.3d 635 (7th Cir.
2002)(“Mansoori I”). With respect to
Young's sentence on Count 1, the Seventh Circuit noted
that Young was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment based
on the district court's finding that he and his
co-defendants had conspired to distribute more than 150
kilograms of cocaine. Id. at 657. Although 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(A) specified a maximum term of life
imprisonment for narcotics offenses involving five or more
kilograms of cocaine, pursuant to the Supreme Court's
opinion in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466
(2000), which the court noted was decided after Young and his
co-defendants were sentenced, “the indictment must
allege, and a jury must unanimously find, that the offense
involves that threshold amount before the court may sentence
a defendant to the life term authorized by section
841(b)(1)(A).” Id. Without a jury finding as
to the amount of narcotics involved, the default statutory
maximum of 20 years applies, as provided for in 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(C). Id.
Seventh Circuit explained that, in this case, the jury was
not asked to decide whether the conspiracy involved any
particular drug amount. Rather, the district court instructed
that the Government need only prove that the conspiracy
charge involved a “measurable amount” of
narcotics. Id. Because there was no jury finding
regarding the amount involved, the Seventh Circuit found that
the district court erred in imposing any sentence in excess
of the default maximum 20 years on Count 1. However, the
issue had not been raised below and the appellate court
determined that this sentencing error was not
“plain” error because it did not affect
“the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the
proceedings below.” Id. at 658. It determined
that, in view of the evidence before the jury, which
“consistently and overwhelmingly demonstrated that the
defendants were distributing cocaine and heroin on a very
large scale . . . there can be no doubt that the jury would
have found that the offense involved the threshold amount of
five kilograms of cocaine and/or one kilogram of heroin as
necessary to authorize prison terms of life” for Young
and his co-defendants. Id.
Seventh Circuit found that, “[p]ursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(B)(ii), the maximum prison term that could
ever be imposed on [Count 2] was forty years because the
underlying conduct involved more than 500 grams of cocaine
but less than five kilograms.” Id. at 658-59.
Because the district court had erroneously sentenced Young to
a term of life, the case was remanded for re-sentencing on
Count 2. However, because the jury had not been asked to
determine whether the defendants (including Young) were
responsible for distributing anything more than a
“measurable amount” of cocaine, the appellate
court instructed that, in accordance with Apprendi,
“the maximum term that the district court may impose on
remand is the default maximum term of twenty years specified
in section 841(b)(1)(C).” Id. at 659.
was resentenced following remand on August 3, 2005, to a term
of imprisonment of life on Count 1; a term of 20 years on
Count 2; and a term of 240 months on Count 14, all to run
concurrently, to be followed by a 5-year term of supervised
release on each Count, to run concurrently. United States
v. Young, No. 1: 97-cr-63-1 (N.D. Ill. 1997). Young
again appealed his sentence. United States v.
Mansoori, 480 F.3d 514 (7th Cir.
2007)(“Mansoori II”). Young argued on
his second appeal that, contrary to the appellate court's
prior finding, he had preserved an Apprendi argument
at his original sentencing. Thus, he contended that the
Seventh Circuit had erred in subjecting his challenged to
limited, plain error review. Id. at 517.
Notwithstanding this argument, the court of appeals found
that, even if Young were correct that he had timely raised an
Apprendi argument in the district court, the
Apprendi error was harmless for the same essential
reason that it found it not to constitute plain error in
Young's first appeal. Id. at 523-24.
Seventh Circuit further considered whether the district court
had treated the Sentencing Guidelines as binding when it
re-sentenced Young, to determine whether Young's sentence
was inconsistent with the Supreme Court's decision in
United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), and
thus entitling Young to a limited remand under United
States v. Paladino, 401 F.3d 471 (7th Cir.), cert.
denied, 546 U.S. 849 (2005), and cert. denied,
546 U.S. 1175 (2006). Id. at 524. The court found
that Young was not entitled to a Paladino remand, as
he was re-sentenced after Booker was decided and the
district court made “clear on the record that it would
not sentence Young any differently notwithstanding the
advisory nature of the Guidelines.” Id. Simply
put, a Paladino remand was unnecessary because the
district court clearly understood that it was not bound by
the Guidelines. Id.
filed a motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on April
7, 2008. He raised various arguments, including the
Apprendi error that had previously been raised and
addressed by the Seventh Circuit. This motion was dismissed
by the district court. Thereafter, in 2015, Young filed a
motion to set aside this judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(4)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This motion is
currently pending in the district court. United States v.
Young, No. 1: 08-cv-1999 (N.D. Ill. 2008).
to a joint statement filed by Young and the United States in
2016, the sentencing court reduced Young's
previously-imposed life sentence on Count 1 to 360 months
imprisonment pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and
retroactive amendment 782 to the Federal Sentencing
Guidelines. United States v. Young, No. 1:
97-cr-63-1 (N.D. Ill. 1997).
now seeks relief from in this Court via a petition
for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. [Record No. 1] His petition relies upon two main
arguments: (1) that his life sentence is invalid as a result
of faulty jury instructions in which the jury was informed by
the court that drug quantity was not an element of the
offense, thereby violating Young's Fifth Amendment due
process rights and Sixth Amendment rights, as well as his
Eight Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment because he remains incarcerated due to the faulty
jury instructions; and (2) that he is entitled to proceed in
this case pursuant to the “savings clause” of 28
U.S.C. § 2255(e), as the United States Supreme
Court's decisions in McQuiggin v. Perkins, 569
U.S. 383 (2013), Burrage v. United States, U.S., 134
S.Ct. 881 (2014), Southern Union Co. v. United
States, 567 U.S. 343 (2012), Peugh v. United
States, 569 U.S. 530 (2013), and Alleyne v. United
States, U.S., 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), all made
substantial changes in the law and were made retroactive by
the United States Supreme Court. However, Young is not
entitled to relief because his § 2241 petition is an
impermissible attack on his underlying sentence.
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). A
petition will be denied “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 Young's petition under a more lenient
standard because he is not represented by an attorney.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). The
Court accepts the ...