United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE
Zambrella is an inmate at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding without a
lawyer, Zambrella filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [R. 1, 7, 13]. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny
2001, a jury found Zambrella guilty of two counts of being a
felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g), and one count of stealing firearms from a
licensed business dealing in firearms, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 922(u) and 2. At sentencing, the trial
court determined that Zambrella was subject to an enhanced
sentence pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18
U.S.C. § 924(e), because he had at least three prior
convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense.
Ultimately, the trial court sentenced Zambrella to a total of
293 months in prison. The United States Court of Appeals for
the Seventh Circuit affirmed Zambrella's convictions and
sentence, and his subsequent efforts to vacate his sentence
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court.
Zambrella claims that he should be afforded relief from his
career-offender designation because his prior Mississippi
burglary conviction no longer constitutes a violent felony
for purposes of the ACCA. Zambrella cites a number of cases
to support his petition, including the Supreme Court's
decisions in Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct.
2276 (2013), Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), and Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
petition, however, constitutes an impermissible collateral
attack on his sentence. Although a federal prisoner may
challenge the legality of his sentence on direct appeal and
through 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 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,
Zambrella cannot use a § 2241 petition as a way of
challenging his sentence.
nevertheless argues that he can attack his sentence in a
§ 2241 petition, and he cites Hill v. Masters,
836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016), to support his position.
See R. 1-1 at 4. It is true that, in Hill,
the Sixth Circuit indicated for the first time that a
prisoner may challenge his sentence in a § 2241
petition. However, in doing so, the court expressly limited
its decision to the following, very narrow circumstances:
(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 in this case. To be sure,
Zambrella was sentenced before the Supreme Court decided
Booker, and he may be foreclosed from filing a
successive petition under § 2255. However, he has not
identified a subsequent (i.e. new), retroactive change in
statutory interpretation by the Supreme Court that reveals
that one of his previous convictions is not a predicate
offense for purposes of the career-offender enhancement.
While Zambrella cites Descamps, the Supreme Court
never wrote that it was creating a new, retroactive rule in
that case, and the Sixth Circuit's binding decisions
dating back to 2014 indicate that Descamps did not
announce a new, retroactive change in the law. See
Griffin v. Kizziah, No. 7:16-cv-278-KKC, R.10 at 4 (E.D.
Ky. Aug. 30, 2017) (explaining these points in detail).
Zambrella also relies on Mathis, but the Sixth
Circuit recently explained in a published decision that
“Mathis was dictated by prior precedent
(indeed two decades worth), ” and, thus, it did not
announce a new rule, let alone a retroactive one. In re
Conzelmann, No. 17-3270, 2017 WL 4159184, *1 (6th Cir.
2017). Finally, Zambrella cites Johnson, but that
case “was not a ‘Supreme Court decision[ ]
announcing new rules of statutory construction unavailable
for attack under section 2255, ' [and therefore] a habeas
corpus petition under § 2241 is not an appropriate or
available mechanism to pursue a claim under that
decision.” William v. Snyder-Norris, No.
0:15-cv-098-HRW, 2016 WL 1704134, *3 (E.D. Ky. 2016) (quoting
Hayes v. Holland, 473 F. App'x 501, 501-02 (6th
Cir. 2012)). In short, Zambrella's reliance on
Descamps, Mathis, and Johnson is
light of the foregoing analysis, it is hereby
ORDERED as follows:
action is DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the Court's docket.