United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. Bunning United States District Judge.
Julian Jerome Collins is an inmate at the United States
Penitentiary (“USP”)-McCreary in Pine Knot,
Kentucky. Proceeding without a lawyer, Collins filed a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. [R. 1]. This matter is before the Court to
conduct an initial screening of Collins's petition. 28
U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of
Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). For the
reasons set forth below, the Court must deny relief.
2014, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States,
Collins pled guilty to one count of being a felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). In calculating Collins's advisory
Sentencing Guidelines range, the Pre-Sentence Investigation
Report (“PSR”) prepared by a probation officer
applied U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(a)(2), which provides for a
base offense level of 24 for possession of a firearm by a
felon if the defendant was previously convicted of two felony
crimes of violence. The application of § 2K2.1(a)(2) was
based on Collins's previous Iowa state convictions for
first degree theft and aggravated assault, both of which the
PSR classified as “crimes of violence.” Although
Collins objected to the classification of his prior
conviction for aggravated assault in violation of Iowa Code
§§ 708.1 and 708.2(3) as a “crime of
violence, ” the district court reviewed the relevant
portions of the Iowa Code defining aggravated assault and a
“dangerous weapon, ” as well as the underlying
trial court records regarding Collins's aggravated
assault conviction, and concluded that Collins's
aggravated assault conviction constituted a “crime of
violence” for purposes of § 2K2.1(a)(2).
district court then calculated a total offense level of 29
and a criminal history category of IV, which provided an
advisory Guidelines sentencing range of 121 to 151 months,
although the applicable statutory maximum under 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(a)(2) was 120 months. On February 19, 2014, the
district court sentenced Collins to a term of imprisonment of
90 months, to be followed by a two-year term of supervised
appealed his sentence to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Eighth Circuit, arguing that his prior Iowa
aggravated assault conviction was improperly classified as a
“crime of violence” for purposes of his advisory
guidelines calculation. The appellate court applied the
“modified categorical approach” and analyzed the
relevant documents from Collins's aggravated assault
conviction-including the trial information, the judgment, and
minutes of testimony-and determined that Collins's prior
Iowa conviction for aggravated assault constitutes a
“crime of violence” under § 2K2.1(a)(2).
Collins filed a subsequent motion seeking relief under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 based on United States v.
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), this motion was denied
based on the district court's conclusion that, because
Collins was sentenced under the advisory Guidelines and not
the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”),
Collins's request for relief was precluded by Beckles
v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017). Collins v.
United States, No. 4:16-cv-397-JEG (S.D. Iowa 2016).
has now filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in this Court, arguing that, in
light of Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276
(2013) and Mathis v. United States, __ U.S. __, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016), the trial and appellate courts erred in
applying the “modified categorical approach” in
determining whether his prior Iowa aggravated assault
conviction is properly classified as a “crime of
violence” for purposes of his advisory Guideline
calculation. Collins invokes the “savings clause”
provision of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) to contend that he may
assert this claim in a § 2241 petition. However, because
Collins may not pursue his claims in this proceeding,
Collins's petition will be denied.
federal prisoner generally may not use a § 2241 petition
to challenge the enhancement of his sentence. See United
States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001). A
§ 2241 petition may typically only be used as 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. Terrell v. United
States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). A federal
prisoner who instead wishes to challenge the legality of his
conviction or sentence must file a motion under § 2255.
Peterman, 249 F.3d at 461 (explaining the
distinction between a § 2255 motion and a § 2241
petition). A habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 may not 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).
“savings clause” of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)
creates an extraordinarily narrow exception to this
prohibition if 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). A motion under §
2255 is not “inadequate or ineffective” simply
because the prisoner's time to file a § 2255 motion
has passed; he did not file a § 2255 motion; or he did
file such a motion and was denied relief. Copeland v.
Hemingway, 36 Fed.Appx. 793, 795 (6th Cir. 2002);
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 ...”). In other words,
prisoners cannot use a habeas petition under § 2241 as
yet another “bite at the apple.”
Hernandez, 16 Fed.Appx. at 360.
decidedly narrow scope of relief under § 2241 applies
with particular force to challenges not to convictions, but
to the sentence imposed. Peterman, 249 F.3d at 462;
Hayes v. Holland, 473 Fed.Appx. 501, 502 (6th Cir.
2012) (“The savings clause of section 2255(e) does not
apply to sentencing claims.”). In Hill v.
Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016), the Sixth Circuit
articulated a very narrow exception to this general rule,
permitting a challenge to a sentence to be asserted in a
§ 2241 petition, but only where (1) the petitioner's
sentence was imposed when the Sentencing Guidelines were
mandatory before the Supreme Court's decision in
United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005); (2)
the petitioner was foreclosed from asserting the claim in a
successive petition under § 2255; and (3) after the
petitioner's sentence became final, the Supreme Court
issued a retroactively applicable decision establishing
that-as a matter of statutory interpretation-a prior
conviction used to enhance his or her federal sentence no
longer qualified as a valid predicate offense. Hill,
836 F.3d at 599-600.
does not satisfy the first criteria in Hill because
he was sentenced under an advisory Guideline regime in 2014,
long after Booker was decided. Indeed, due the
applicable statutory maximum, the sentence imposed by the
district court was actually below the Sentencing Guideline
range calculated in Collins's PSR.
addition, to the extent that Collins relies on
Mathis as the basis for his claim, for a claim based
upon a recently-issued Supreme Court decision interpreting a
statute to be cognizable in a § 2241 petition, the new
interpretation announced in the decision must be
retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review.
Wooten v. Cauley, 677 F.3d 303, 307-08 (6th Cir.
2012). For retroactivity purposes, “a case announces a
new rule if the result was not dictated by precedent
existing at the time the defendant's conviction became
final.” Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 301
(1989)(citations omitted)(emphasis in original). Adherence to
this rule is particularly important in habeas cases as
“[h]abeas corpus always has been a collateral
remedy, providing an avenue for upsetting judgments that have
become otherwise final. It is not designed as a substitute
for direct review.” Id. at 306 (quoting
Mackey v. United States, 401 U.S. 667, 682 (1971)
(Harlan, J., opinion concurring in judgments in part and
dissenting in part) (emphasis in original). As recognized by
the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the
Supreme Court's holding in Mathis was ...