United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Edward Washington is an inmate at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without a
lawyer, Washington filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [D. E. Nos. 1,
1-1]. This matter is now before the Court on initial
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. See
Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx.
544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). For the reasons set forth below,
the Court will deny Washington's petition.
2014, Washington pled guilty to two counts: (1) possession
with the intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841; and (2) possession of a firearm in
furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c). According to Washington, the trial
court determined that he was a career offender pursuant to
section 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines
(U.S.S.G.) because he had at least two prior felony
convictions for either a crime of violence or controlled
substance offense. As a result, Washington's sentence was
enhanced, and the trial court sentenced him to 176 months in
prison on count one. The trial court then sentenced
Washington to 60 months in prison on count two, and it
ordered him to serve the two sentences consecutively. See
United States v. Harry Edward Washington, Jr., No.
2:14-cr-018 (E.D. Va. 2014).
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court, and he
puts forth two arguments in support of his petition. First,
Washington argues that, in light of intervening Supreme Court
case law, his "prior convictions do not qualify him as a
career offender, requiring resentencing without the career
offender enhancement." [D. E. No. 1-1 at 10]. Second,
Washington argues that the Supreme Court's decision in
Dean v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 1170 (2017), also
invalidates his sentence. [D. E. No. 1-1 at 37-41]. In the
end, Washington claims that his "sentence must be
vacated for resentencing." [Id. at 41].
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 timely § 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 habeas petition). After all, a § 2241 petition is
usually only a vehicle for challenges to actions taken by
prison officials that affect the way 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, Washington cannot use a § 2241
petition as a way of challenging his sentence.
true that, in Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th
Cir. 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for 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, 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. With respect to
Washington's first argument (regarding the § 4B1.1
career offender enhancement), the trial court sentenced him
in 2014, well after the Supreme Court's decision in
Booker made the sentencing guidelines advisory
rather than mandatory. On this basis alone, Washington's
first claim does not fall within HilVs limited
exception for bringing a § 2241 petition to challenge
his federal sentence. See Loza-Gracia v. Streeval,
No. 18-5923 (6th Cir. March 12, 2019) ("Loza-Gracia
cannot proceed under Hill because he was sentenced
in 2011, long after the Supreme Court's January 2005
Booker decision made the guidelines advisory rather
than mandatory."); Contreras v. Ormond, No.
18-5020 (6th Cir. Sept. 10, 2018) ("[The
petitioner's] case does not fall within the narrow
exception recognized by Hill because he was
sentenced post Booker in 2009, under the advisory
sentencing guidelines."); Arroyo v. Ormond, No.
17-5837 (6th Cir. April 6, 2018) (holding that since the
petitioner was sentenced after Booker, his
"claim does not fall within Hill's limited
exception for bringing a § 2241 habeas petition to
challenge a federal sentence"). Thus, Washington's
attack on the § 4B1.1 enhancement is without merit.
second argument (regarding the Supreme Court's decision
in Dean) is also unavailing because it too does not
fit within the narrow Hill framework. In
Dean, the Supreme Court held that 18 U.S.C. §
924(c) does not restrict a sentencing court from considering
a mandatory minimum sentence imposed under that statute when
determining sentences for the predicate convictions that do
not have mandatory minimums. See 137 S.Ct. at
1176-77. Washington suggests that he should be resentenced
based on the sentencing court's discretion, as recognized
in Dean, to consider his mandatory minimum and
consecutive sentences when determining the total length of
Sixth Circuit, however, has recognized that this argument,
based on Dean, "does not involve a
'misapplied sentence' as discussed in Hill."
Bennett v. Terris, No. 17-2308, 2018 WL 5749202, at *2
(6th Cir. July 13, 2018). The Sixth Circuit explained:
In Hill, the focus was a sentence that had been
enhanced by the petitioner's career-offender status based
on a conviction that he argued no longer qualified as a
"crime of violence" under the Sentencing
Guidelines. Here, [the petitioner] does not argue that
application of Dean would eliminate ... his §
924(c) conviction[ ] or in any way affect ... his sentence[ ]
on th[at] crime[ ]. He is, at best, arguing that the district
court might, with the benefit of Dean, exercise its
discretion to formulate a sentence on the non-mandatory
predicate convictions in a different way than it actually
did. He thus cannot show a "misapplied sentence"
that "presents an error sufficiently grave to be deemed
a miscarriage of justice or a fundamental defect."
Bennett, 2018 WL 5749202, at *2 (quoting
Hill, 836 F.3d at 591, 595). In short,
Washington's second claim also does not fit within the
narrow Hill framework and thus is likewise
it is OR ...