United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. BUNNING UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Akiem Jones has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. # 6) and a
Supplemental Memorandum (Doc. # 10) in further support of his
claims. After reviewing both filings, the Court
denies Jones's request for relief.
2003, a grand jury in the Northern District of West Virginia
charged Jones and three others in a six-count indictment
stemming from an attempted bank robbery and armed bank
robbery that occurred in Morgantown, West Virginia. See,
e.g., United States v. Jones, 319 F.Supp.2d
703, 703 (N.D. W.Va. 2004), aff'd 122 Fed.Appx. 27 (4th
Cir. 2005). A jury found Jones guilty of all six counts.
Id. at 704. Two of those counts were violations of
18 U.S.C. § 924(c). See Jury Verdict,
United States v. Jones, et al., No. 1:03-cr-47-FPS-1
(N.D. W.Va. 2003). Multiple appeals and 28 U.S.C. § 2255
habeas petitions followed. See, e.g., United
States v. Jones, 337 Fed.Appx. 297 (4th Cir. 2009). Most
recently, the Northern District of West Virginia denied
Jones's motion to amend his § 2255 motion to vacate
his sentence, Jones v. United States, No.
1:03CR47-01, 2019 WL 4409753, at *6 (N.D. W.Va. Sept. 16,
2019), and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied
Jones's request to file a successive § 2255 motion,
In re: Kofie Akiem Jones, No. 19-418 (4th Cir. Nov.
5, 2019). Jones now seeks relief in this Court by way of a
§ 2241 petition. (Doc. # 6).
Jones's writing is not a model of clarity, the Petition
and Supplemental Memorandum taken overall make clear that
Jones believes he should be resentenced in light of
United States v. Davis, 139 S.Ct. 2319
(2019). See (Docs. # 6 and 10). Jones
claims Davis applies retroactively on collateral
review, and he makes a variety of arguments primarily
suggesting his 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) convictions are no
longer valid. See id. The Court conducts a
preliminary review of § 2241 habeas petitions, denying a
petition if it appears from its face that the applicant is
not entitled to the requested relief. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2243; Alexander v. N. Bureau of Prisons, 419
Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011).
prisoners typically challenge the validity of their
convictions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and the manner or
execution of their sentences under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 2016)
(citing United States v. Peterman, 294 F.3d 458, 461
(6th Cir. 2001)). Nevertheless, in very limited
circumstances, a federal prisoner may use § 2241 to
challenge his conviction or an enhancement to his sentence.
Until recently, claims alleging actual innocence of a
sentence enhancement could not be raised under § 2241.
See, e.g., Jones v. Castillo, 489 Fed.Appx.
864, 866 (6th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). Hill v.
Masters, however, allowed a petitioner to challenge his
misapplied sentence under § 2241 when he could show
“(1) a case of statutory interpretation, (2) that is
retroactive and could not have been invoked in the initial
§ 2255 motion, and (3) that the misapplied sentence
presents an error sufficiently grave to be deemed a
miscarriage of justice or fundamental defect.”
See 836 F.3d at 595 (citing Brown v.
Caraway, 719 F.3d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 2013); Williams
v. Warden, Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 713 F.3d 1332, 1343
(11th Cir. 2016)). Even still, a petitioner cannot bring a
§ 2241 petition as an alternative or additional remedy
to the one available under § 2255. Hernandez v.
Lamanna, 16 Fed.Appx. 317, 320 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing
Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 758 (6th Cir.
variety of reasons, Jones does not fall within the
extraordinarily narrow framework that would allow him to
proceed with his claims in the § 2241 context. For
example, Jones has failed to identify a retroactive case of
statutory interpretation. Even if Davis is
retroactive on collateral review, at least three circuits
have explained that Davis presented a new rule of
constitutional, not statutory, law. See United States v.
Reece, 938 F.3d 630, 634 (5th Cir. 2019); United
States v. Bowen, 936 F.3d 1091, 1098 (10th Cir. 2019);
In re Hammoud, 931 F.3d 1032, 1038 (11th Cir. 2019).
Aside from that, there would remain a timing problem with the
petition. Jones states that he could not rely on
Davis prior to now because “[h]is direct
appeal and § 2255 motion were denied before
Davis changed the settled law . . . .” (Doc. #
6 at 3). Jones has not truly demonstrated, however, that he
had “no prior reasonable opportunity to bring his
argument” that the § 924(c) residual clause was
unconstitutional. See Wright v. Spaulding, 939 F.3d
695, 705 (6th Cir. 2019). As the Sixth Circuit recently
explained, “a claim for habeas relief is more than the
talismanic force of a new case name.” Id.
“A new case matters only, if at all, because of the
new legal arguments it makes available.”
Id. (emphasis in original).
Jones has not demonstrated that his sentence “presents
an error sufficiently grave to be deemed a miscarriage of
justice or fundamental defect.” See Hill, 836
F.3d at 595 (citations omitted). In fact, Jones's
predicate offenses are crimes of violence under §
924(c)'s use of force clause. See United States v.
Gooch, 850 F.3d 285, 292 (6th Cir. 2017) (concluding
Hobbs Act robbery constitutes a crime of violence under the
use of force clause); United States v. Mathis, 932
F.3d 242, 266 (4th Cir. 2019) (“Hobbs Act robbery
constitutes a crime of violence under the force clause of
Section 924(c).”) (citations omitted).
Davis's invalidation of the § 924(c)
residual clause thus appears to be immaterial.
these reasons, Jones does not fit within the narrow category
of petitioners allowed to challenge their sentences under
§ 2241. See Hill, 836 F.3d at 595;
Wright, 939 F.3d at 705. As a result, the Court need
not reach the merits of Jones's various
Davis-based claims because § 2241 is not the
proper statutory mechanism for him to pursue his desired
IS ORDERED as follows:
Jones's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. # 6) is DENIED;
This case is DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the Court's active docket;
separate Judgment will be filed concurrently herewith.