United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
RASHAD J. JONES, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
ORDER DENYING IN PART PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
CORPUS AND TRANSFERRING REMAINING CLAIMS
TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Rashad J. Jones was convicted of the offense of felon in
possession of ammunition, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), after a
jury trial. On August 10, 2016 this Court sentenced him to
serve 48 months in prison. Petitioner now moves the court to
vacate or modify his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on
the ground that he was not given credit for time spent in
federal custody before he began serving his federal sentence.
In another related claim, Petitioner alleges that his trial
counsel was ineffective for failing to move the Court, under
U.S.S.G. § 5G1.3, to reduce his sentence to reflect the
amount of time already spent in federal custody before
sentencing. Because Petitioner's post-sentencing claim
alleging incorrect computation of his federal sentence by the
Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) falls within
the ambit of 28 U.S.C. § 2241, not 28 U.S.C. §
2255, that claim must be transferred to the Western District
of Wisconsin, which has jurisdiction over Petitioner's
custodian, the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford,
Wisconsin. See United States v. Jalili, 925 F.2d
889, 893-94 (6th Cir. 1991) (explaining that an attack on the
execution of a sentence is properly cognizable under 28
U.S.C. § 2241, and that such claims must be filed in the
court with jurisdiction over the prisoner's custodian).
Petitioner's other claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
alleging ineffective assistance of counsel may be properly
adjudicated by this Court. As will be explained, however, in
the discussion below, that claim has no merit and will be
dismissed. The Court will transfer Petitioner's remaining
claim arising from the BOP's computation of his sentence
to the Western District of Wisconsin, where he is currently
was sentenced to 48 months in prison after a jury found that
he had possessed ammunition as a felon, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Petitioner avers he was in federal
custody “from the day of arrest to the day of
sentencing”-from June 29, 2015 to August 10, 2016. ECF No.
47 PageID.298; ECF No. 51 PageID.306. But the record
indicates he first appeared in this Court on writ from the
Genesee County Sheriff's Department on July 17, 2015. ECF
No. 3 PageID.7; ECF No. 12 PageID.30. And he was again
transported to federal court from the Genesee County Jail by
the County's sheriff department on September 10, 2015.
ECF No. 13 PageID.31; ECF No. 15 PageID.37. He remained in
Genesee County's custody at the time of his federal trial
on January 19, 2016. See ECF No. 22 PageID.51. At
sentencing, this Court made clear that Petitioner's
48-month federal sentence would be served “consecutive
to the undischarged terms of imprisonment with the Michigan
Department of Corrections, ” meaning consecutive to any
prison term that might be imposed for his state parole
violation. ECF No. 46 at PageID.283 (Amended Judgment).
sentencing, Petitioner was transferred to the custody of the
Michigan Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) to
address his pending state parole violation. See ECF
No. 47 PageID.298. Petitioner asserts that, within
approximately 30 days, the MDOC then transferred him to the
custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) to begin serving his federal sentence at
the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin.
Id. Accordingly, from the record it appears
Petitioner was in state custody in connection with his parole
violation until he was transported to Oxford Federal
Correctional Institution (“Oxford FCI”) on or
about November 17, 2017. Information on the BOP website
indicates Petitioner is currently scheduled for release on
April 3, 2021.
explains that when he received his Sentence Monitoring
Computation Data Sheet at Oxford FCI, he noticed that the BOP
had not given him credit “for the time served while he
was in direct federal credit” before arriving at Oxford
FCI, and that he “only received credit for 2 months and
26 days.” ECF No. 47 PageID.292. Unfortunately,
Petitioner did not attach the BOP's computation data
sheet to his petition, which makes discerning the time he has
already served in state and in federal custody difficult.
From the record before the Court, however, it appears
Petitioner was not in federal custody until he arrived at
Oxford FCI. Nevertheless, Petitioner now asks the Court to
vacate or modify his sentence to reflect the length of time
he spent in federal custody before sentencing. Id.
at PageID.298. Additionally, Petitioner claims that
sentencing counsel was ineffective in failing to ask the
Court to give Petitioner credit for time already spent in
federal custody before he began serving his federal sentence.
Miscalculation of Sentence Credit Under 28 U.S.C. §
claims concerning the correct calculation of sentence credit
must be raised under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Where a
petitioner is attacking the manner or execution of his
sentence, rather than alleging that the sentence was imposed
in violation of the Constitution or federal law; is in excess
of the maximum authorized by law; or is otherwise subject to
collateral attack, 28 U.S.C. § 2255 “does not
apply.” Jalili, 925 F.2d 889, 893 (citing
United States v. Hutchings, 835 F.2d 184, 186 (8th
Cir. 1987); Brown v. United States, 610 F.2d 672,
677 (9th Cir. 1980)). Instead, a challenge to the execution
of a sentence is properly cognizable in a 28 U.S.C. §
2241(a) habeas petition. Jalili, 925 F.2d at 893.
The Sixth Circuit has held that claims alleging that the BOP
failed to properly award sentence credit are properly
addressed in a § 2241 petition. See United States v.
Westmoreland, 974 F.2d 736, 737-38 (6th Cir. 1992);
see also Jalili, 925 F.2d at 893.
“[t]here is no statute of limitations for federal
prisoners filing habeas petitions pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241, ” Petitioner's claim related to
computation of sentencing credit is timely. Wooten v.
Cauley, 677 F.3d 303, 306 (6th Cir. 2012) (citing
Morales v. Bezy, 499 F.3d 668, 672 (7th Cir. 2007)).
But this Court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate that claim.
A federal prisoner challenging the manner in which his
sentence is being executed must file a § 2241 habeas
petition in the district with jurisdiction over his
custodian, here, the Federal Correctional Institution in
Oxford, Wisconsin. Robinson v. Morrison, 27
Fed.Appx. 557 (6th Cir. 2001); In re Gregory, 181
F.3d 713, 714 (6th Cir. 1999). Because Petitioner is confined
in a federal prison located in the Western District of
Wisconsin, this Court will transfer Petitioner's
remaining claim to that district.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Under 28 U.S.C. §
prisoner serving a sentence imposed by a federal court may
challenge that sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
“upon the ground that [it] was imposed in violation of
the Constitution or laws of the United States . . . the court
was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or . . .
the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law,
or is otherwise subject to collateral attack.” As
relief, the prisoner may ask the court which imposed the
sentence to correct, vacate, or set it aside. The law is
clear that “§ 2255 claims that do not assert a
constitutional or jurisdictional error are generally
cognizable only if they involved ‘a fundamental defect
which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of
justice.'” Snider v. United States, 908
F.3d 183, 189 (6th Cir. 2018) (quoting Davis v. United
States, 417 U.S. 333, 346 (1974) (internal quotation
marks omitted)). This standard is met only in
“exceptional circumstances where the need for the
remedy afforded by the writ of habeas corpus is
apparent.” Hill v. United States, 368 U.S.
424, 428 (1962). Accordingly, not every alleged error of law
can be raised on a § 2255 motion. Davis, 417
U.S. at 346.
urges that his trial counsel's performance fell below an
objective standard of reasonableness because “counsel
did not motion the court . . . for a reduction of his
sentence for time that he spent in direct federal custody,
[which] the BOP may not award him under 5G1.3.” ECF No.
47 PageID.296. Claims for ineffective assistance of counsel
are reviewed under the two-part test outlined in
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). Under
that framework, a defendant must show both that counsel's
performance was deficient, and that counsel's deficient
performance prejudiced the defense. Id. at 687. To
establish prejudice, a “defendant must show that there
is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would
have been different.” Seaman v. Washington,
506 Fed.Appx. 349, 354 (6th Cir. 2012) (citing
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 694). Further,
“[j]udicial scrutiny of counsel's performance must
be highly deferential” and “[a] court must
indulge a strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls
within the wide range of reasonable professional
assistance.” Strickland, 466 U.S. at 669.
ineffective assistance of counsel claim is meritless because
the BOP, not the sentencing Court, computes and applies
sentencing credit in the first instance.United States
v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334 (1992) (explaining that
§ 3585(b) “does not authorize a district court to
compute the credit at sentencing.”). Calculation of a
federal prisoner's sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3585,
including its commencement date and any credit for time spent
in custody before sentencing, is therefore reserved for the
Attorney General, acting through the BOP. United States
v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334-35 (1991);
Westmoreland, 974 F.2d at 737-38 (providing that a
district court cannot consider a habeas petition asserting a
right to sentence credits under 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b)
until the Attorney General has computed credit). Though a
district court may review the BOP's computation of
sentencing credit, it can only do so after ...