United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS  AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
F. Cox, U.S. District Judge.
Charles Edward Lane, Jr., an inmate at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Milan, Michigan, has filed a pro
se petition for the writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Petitioner alleges that his federal sentence was
improperly enhanced under the United States Sentencing
Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”). The proper remedy for
Petitioner's claim is a motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Accordingly, the § 2241 petition will be denied.
2006, Petitioner pleaded guilty in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Iowa to conspiracy to
distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50
grams of crack cocaine. See 21 U.S.C. §§
846 and 841(a)(1); see also United States v.
Lane, No. 3:06-cr-00502 (S.D. Iowa), docket no. 65 (plea
agreement) and docket no. 67 (Report and Recommendation
Concerning Plea of Guilty). Petitioner was deemed a career
offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 because his criminal
record included a conviction for unlawful delivery of a
controlled substance and Illinois state convictions for
burglary and robbery. See Lane v. United States, No.
4:15-cv-00407 (S.D. Iowa), docket no. 12, pp. 2-3
(Petitioner's Reply to Government's Resistance to
Petitioner's Motion to Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255). On October 27, 2006, the federal trial court
sentenced Petitioner to prison for 262 months. See
United States v. Lane, No. 3:06-cr-00502 (S.D. Iowa), docket
no. 96 (Clerk's Court Minutes) and docket no. 100
(Judgment). On April 12, 2019, the sentencing court reduced
Petitioner's sentence under the First Step Act of 2018 to
188 months. See id., docket no. 238.
in 2015, Petitioner filed a pro se “Notice of
Resistance [to] the Government's Position in Doc[ument]
228.” See Lane v. United States, 4:15-cv-00407
(S.D. Iowa), docket no. 1. He sought a reduction in his
sentence under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), which held that the residual clause of the Armed
Career Criminal Act of 1984 is void for vagueness and
violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process.
federal trial court treated Petitioner's
“Notice” as a motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct the sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Petitioner
later argued through the Federal Defender's Office that
he was no longer a career offender because his Illinois
robbery and burglary convictions were not "crimes of
violence" under the federal sentencing guidelines.
See Lane v. United States, 4:15-cv-00407 (S.D.
Iowa), docket no. 12. The federal district court dismissed
Petitioner's motion after the Supreme Court held in
Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886, 890 (2017), that the
federal sentencing guidelines were not subject to vagueness
challenges under the Due Process Clause. See Lane v.
United States, No. 4:15-cv-00407 (S.D. Iowa), docket no. 16
(order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed)
and docket no. 17 (text order dismissing the case because
Petitioner had failed to show cause why his case should not
December 14, 2018, Petitioner filed his habeas corpus
petition in this case. He argues that his Illinois
convictions for burglary and robbery should not have been
used to enhance his sentence under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.4
because the statutory definitions for those offenses are
broader than the generic definitions of burglary and robbery.
The Government urges the Court to deny the petition because
Petitioner is not permitted to challenge his federal sentence
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and, even if he were, at least
two of his prior convictions make him a career offender under
the Sentencing Guidelines.
primary mechanism for challenging the legality of a federal
sentence is a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the
sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. United States v.
Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001). The Court
of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed this principle in
Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016), where
it explained that “[a] challenge to the validity of a
federal conviction or sentence is generally brought as a
habeas corpus petition pursuant to § 2255, while a
petition concerning the manner or execution of a sentence is
appropriate under § 2241.” Id. at 594. A
federal prisoner's challenge to his convictions or the
imposition of a sentence must be filed in the sentencing
court under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, whereas claims challenging
the execution or manner in which a sentence is served must be
filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in the court having
jurisdiction over the prisoner's custodian. Charles
v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 755-56 (6th Cir. 1999).
is challenging the length of his federal sentence, as opposed
to the execution or manner in which he is serving his
sentence. Therefore, he may proceed under § 2241 only if
the remedy under § 2255 “is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention, ” 28
U.S.C. § 2255(e), or some other exception applies to the
rule barring the use of § 2241 to challenge a federal
prisoner carries the burden of establishing that the
“savings clause” of § 2255(e) applies to his
petition, and “ ‘[t]he circumstances in which
§ 2255 is inadequate and ineffective are narrow.'
” Hill, 836 F.3d at 594 (quoting Peterman, 249 F.3d at
461). The remedy under “§ 2255 is not
‘inadequate or ineffective' merely because habeas
relief has previously been denied, a § 2255 motion is
procedurally barred, or the petitioner has been denied
permission to file a successive motion.” Id.
(citing Charles, 180 F.3d at 756). Thus, § 2255 is not
an inadequate or ineffective remedy simply because Petitioner
has already been denied relief under § 2255.
federal prisoner may challenge the legality of his detention
under § 2241 by showing that he is actually innocent.
Id. (citing Wooten v. Cauley, 677 F.3d 303,
307 (6th Cir. 2012)). But the Supreme Court has said
“that ‘actual innocence' means factual
innocence, not mere legal insufficiency, ” Bousley
v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 623 (1998), and
Petitioner is not claiming to be actually innocent of his
crime of conviction. Therefore, the actual-innocence
exception to the rule barring the use of § 2241 to
challenge a federal conviction or sentence does not apply
Hill, the Sixth Circuit considered another basis for testing
the legality of detention using the savings clause of §
2255. The Sixth Circuit held that federal prisoners may
invoke the savings clause to challenge the misapplication of
a sentence enhancement. See Hill, 836 F.3d at
598-99. The Sixth Circuit limited its decision, however, to a
“narrow subset” of petitions under § 2241.
Id. at 599. The prisoner must show that: (1) he or
she was “sentenced under the mandatory guidelines
regime pre-United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220
(2005);” (2) he or she is “foreclosed from filing
a successive petition under § 2255;” and (3)
“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.
may be foreclosed from filing another motion under §
2255, but he was sentenced in 2006, which was after the
Supreme Court published its decision in Booker. Furthermore,
Petitioner relies on Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016), which “has not been declared
retroactive by the Supreme Court.” In Re Conzelmann,
872 F.3d 375, 377 (6th Cir. 2017). Thus, Petitioner has ...