United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
OPINION AND ORDER
O' Connor UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 26 U.S.C. § 2241 filed by Petitioner, Shannon May
Garcia, a federal prisoner who is confined at FMC-Carswell in
Fort Worth, Texas, against Jody R. Upton, warden of
FMC-Carswell, Respondent. After considering the pleadings and
relief sought by Petitioner, the Court has concluded that the
petition should be denied.
habeas petition involves the Initiative on Executive Clemency
(IEC) for federal prisoners. Petitioner is serving a term of
180 months' confinement for her conviction in the Western
District of Missouri for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams
or more of methamphetamine. Resp't's Resp. 2, doc. 8.
Petitioner asserts that she filed a formal petition for
clemency, which was apparently evaluated by the Department of
Justice (DOJ). The “Executive Summary - Clemency
Project 2014, ” attached as exhibit A to the petition,
indicates that, although Petitioner has exhibited good
conduct in prison, has a minimal criminal history, and has no
history of violence, she was ineligible for clemency
“because the sentence that she would likely receive
today is not less than her current sentence.” Pet., Ex.
A, doc. 1. Petitioner contends that this Court has
jurisdiction to review her claims and the DOJ's
“review process” under the Administrative
Procedures Act (APA), which provides that “[a] person
suffering a legal wrong because of agency action, or
adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action within the
meaning of a relevant statute, is entitled to judicial review
thereof.” Id. at 2; 5 U.S.C. § 702.
claims that former President Obama and the DOJ exercised
presidential clemency power and executive action in violation
of the United States Constitution and federal regulations in
reviewing and granting clemency and/or sentence commutations.
Id. at. 1. Specifically, she lists the following
alleged constitutional and statutory violations:
1. Ex Post Facto Clause violation where the DOJ changed the
criteria for qualifying for clemency, making it more onerous
to qualify under the IEC than 28 CFR §§ 1.0-1.11.
The criteria for the IEC were not in effect when the
Petitioner committed her offense.
2. Equal Protection Clause violation where many male
prisoners with 15 year sentences, who had not served 10
years, were not first offenders, and had firearms, were
granted clemency and/or sentence reductions--while no women
like the Petitioner were granted the same relief, or
exceptions to the IEC criteria.
3. Substantive Due Process violation where violent, career
offenders were released after serving less than 10 years, but
the Petitioner, a first offender with no history of violence
and a good prison disciplinary record was denied release. The
former Acting U.S. Attorney General . . . recommended the
release of prisoners that were in segregation for acts of
violence and selling drugs in prison.
4. APA violation, where the [DOJ] made substantive changes to
the clemency regulations and procedures, but failed to comply
with the “notice and comment” requirements of
Sections 551 and 553, which makes all decisions granting or
denying clemency void ab initio.
5. In accordance with the Accardi Doctrine, Accardi v.
Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260 (1954), agency [sic] are
required [to] comply with their own regulations. If
exceptions are made, then the same must be applied to those
similarly situated. As stated above, many male prisoners with
10-20 years did not meet the criteria of the IEC, but were
Id. at 2-3.
seeks release from custody; “a sentence reduction equal
to the reductions given to other male prisoners with a 15
year sentence, but were not first time offenders like”
her; and/or “a referral to U.S. Senator Charles
Grassley, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to investigate
and make findings on the maladministration of the [DOJ]'s
release of firearm felons, gang members, and other violent
prisoners, while denying release to non-violent
prisoners.” Id. at 1-2.