United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Texarkana Division
PAUL D. WILLIAMS
MEMORANDUM ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING
THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. SCHROEDER III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Williams, an inmate confined within the Bureau of Prisons,
proceeding pro se, filed the above-styled petition
for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Docket No. 1.
Court referred this matter to the Honorable Caroline M.
Craven, United States Magistrate Judge, at Texarkana, Texas,
for consideration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and
(3). The Magistrate Judge has submitted a Report and
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge
(“Report”) recommending that the petition for
writ of habeas corpus be dismissed. Docket No. 8 at 3. Mr.
Williams filed objections to the Report and Recommendation.
Docket No. 11. The Court reviews the objected-to portions of
the Report de novo. Fed. r. Civ. P. 72(b).
being convicted of kidnapping with the goal of accomplishing
an immoral purpose, possessing a firearm after having been
convicted of a felony, and carrying a firearm in relation to
a crime of violence,  Mr. Williams was found to be a career
offender for the purposes of § 4B1.1 of the United
States Sentencing Guidelines. He asserts that based on recent
decisions from the Supreme Court and the United States Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, he should no longer be
considered a career offender because a prior conviction for
involuntary manslaughter no longer qualifies as a
“crime of violence” under the Guidelines.
However, the Magistrate Judge concluded that as Mr. Williams
is contesting the sentence he received for his convictions,
rather than his convictions themselves, his ground for review
is not cognizable in a petition filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Docket No. 8 at 3.
Williams objects to the Magistrate Judge's statement that
a challenge to the validity of a career offender enhancement
is not the type of claim that warrants relief under §
2241 because it challenges the punishment imposed for a
conviction, rather than the conviction itself. He contends
this statement is incorrect and asserts that such a claim may
be asserted in a § 2241 petition. Hill v.
Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 595 (6th Cir. 2016); Bryant
v. Warden, 738 F.3d 1253, 1282 (11th Cir. 2013);
Brown v. Caraway, 719 F.3d 583, 588 (7th Cir. 2014).
Mr. Williams states that while involuntary manslaughter fell
within the definition of a “crime of violence”
when he was sentenced, no court that has subsequently
considered his case has addressed the fact that under
judicial decisions and an amendment to the Sentencing
Guidelines, involuntary manslaughter is no longer a
“crime of violence.”
prisoner may only utilize § 2241 to challenge a federal
criminal conviction if the remedy provided for in 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 is ineffective or inadequate to test the legality
of his detention. The remedy provided for in § 2255 has
been found to be ineffective to challenge the legality of a
prisoner's detention only where the prisoner is asserting
a ground for review that: (1) is based on a Supreme Court
decision that applies retroactively on collateral review and
establishes he may have been convicted of a nonexistent
offense and (2) was foreclosed by applicable circuit law at
the time it could have been asserted at trial, on direct
appeal or in a first motion to vacate filed pursuant to
§ 2255. Reyes-Requena v. United States, 243
F.3d 893, 894 (5th Cir. 2001).
Williams correctly points out, some courts of appeals have
held that under certain circumstances § 2241 may be used
to challenge a sentence, as opposed to a conviction. However,
this Court is bound by decisions of the Fifth Circuit,
specifically, in this case, the decision in Kinder v.
Purdy, 222 F.3d. 209 (5th Cir. 2000). In
Kinder, the petitioner, like Mr. Williams, was found
to be a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the Guidelines.
He sought relief under § 2241 based on the argument that
due to intervening case law, he should no longer be
considered a career offender. However, the Fifth Circuit
rejected this argument, concluding a claim that a defendant
is actually innocent of being a career offender is not the
type of claim that warrants review under § 2241.
Id. at 213. The Fifth Circuit has relied on
Kinder in recent unpublished opinions to conclude
that inmates may not challenge sentencing issues in a §
2241 petition. Haskell v. Daniels, 708 Fed.Appx.
203, 204 (5th Cir. 2018); Shipp v. Chapa, 698
Fed.Appx. 202, 203 (5th Cir. 2017).
Mr. Williams is attempting to use § 2241 to challenge
the sentencing court's conclusion that he was a career
offender, Kinder controls the resolution of this
matter. Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge's conclusion
that a challenge to the validity of a career offender
determination is not that type of claim that warrants relief
under § 2241 is correct. The objections filed by Mr.
Williams are therefore without merit.
considered Mr. Williams's objections, and the objected-to
portions of the Report de novo, the Court concludes
that the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge are
correct. Concerning matters to which Plaintiff has not
objected, the Court reviews the record and the Report and
Recommendation for clear error. Rodriguez v. Bowen,
857 F.2d 275, 276-77 (5th Cir. 1988). The Court finds no
clear error with the Magistrate Judge's conclusions in
the uncontested portions of the Report and Recommendation.
Accordingly Mr. Williams's objections (Docket No. 11) are
OVERRULED. The Court ADOPTS
the findings and conclusions contained in the Report in their
further ORDERED that this petition for writ
of habeas corpus is DISMISSED.
judgment shall be rendered in accordance with the Magistrate
 In his objections, Mr. Williams states
his convictions occurred in 1992, rather than in 1993, as
stated in the Report. While Mr. Williams is correct, the date
of his convictions has no effect ...