United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. PITTMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are federal prisoner Rodger Williams's
(“Williams”) petition for writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and an amended form § 2241
petition (ECF Nos. 1, 5), the Warden Respondent's
response with appendix (ECF Nos. 9-10), and Williams's
reply (ECF No. 11.) After considering the relief sought by
Williams, the record, related briefing, and applicable law,
the Court concludes that Williams's § 2241 petition
should be DISMISSED for lack of
was convicted in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, of conspiracy to
possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled
substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and
841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(A)(iii). J., United States v.
Williams, No. 3:10-CR-206-D (6) (N.D. Tex. Feb. 10,
2012), ECF No. 414. He was sentenced to 210 months'
imprisonment. Id. Williams did not file a direct
appeal, but he filed a motion for relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, which was dismissed with prejudice in May 2017.
Order and Judgment, Williams v. United States, No.
3:16-CV-01523-D (N.D. Tex. May 30, 2017), ECF Nos. 18, 19.
Williams filed a notice of appeal, but that appeal was
dismissed for lack of prosecution. United States v.
Williams, No. 17-10940 (5th Cir. Sep. 15, 2017).
Williams also filed a motion for reduction of sentence under
18 U.S.C. § 3582, but that motion was denied. Order,
United States v. Williams, No. 3:10-CR-206-D(6), ECF
No. 509. Williams then filed the instant § 2241 petition
in this Court. Pet. 1, ECF No. 1.
CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
asserts that the convicting court improperly sentenced him as
a “career offender” because his prior state
controlled substance convictions that were used as predicate
offenses no longer qualify under the Supreme Court's
ruling in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), as interpreted in United States v. Hinkle,
832 F.3d 569 (5th Cir. 2016). Pet. 3-5, ECF No.1; Am. Pet. 5,
ECF No. 5. Williams seeks to have the career-offender
enhancement vacated and to be re-sentenced. Pet. 5, ECF No.
motion under § 2255 is the primary means of collaterally
attacking a federal conviction or sentence. Jeffers v.
Chandler, 253 F.3d 827, 830 (5th Cir.2001) (per curiam)
(citing Tolliver v. Dobre, 211 F.3d 876, 877 (5th
Cir.2000) (per curiam)). “While § 2241 is more
typically used to challenge the execution of a prisoner's
sentence, a federal prisoner may bring a petition under
§ 2241 to challenge the legality of his conviction or
sentence if he can satisfy the mandates of the ‘savings
clause' of § 2255.” Christopher v.
Miles, 342 F.3d 378, 381 (5th Cir. 2003) (citing
Reyes-Requena v. United States, 243 F.3d 893, 900-01
(5th Cir. 2001)). The statutory “savings clause”
An application for a writ of habeas corpus in [sic] behalf of
a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion
pursuant to this section, shall not be entertained if it
appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by
motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court
has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the remedy
by motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality
of his detention.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Under the “savings clause,
” the petitioner has the burden of showing that the
§ 2255 remedy is “inadequate or ineffective to
test the legality of his detention.” Jeffers,
253 F.3d at 830.
cannot rely on § 2241 merely because he might now be
limited in seeking relief under § 2255. Cf. Pack v.
Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 453 (5th Cir. 2000) (citing
Tolliver, 211 F.3d at 878) (holding that neither a
prior, unsuccessful § 2255 motion, the limitations bar,
nor successiveness renders the § 2255 remedy inadequate
or ineffective). Moreover, the Fifth Circuit has determined
that, before a petitioner may pursue relief through §
2241 under the language of the § 2255 savings clause, he
must show that:
(1) his claim is based on a retroactively applicable Supreme
Court decision; (2) the Supreme Court decision establishes
that he was “actually innocent” of the charges
against him because the decision decriminalized the conduct
for which he was convicted; and (3) his claim would have been
foreclosed by existing circuit precedent had he raised it at
trial, on direct appeal, or in his original § 2255
Christopher, 342 F.3d at 382 (citing
Reyes-Requena, 243 F.3d at 904 and Jeffers,
253 F.3d at 830).
has not made these showings, and a review of the grounds
asserted in his § 2241 petition shows that he cannot
make them. Williams does not claim or attempt to demonstrate
that he was convicted of a nonexistent offense. Rather he
challenges the imposition of his sentence, and not his
conviction, and such claims do not fall within the savings
clause of § 2255(e). See generally Padilla v. United
States, 416 F.3d 424, 427 (5th Cir. 2005) (contrasting
claims challenging a sentence from those challenging a
conviction). In Logan v. Warden Fed. Corr. Complex
Beaumont, the Fifth Circuit reviewed the denial of a
§ 2241 petition brought pursuant to the savings clause
in which the petitioner asserted, as Williams does in this
case, that he was erroneously sentenced. Logan, 644
Fed.Appx. 280 (5th Cir. 2016). The Fifth Circuit held that
“[i]n the absence of an en banc decision by
this court or an intervening Supreme Court decision
overruling circuit precedent holding that a § 2241
petition cannot be used to challenge solely the validity of a
federal sentence, this court is bound by its own
precedent.” Id. at 281 (citing United
States v. Traxler, 764 F.3d 486, 489 (5th Cir. 2014)).
More particularly, the Fifth Circuit has expressly determined
that a claim of actual innocence of the career-offender
sentencing enhancement “is not a claim of actual
innocence of the crime of conviction and, thus, not the type
of claim that warrants ...