United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
ERIC E. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
ERIC D. WILSON, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION (DISMISSING 28 U.S.C Â§ 2241
FOR WANT OF JURISDICTION)
E. HUDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Williams, a federal inmate proceeding pro se,
submitted a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition ("2241
Petition, " ECF No. 1). Williams pled guilty to
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and this Court
sentenced him to 188 months of incarceration. See United
States v. Williams, No. 3:07CR123-HEH, 2011 WL 6842991,
at *1 (E.D. Va. Dec. 29, 2011.) By Memorandum Opinion and
Order entered on December 29, 2011, the Court denied a 28
U.S.C. § 2255 motion filed by Williams. See
id. at *3. In his § 2241 Petition, Williams
challenges the sentence imposed by this Court.
raises the following claims:
Claim One: "The new Supreme Court case in Johnson v.
United States [, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015)] .. . felon in
possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g) 'residual clause' is unconstitutionally
vague." (§ 2241 Pet. 7-8.)
Claim Two: "[T]he residual clause denied fair notice to
defendant and invites arbitrary enforcement by judges to
increasing a defendant's sentence under a clause that
denies due process of law." (Id. at 8.)
reasons stated below, the action will be dismissed for want
Motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Compared to Petitions
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provides the primary
means of collateral attack on the imposition of a federal
conviction and sentence and must be filed with the sentencing
court. See Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 451 (5th
Cir. 2000) (quoting Cox v. Warden, Fed Det. Ctr.,
911 F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990)). The Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) restricted the
jurisdiction of the district courts to hear second or
successive applications for federal habeas corpus relief by
prisoners attacking the validity of their convictions and
sentences by establishing a "'gatekeeping'
mechanism." Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651, 657
(1996). Specifically, "[b]efore a second or successive
application permitted by this section is filed in the
district court, the applicant shall move in the appropriate
court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court
to consider the application." 28 U.S.C. §
federal inmate may not proceed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
unless he or she demonstrates that the remedy afforded by 28
U.S.C. § 2255 "is inadequate or ineffective to test
the legality of his detention." 28 U.S.C. §
2255(e). For example, "attacks on the
execution of a sentence are properly raised in a § 2241
petition." In re Vial, 115 F.3d 1192, 1194 n.5
(4th Cir. 1997) (citing Bradshaw v. Story, 86 F.3d
164, 166 (10th Cir. 1996); Hanahan v. Luther, 693
F.2d 629, 632 n.l (7th Cir. 1982)). Nevertheless, the Fourth
Circuit has emphasized that "the remedy afforded by
§ 2255 is not rendered inadequate or ineffective merely
because an individual has been unable to obtain relief under
that provision or because an individual is procedurally
barred from filing a § 2255 motion." Id.
(internal citations omitted).
Fourth Circuit has stressed that an inmate may proceed under
§ 2241 to challenge his conviction "in only very
limited circumstances." United States v. Poole,
531 F.3d 263, 269 (4th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
"controlling test, " id., in the Fourth
Circuit is as follows:
[Section] 2255 is inadequate and ineffective to test the
legality of a conviction when: (1) at the time of conviction,
settled law of this circuit or the Supreme Court established
the legality of the conviction; (2) subsequent to the
prisoner's direct appeal and first § 2255 motion,
the substantive law changed such that the conduct of which
the prisoner was convicted is deemed not to be
criminal, and (3) the prisoner cannot satisfy the
gatekeeping provisions of § 2255 because the new rule is
not one of constitutional law.
In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 333-34 (4th Cir. 2000)
(emphasis added). The Fourth Circuit formulated this test to
provide a remedy for the "fundamental defect presented
by a situation in which an individual is incarcerated for
conduct that is not criminal but, through no fault of
his [or her] own, [he or she] has no source of redress."
Id. at 333 n.3 (emphasis added).
Analysis of Williams's 28 U.S.C ...