United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER DENYING WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 2241 AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
William T. Lawrence, Senior Judge
Ronald Lee Coleman seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241. He argues that he is entitled to
relief under Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), because he does not have the necessary predicate
convictions to qualify as a career offender under Section
4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.).
For the reasons explained below, his petition is
Factual and Procedural Background
is an inmate currently housed at the United States
Penitentiary, located in Terre Haute, Indiana. Coleman was
indicted in the Northern District of Iowa in United
States v. Coleman, CR 07-66-1-LLR (N.D. Iowa). He
pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100
kilograms or more of marijuana after a prior felony drug
conviction, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1),
841(b)(1)(B), 846, and 851 (Count 1) and one count of
conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(1)(i) and 1956(h) (Count 2).
presentence report identified several prior convictions.
(Dkt. No. 18, PSR ¶¶ 78-86, 93-104, 107-111.) The
two convictions identified for purposes of the career
offender enhancement were a 1995 Iowa conviction for third
degree burglary, in violation of Iowa Code § 713.6A, and
attempted third degree burglary, in violation of Iowa Code
§ 713.6B. (PSR ¶¶ 82, 86.) Based on these
prior convictions, the sentencing court found Coleman to be a
career offender under § 4B1.1.
the career offender designation, Coleman's Guidelines
range was 188 to 235 months' imprisonment. (PSR
¶¶ 46-59.) With the career offender designation,
Coleman's Guidelines range was 262 to 327 months'
imprisonment. (PSR ¶ 182.) Coleman was sentenced to 262
months' imprisonment. When imposing the sentence, the
district court considered the Section 3553(a) sentencing
factors and stated:
I want to just make a short record that even if I am
incorrect about the computation of the advisory guideline
sentence, I still would impose the same sentence that I'm
going to impose in a few minutes for the following reasons.
In other words, if I just look at the statutory factors and
ignore the guidelines or the computations that I have made
under the guidelines, the sentence I'm going to impose is
still the right sentence for these reasons . . . .
Hearing Transcript, CR 07-66-1-LLR (Crim. Dkt. No. 43, pg.
59.) (Transcript attached to this Entry as an Exhibit).
date, Coleman's direct appeal and collateral attacks have
been unsuccessful. Now before the Court is Coleman's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus under § 2241
challenging his sentence.
alleges he is no longer a career offender under the
Sentencing Guidelines in view of the Supreme Court's
decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016). In particular, he claims that his convictions for
burglary in Iowa no longer qualify him as a career offender
under § 4B1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines. He asks to
be resentenced. The United States argues that this Court
should dismiss Coleman's habeas petition because he fails
to show that § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to test
the legality of his sentence. Coleman filed a reply and
supplemental reply. This action is now ripe for review.
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive
means by which a federal prisoner can challenge his
conviction or sentence. See Davis v. United States,
417 U.S. 333, 343 (1974); United States v. Bezy, 499
F.3d 668, 670 (7th Cir. 2007). However, § 2255(e)
provides that if § 2255 is “inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention, ”
Coleman may file an application for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Section 2255 is inadequate or
ineffective if the following three requirements are met:
“(1) the petitioner must rely on a case of statutory
interpretation (because invoking such a case cannot secure
authorization for a second § 2255 motion); (2) the new
rule must be previously unavailable and apply retroactively;
and (3) the error asserted must be grave enough to be deemed
a miscarriage of justice, such as the conviction of an
innocent defendant.” Davis v. Cross, 863 F.3d
962, 964 (7th Cir. 2017).
has met the first two requirements to bring a § 2241
case. First, Mathis is a case of statutory
interpretation. Dawkins v. United States, 829 F.3d
549, 551 (7th Cir. 2016) (Because Mathis “is a
case of statutory interpretation, ” claims based on
Mathis “must be brought, if at all, in a
petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.”); Jenkins v.
United States, No. 16-3441 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2016)
(“Mathis is not amenable to analysis under
§ 2244(b) because it announced a substantive rule, not a
constitutional one.”). In addition, the petition also
meets the second requirement because Mathis is
retroactive. Holt v. United States, 843 F.3d 720,
721-22 (7th Cir. 2016) (“substantive decisions such as
Mathis presumptively apply retroactively on
collateral review”). But the parties disagree regarding
whether Coleman's petition satisfies the third
requirement for relief under § 2241 - that the error is
grave enough to be a miscarriage of justice. For the reasons
explained below, Coleman has not suffered a miscarriage of
justice and therefore cannot invoke the savings clause of 28
U.S.C. § 2255(e).
2016, the Supreme Court in Mathis clarified the
process for determining whether a defendant's prior
state-law conviction qualifies as a violent felony under the
Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e). 136 S.Ct. at 2248. Coleman was not sentenced
under the ACCA, but he ...