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Jahns v. Julian

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

March 30, 2018

JASON JAHNS, Petitioner,
v.
S. JULIAN, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER GRANTING WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2241

          Jane Magntts-Stinson, Chief Judge

         Petitioner Jason Jahns seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). His petition for writ of habeas corpus is granted.

         A. Background

         Jahns was charged in the Northern District of Ohio (Western Division) in No. 3:10-cr-00435-DAK with being a felon in possession of a firearm. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). In 2012, he pled guilty without the benefit of a plea agreement.

         At sentencing Jahns was deemed an armed career criminal, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), and received an executed sentence of 240 months. Section 924(e) applies to persons with three prior violent felonies or serious drug offenses. Jahns objected to the application of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), § 924(e), but the district court concluded that he had at least three convictions for violent felonies based on two first degree and two second degree Kentucky burglary convictions. See United States v. Jahns, No. 3:10-CR-435, 2012 WL 928725 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 19, 2012).

         Following the imposition of sentence, Jahns filed a direct appeal arguing that second- degree burglary in Kentucky is not a violent felony and that the ACCA's residual clause is unconstitutionally vague. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, concluding that the Kentucky statute describes generic burglary under Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990), because it prohibits unlawful entry into a “dwelling.” See United States v. Jenkins, 528 F. App'x 483, 485 (6th Cir. 2013). Because the burglary convictions counted as enumerated violent felonies, the residual clause was irrelevant. The Sixth Circuit casually noted that Jahns's fourth degree burglary conviction in Ohio is also a violent felony for purposes of the ACCA. Id.

         Jahns then filed a motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, again challenging the application of the ACCA. Jahns raised the Supreme Court's decision in Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013), as a change in law making Kentucky burglary convictions invalid predicates under the ACCA. The court denied relief, rejecting Jahns's claim under Descamps and finding that Jahns's argument had already been addressed in his direct appeal. See Jahns v. United States, No. 3:10-cr 435-1 (N.D. Ohio Feb. 3, 2015).

         Following the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), which holds that the residual clause in § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) is unconstitutionally vague, Jahns applied for authorization to file a second § 2255 motion. The Sixth Circuit denied this request concluding that the classification of Jahns's burglary convictions as violent felonies did not depend on the residual clause, so Johnson did not apply. The Sixth Circuit explained:

Although Johnson announced a new, substantive rule of constitutional law made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257, 1264-65 (2016), it “d[id] not call into question application of the [ACCA] to the four enumerated offenses, or the remainder of the Act's definition of a violent felony.” Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563. And in rejecting Jahns's direct appeal, we have already held that his prior Kentucky burglary convictions fall within the ACCA's enumerated-offenses clause. Jenkins, 528 F. App'x at 485. Therefore, the holding in Johnson does not apply to Jahns's sentence.

In re Jahns, No. 15-4103 (6th Cir. June 3, 2016).

         On June 21, 2016, Jahns filed this petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 attempting to challenge the classification of his Kentucky burglary convictions as violent felonies under the ACCA. In initially denying his petition, this Court concluded that Jahns had not shown that § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to attack his sentence. Jahns appealed and the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded this action directing this Court to reconsider its ruling and discuss the possible effect of intervening case law; specifically the Supreme Court's decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), and the Seventh Circuit's decisions in United States v. Haney, 840 F.3d 472, 475 (7th Cir. 2016) (discussing Mathis in context of direct appeal) and Holt v. United States, 843 F.3d 720 (7th Cir. 2016) (discussing Mathis in context of successive § 2255 motion). Based on this Mandate, counsel was appointed to represent Jahns and the issues have been fully briefed.

         B. Discussion

         A 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). Jahns, however, challenges his sentence and seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). “A federal prisoner may use a § 2241 petition for a writ of habeas corpus to attack his conviction or sentence only if § 2255 is ‘inadequate or ineffective.'” Hill v. Werlinger, 695 F.3d 644, 645 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)). Whether § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective depends on “whether it allows the petitioner ‘a reasonable opportunity to obtain a reliable judicial determination of the fundamental legality of his conviction and sentence.'” Webster v. Daniels, 784 F.3d 1123, 1136 (7th Cir. 2015) (en banc) (quoting In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 1998). To properly invoke the Savings Clause of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e), a petitioner is required to show “something more than a lack of success with a section 2255 motion, ” i.e., “some kind of structural problem with section 2255.” Id. “The petitioner bears the burden of coming forward with evidence affirmatively showing the inadequacy or ineffectiveness of the § 2255 remedy.” Smith v. Warden, FCC Coleman-Low, 503 F. App'x 763, 765 (11th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).

         The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has identified the three requirements to invoke the Savings Clause:

In the wake of Davenport, we distilled that holding into a three-part test: a petitioner who seeks to invoke the savings clause of § 2255(e) in order to proceed under § 2241 must establish: (1) that he relies on “not a constitutional case, but a statutory-interpretation case, so [that he] could not have invoked it by means of a second or successive section 2255 motion, ” (2) that the new rule applies retroactively to cases on collateral review and could not have been invoked in his earlier proceeding, and (3) that the error is “grave enough . . . to be deemed a miscarriage of justice corrigible therefore in a habeas corpus proceeding, ” such as one resulting in “a conviction for a crime of which he was innocent.” Brown v. Rios, 696 F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012).

Montana v. Cross, 829 F.3d 775, 783 (7th Cir. 2016), cert. denied sub nom. Montana v. Werlich, 137 S.Ct. 1813 (2017). Each of the three requirements to invoke the savings clause ...


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