United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
LLOYD D. MEEKS, Petitioner,
WARDEN USP Terre Haute, Respondent.
ORDER DENYING WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 2241 AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
D. Meeks, a federal inmate incarcerated at the U.S.
Penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana, seeks a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons
discussed in this Order, his petition for writ of habeas
corpus is denied.
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive
means by which a federal prisoner can challenge his
conviction or sentence. See Shepherd v. Krueger, 911
F.3d 861, 862 (7th Cir. 2018); Webster v. Daniels,
784 F.3d 1123, 1124 (7th Cir. 2015). Under very limited
circumstances, however, a prisoner may employ Section 2241 to
challenge his federal conviction or sentence.
Webster, 784 F.3d at 1124. This is because
“[§] 2241 authorizes federal courts to issue writs
of habeas corpus, but § 2255(e) makes § 2241
unavailable to a federal prisoner unless it ‘appears
that the remedy by motion [under § 2255] is inadequate
or ineffective to test the legality of [the]
detention.'” Roundtree v. Krueger, 910
F.3d 312, 313 (7th Cir. 2018). Section 2255(e) is known as
the “savings clause.” The Seventh Circuit has
held that § 2255 is “‘inadequate or
ineffective' when it cannot be used to address novel
developments in either statutory or constitutional law,
whether those developments concern the conviction or the
sentence.” Roundtree, 910 F.3d at 313
(citing e.g., In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605 (7th
Cir. 1998); Brown v. Caraway, 719 F.3d 583 (7th Cir.
2013); Webster v. Daniels, 784 F.3d 1123 (7th Cir.
2015) (en banc)).
Seventh Circuit construed the savings clause in the In re
A procedure for postconviction relief can be fairly termed
inadequate when it is so configured as to deny a convicted
defendant any opportunity for judicial rectification of so
fundamental a defect in his conviction as having been
imprisoned for a nonexistent offense.
re Davenport, 147 F.3d at 611. The Seventh Circuit has
explained that, to fit within the savings clause following
Davenport, a petitioner must meet three conditions:
“(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); Brown v. Caraway,
719 F.3d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 2013); see also
Roundtree, 910 F.3d at 313 (acknowledging circuit split
regarding Davenport conditions and holding that
relitigation under § 2241 of a contention that was
resolved in a proceeding under § 2255 is prohibited
unless the law changed after the initial collateral review).
Factual and Procedural Background
February 10, 2009, Meeks and his maternal half-brother
Douglas Marcel Meeks were charged in the Southern District of
Iowa in a Superseding Indictment with conspiracy to
distribute at least 50 grams of cocaine base, in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(b)(1)(A) (Count 1);
distributing at least 5 grams of cocaine base (crack
cocaine), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1)
and (b)(1)(B), 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Counts 2 and 3); and
tampering with a person, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1512 (Counts 4 and 5). United States v. Meeks et
al., No. 3:08-cr-00086-JAJ-TJS-2 (S.D. Iowa 2008)
(“Crim. Dkt.”), Dkt. 34. The two counts for
tampering with a person were dismissed prior to trial.
Following a three-day trial, a jury in the Southern District
of Iowa found Meeks and his half-brother guilty of conspiracy
to distribute at least 50 grams of cocaine base (Count 1) and
distributing at least 5 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine)
(Counts 2 and 3). United States v. Meeks, 639 F.3d
522, 525-26 (8th Cir. 2011). Because Meeks had at least two
prior felony drug convictions, the court sentenced him to
mandatory life imprisonment on the conspiracy count and a
concurrent term of 360 months' imprisonment on the
individual distribution count. Id.
prior felony drug convictions were identified by the
government in a § 851 Information. Crim. Dkt. 61. The
following prior convictions were:
• On or about February 23, 2007, in Iowa District Court
in and for Scott County, Criminal No. FECR295066, a
conviction for a controlled substance offense, Iowa Code
124.401(d), and sentenced to five years in prison, a Class D
felony under Iowa law.
• On or about November 30, 1998, in Cook County,
Illinois, Criminal No. 98CR17889, a conviction for
“Other Amount Narcotic Sch I & II, ” a
violation of Illinois Chapter 720-570/401(d), and sentenced
to seven years in prison, a Class 2 felony under Illinois
• On or about October 4, 1994, in Cook County, Illinois,
Criminal No. 94CR12499, a conviction for “Amt Narc
Sched I/II, ” a violation of Illinois Chapter
720-570-407(b)(2) and sentenced to four years in prison, a
Class 1 felony under Illinois law;
• On or about December 10, 1993, in Cook County,
Illinois, Criminal No. 93CR0322001, a conviction for
“PCS with intent any Amt I, II”, a violation of
Illinois Chapter 56.5/1401 and sentenced to 16 months'
probation, a felony under Illinois law; and
• On or about December 10, 1993, in Cook County,
Illinois, Criminal No. 93CR1838301, a conviction for
“PCS Any Other Amt” a violation of Illinois
Chapter 56.5/1401 and sentenced to 16 months' probation,
a felony under Illinois law.
preparation for sentencing, the United States Probation
Office prepared a presentence report (PSR). Dkt. 14. The PSR
found that Meeks was a career offender, under § 4B1.1(a)
based on his prior convictions for cocaine trafficking in