Horton v. Keller (INMATE 3)

Filing 17

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Wallace Capel, Jr on 6/9/10. (djy, )

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IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES F O R THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA N O R T H E R N DIVISION E U G E N E HORTON, P e titio n e r, v. J.A. KELLER, R e sp o n d e n t. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Civil Action No. 2:10cv85-WC (WO) M E M O R A N D U M OPINION T h is is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2241, filed on F e b ru a ry 1, 2010. (Doc. No. 1.) I. BACKGROUND T h e petitioner, Eugene Horton ("Horton"), is currently incarcerated at the Federal P riso n Camp in Montgomery, Alabama, serving a 91-month sentence, imposed upon him in 2 0 0 5 by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, upon his c o n v ictio n for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in re la tio n to a drug trafficking crime. In his petition, Horton claims that the Federal Bureau o f Prisons ("BOP") has failed to properly consider the mandated statutory criteria in d e te rm in in g the duration of his placement in a residential reentry center ("RRC") for the final p o rtio n of his federal sentence, in violation of the Second Chance Act. In compliance with this court's orders, the respondent has filed an answer in which h e argues that (1) Horton's habeas petition is not ripe for court review, because at the time h e filed his petition, he was not close enough to the end of his sentence to qualify for c o n sid e ra tio n for placement in an RRC under the Second Chance Act and the BOP had made n o determination regarding his RRC placement; and (2) even if Horton were eligible for c o n sid e ra tio n for placement in an RRC at the time he filed his petition, he has not exhausted a d m in is tra tiv e remedies with respect to his claims. (Doc. No. 13.) In response, Horton has f ile d a traverse. (Doc. No. 16.) II. DISCUSSION B y his petition, Horton seeks to have the BOP consider him for placement in an RRC f o r the final portion of his sentence, for the maximum amount of time allowed, pursuant to th e authority of the Second Chance Act of 2007. T h e Second Chance Act amended 18 U.S.C. 3621(a) and 3624(c). Pursuant to the S e c o n d Chance Act, the BOP staff is required to review inmates for RRC placement 17-19 m o n th s before their projected release date, and inmates are to be individually considered u s in g the five factors listed in 3621(b). When he filed his petition, on February 1, 2010, H o r to n 's projected release date was January 18, 2012. At that time, Horton was not close e n o u g h to the end of his sentence to qualify under the Second Chance Act for consideration f o r placement in an RRC for a portion of the remainder of his sentence. Consequently, H o rto n 's case is not ripe for review. III. CONCLUSION A c c o rd in g ly, the court concludes that the 28 U.S.C. 2241 petition for habeas corpus 2 re lie f filed by Horton should be dismissed without prejudice. A separate final judgment will be entered. D o n e this 9 th day of June, 2010. /s /W a lla c e Capel, Jr. WALLACE CAPEL, JR. U N IT E D STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 3

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