Campbell v. Quintana
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: (1) Campbell's 1 Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED. (2) This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court's docket. (3) A corresponding Judgment will be entered this date. Signed by Judge Danny C. Reeves on August 18, 2017. (AWD) cc: Petitioner via US Mail
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
ROBERT D. CAMPBELL,
FRANCISCO QUINTANA, Warden,
Civil Action No. 5: 17-328-DCR
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Inmate Robert D. Campbell is confined at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington,
Kentucky. Proceeding without a lawyer, Campbell has filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [Record No. 1]. For the reasons set forth below,
Campbell’s petition will be denied.
In 2009, Campbell was convicted of distributing cocaine base, possessing a firearm
in furtherance of a drug crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and simple
possession of cocaine base. The maximum sentence for being a felon in possession of a
firearm is usually 10 years in prison. See 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2). However, the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee determined that Campbell had
at least three previous convictions for violent felonies that were committed on different
occasions. As a result, Campbell was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15
years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm pursuant to the Armed Career
Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Ultimately, the district court sentenced
Campbell to 300 months in prison for that specific crime, 240 months in prison for
distributing cocaine base, and 12 months in prison for simple possession of cocaine, with
the lesser terms to run concurrently. Additionally, the district court sentenced Campbell to
60 months in prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, to be served
consecutively to the other terms. Thus, Campbell was sentenced to serve a total term of
imprisonment of 360 months. See United States v. Campbell, No. 3:05-cr-00023 (E.D.
Campbell challenged his sentence on direct appeal and argued, among other things,
that the ACCA enhancement was inapplicable. However, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the conviction and sentence. See United States v.
Campbell, 436 F. App’x 518 (6th Cir. 2011). The court recognized that Campbell was
previously convicted of facilitation of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and two
aggravated robberies. See id. at 529-30. The court focused on Campbell’s aggravated
assault and two aggravated robbery convictions and concluded that those crimes were
separate offenses. See id. at 530-31. The court then noted, “Campbell concedes that the
aggravated robberies and the aggravated assault are violent felonies. Campbell is thus
subject to the enhanced-penalty provision in § 924(e) because he was found guilty of being
a felon in possession of a firearm who has at least three qualifying prior violent-felony
convictions.” Id. at 531.
Campbell then filed a motion to vacate his sentence pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See
United States v. Campbell, No. 3: 05-cr-00023 (E.D. Tenn. 2010) at Record No. 185. The
district court, however, denied Campbell’s motion. See id. It again determined that
Campbell was subject to the armed career criminal enhancement because his convictions
for facilitation of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and two aggravated robberies
all constituted valid predicate offenses under the ACCA. See id. at 12.
Campbell appealed, and the Sixth Circuit granted a Certificate of Appealability so
that it could once again consider whether he had sufficient predicate offenses to qualify for
an enhanced sentence under the ACCA. See Campbell v. United States, No. 16-5288 (6th
Cir. August 29, 2016) (order). But in March 2017, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district
court’s order denying Campbell’s § 2255 motion. Campbell v. United States, No. 16-5288
(6th Cir. March 22, 2017). Notably, the court analyzed Campbell’s criminal history and
concluded that his aggravated assault and two aggravated robbery convictions constituted
violent felonies. See id. It determined that Campbell “has the requisite three violent
felonies to support his career criminal designation without consideration of his facilitation
conviction.” Id. Campbell petitioned the Sixth Circuit for a rehearing en banc, but the
court denied that petition on June 27, 2017. See Campbell v. United States, No. 16-5288
(6th Cir. June 27, 2017) (order). Finally, the Sixth Circuit issued its mandate on July 5,
2017. See Campbell v. United States, No. 16-5288 (6th Cir. July 5, 2017) (order).
Campbell filed his § 2241 petition with this Court just over one month after issuance
of the mandate. [Record No. 1]. Once again, Campbell claims that he did not have enough
predicate offenses to qualify for an enhanced sentence under the ACCA. [Record No. 1 at
7]. Indeed, Campbell argues that his convictions for facilitation of second-degree murder
and aggravated assault are not violent felonies for purposes of the ACCA. As a result, he
asks the Court to order that he be resentenced. [Record No. 1 at 7-19].
Campbell’s § 2241 petition constitutes an impermissible collateral attack on his
sentence. While a federal prisoner may challenge the legality of his sentence through a
direct appeal and a § 2255 motion, he generally may not do so in a § 2241 petition. See
United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001) (explaining the distinction
between a § 2255 motion and a § 2241 petition). A § 2241 petition is usually only a vehicle
for challenges to actions taken by prison officials that affect the manner in which the
prisoner’s sentence is being carried out, such as computing sentence credits or determining
parole eligibility. See Terrell v. United States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). Simply
put, Campbell cannot use a § 2241 petition as a way of challenging his sentence.
Campbell nevertheless argues that § 2255(e)’s savings clause permits him to attack
his sentence enhancement in a § 2241 petition, and he cites the Sixth Circuit’s decision in
Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016), as support. It is true that the Sixth Circuit
indicated in Hill that certain prisoners may challenge a sentence enhancement in a § 2241
petition. But the court expressly limited its decision to “prisoners who were sentenced
under the mandatory guidelines regime pre-United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 . . .
(2005),” see Hill, 836 F.3d at 599, and Campbell was sentenced in 2010—well after the
Supreme Court decided Booker. In any event, as this Court has recently explained, the
decision in Hill is not binding on this Court because it is inconsistent with previous Sixth
Circuit published precedent. See Muir v. Quintana, No. 5:17-327-DCR (E.D. Ky. August
17, 2017). Thus, Campbell’s reliance on Hill is unavailing.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, even if Campbell were correct that he could
yet again attack his sentence enhancement, the fact remains that the Sixth Circuit just
decided this issue. Indeed, the Sixth Circuit held in no uncertain terms that Campbell “has
the requisite three violent felonies to support his career criminal designation.” Campbell
v. United States, No. 16-5288 (6th Cir. March 22, 2017). Simply put, this matter has been
finally resolved. Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED as follows:
1. Campbell’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus [Record No. 1] is DENIED.
2. This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court’s docket.
3. A corresponding judgment will be entered this date.
This 18th day of August, 2017.
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