Randle v. Terris
OPINION and ORDER Denying re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
MICKEY A. RANDLE,
Case Number: 2:16-14289
HONORABLE SEAN F. COX
J. A. TERRIS,
OPINION AND ORDER
DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
Petitioner Mickey A. Randle, currently incarcerated in the Federal Correctional
Facility in Milan, Michigan, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
He argues that one of the two offenses used for his career offender designation does not
qualify as a predicate crime of violence under Mathis v. United States, — U.S. —, 136 S. Ct.
2243 (2016). For the reasons set forth, the Court denies the petition.
On October 7, 2005, Randle pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Wisconsin, to possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of
cocaine base, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). See United States v. Randle, No. 3:04-cr-00188-bbc-1.
On December 15, 2005, Randle was sentenced to 400 months’ imprisonment to be followed
by five years’ supervised release. See Judgment, Ex. 5 to Response to Pet. for Writ of
Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 8-5, Pg. ID 81-86). Randle was sentenced after the Supreme
Court issued its decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 245 (2005), and the trial
court properly viewed the Sentencing Guidelines as advisory rather than mandatory. See
12/15/05 Tr., Ex. 4, Resp. to Pet. (ECF No. 8-4). Randle appealed his conviction and
sentence. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal under Anders v.
California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). United States v. Randle, 208 F. App’x 462 (2006).
In 2007, Randle filed a motion to vacate his conviction and sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. The district court denied the motion and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
denied a certificate of appealability. Randle v. United States, No. 07-3824 (7th Cir. Feb. 25,
Randle filed a motion for relief from judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
59(a)(2) and 60(b) in 2011. The district court construed the motion as an unauthorized
successive motion under § 2255 and dismissed the motion for lack of jurisdiction. United
States v. Randle, No. 04-cr-188-bbc (W.D. Wis. Sept. 1, 2010). The Seventh Circuit Court
of Appeals denied a certificate of appealability. United States v. Randle, No. 10-3812 (7th
Cir. June 17, 2011).
In 2016, Randle sought authorization from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to
file a successive motion to vacate sentence under § 2255, challenging his sentence under
Johnson v. United States, — U.S. —, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). The Court of Appeals denied
leave to file a successive § 2255 motion. Randle v. United States, No. 16-2067 (7th Cir. June
Petitioner again moved for post-conviction relief under § 2255 by filing a motion in
the Western District of Wisconsin. He sought a reduction in his sentence in light of Mathis
v. United States, — U.S. —, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016). The district court denied the motion
because Randle did not obtain the necessary certification for filing a successive § 2255
motion. Randle v. United States, No. 04-cv-669-bbc (W.D. Wis. Oct. 6, 2016).
Randle has also filed three motions to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582,
based upon changes to the drug guidelines after his sentencing. All three motions were
granted and his sentence reduced to a 188-month term of imprisonment. See Ex. 6, Resp. to
Pet. (ECF No. 8-6).
Randle filed the pending habeas petition on December 7, 2016. A month after filing
his habeas petition, Randle filed a motion to supplement his petition. The Court will grant
that motion and the supplement is accepted for filing.
Randle contends that he was improperly sentenced as a career offender under the
United States Sentencing Guidelines. Specifically, he argues that, based upon the Supreme
Court’s decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), he is actually innocent
of the career offender enhancement because one of the two offenses used for his career
offender designation, a Wisconsin state conviction for burglary, does not count as a predicate
crime of violence after Mathis.
A prisoner generally may challenge his federal conviction or sentence only by means
of a § 2255 motion. See Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 2016). A writ of habeas
corpus under § 2255 requires the petitioner to file his challenge in the district that imposed
the criminal sentence on him. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). A petition challenging the manner
or execution of a sentence is appropriate under § 2241. Hill, 836 F.3d at 594. In this case,
petitioner is clearly attacking his sentence, but is doing so under § 2241. A federal prisoner
may bring a claim challenging his conviction or the imposition of sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 only if it appears that the remedy afforded under section 2255 is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention. Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 756 (6th
Cir.1999). Habeas corpus is not an “additional, alternative, or supplemental remedy” to the
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence. Id. at 758.
Randle argues that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Hill v. Masters, 836
F.3d 591 (2016), allows the petition to be filed under § 2241 because he alleges actual
innocence. Section 2255's “savings clause” permits a petitioner to file a habeas corpus
petition challenging his conviction pursuant to § 2241 rather than § 2255 in limited
An application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is
authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section, shall not be
entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by
motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him
relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention.
28 U.S.C. § 2255 (emphasis supplied).
The circumstances under which § 2255 might be deemed “inadequate” are narrow, as
the “liberal allowance” of the writ under § 2241 would defeat the restrictions placed on
successive petitions or motions for collateral relief imposed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244. United
States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001). “A remedy under § 2255 is not
considered inadequate or ineffective simply because § 2255 relief has been denied . . . or
because the petitioner is procedurally barred from pursuing relief under § 2255 . . . or
because the petitioner has been denied permission to file a second or successive motion to
vacate.” Charles, 180 F.3d at 756. The petitioner bears the burden of showing that a § 2255
remedy is inadequate. In re Gregory, 181 F.3d 713, 714 (6th Cir. 1999). Randle fails to
satisfy that burden.
Randle does not argue that he is innocent of the crime of conviction. Instead, he
argues that he is innocent of the career offender enhancement. The Sixth Circuit has held
that claims alleging actual innocence of a sentencing enhancement generally cannot be raised
under § 2241. Jones v. Castillo, 489 F. App’x 864, 866 (6th Cir. 2012). In 2016, the Sixth
Circuit held that a petitioner may challenge a sentence under § 2241, only where: (1) the
petitioner’s sentence was imposed pre-Booker, when the Sentencing Guidelines were
mandatory; (2) the petitioner was foreclosed from asserting the claim in a successive petition
under § 2255; and (3) after the petitioner’s sentence became final, the Supreme Court issued
a retroactively applicable decision establishing that – as a matter of statutory interpretation
– a prior conviction used to enhance his federal sentence no longer qualified as a valid
predicate offense. Hill, 836 F.3d at 599-600. Here, Petitioner was sentenced under the
advisory guidelines, not the pre-Booker mandatory guidelines. Ex. 4, Resp. to Pet. (ECF No.
8-4, Pg. ID 66). Therefore, he may not file this claim under § 2241.
In addition, even if Randle could bring his claim under § 2241, Mathis does not bear
upon his case. Although Randle qualified at the time of his sentencing as a career offender,
he was not sentenced based upon his career offender status. Instead, because his offense
level was higher under the drug guidelines, he was sentenced under the drug guidelines rather
than the career offender guidelines. See id. (ECF No. 8-4, Pg. ID 77). The Mathis decision,
therefore, is inapplicable.
The Court concludes that the petition is not properly filed under § 2241. Accordingly,
the Court DENIES the petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Petitioner’s Motion for Leave to File Supplement to Petition for Post-Conviction
Relief (ECF No. 4) is GRANTED. The Supplement to Petition for Post-Conviction Relief
(ECF No. 5) is accepted for filing.
Dated: July 11, 2017
s/Sean F. Cox
Sean F. Cox
U. S. District Judge
I hereby certify that on July 11, 2017, the foregoing document was served on counsel of
record via electronic means and upon Mickey A. Randle via First Class mail at the address
Mickey A. Randle
ROCHESTER FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER
P.O. BOX 4000
ROCHESTER, MN 55903
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