Clark v. USA

Filing 7

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED Petitioner Sacorey Clark's Amended Motion for Release and/or Conditional Release under 18 U.S.C. § 3141 (Doc. 3 ) is DENIED. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 2/18/2021. (CLO)

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Case: 4:21-cv-00127-JAR Doc. #: 7 Filed: 02/18/21 Page: 1 of 3 PageID #: 75 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI EASTERN DIVISION SACOREY CLARK, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 4:21-CV-00127-JAR MEMORANDUM AND ORDER This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Sacorey Clark’s Amended Motion for Release and/or Conditional Release under 18 U.S.C. § 3141. (Doc. 3). Petitioner has also filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 1). In each motion, Petitioner argues that he should not have been sentenced as an Armed Career Criminal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Following a jury trial, Petitioner was found guilty of one count of possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). United States v. Clark, 934 F.3d 843 (8th Cir. 2019) (per curiam). Petitioner was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment after this Court determined that Petitioner qualified as an Armed Career Criminal, a determination which was upheld on appeal to the Eighth Circuit. Id. Petitioner’s motion before this Court is grounded in the Bail Reform Act of 1984, but this act’s provisions, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b), do not apply to a habeas petitioner whose conviction and sentence have already been affirmed on direct appeal. Redzic v. United States, No. 1:11-CV-00133 ERW, 2011 WL 5827798, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 18, 2011) (“The problem with Movant’s reliance upon § [3143(b)], however, is that it applies to defendants who are challenging their conviction or sentence on direct appeal.”); see also United Case: 4:21-cv-00127-JAR Doc. #: 7 Filed: 02/18/21 Page: 2 of 3 PageID #: 76 States v. Mett, 41 F.3d 1281, 1282 (9th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted) (“The Bail Reform Act does not apply to federal prisoners seeking postconviction relief.”). 1 This Court will proceed to consider Petitioner’s request, however, because it has “inherent authority to release an inmate on bail pending a decision for a writ of habeas corpus or a motion under § 2255, but that authority is to be used sparingly.” Alton v. United States, 928 F. Supp. 885, 889 (E.D. Mo. 1996) (citing Cherek v. United States, 767 F.2d 335, 337 (7th Cir. 1985)); see also Mapp v. Reno, 241 F.3d 221 (2d Cir. 2001). District courts may exercise such power if an inmate shows not only a substantial constitutional claim but also exceptional circumstances meriting special treatment in the interests of justice. Martin v. Solem, 801 F.2d 324, 329 (8th Cir. 1986). Petitioner’s motion does not meet this high standard, as it is merely a more limited recitation of the allegations made in his § 2255 motion. See Redzic, 2011 WL 5827798 at *1. The claim that Petitioner did not qualify as an Armed Career Criminal has already been rejected by the Eighth Circuit on appeal. Clark, 934 F.3d 843. The other claims raised in Petitioner’s habeas motion do not present substantial constitutional questions and are unlikely to succeed. Petitioner generally references the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but identifies no unique health risks establishing the exceptional circumstances required for the extraordinary relief he seeks. See United States v. Whitfield, No. 1:19-CR-146 SNLJ, 2020 WL 1976233, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 9, 2020) (finding COVID-19 did not present exceptional circumstances warranting release under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(c)). Petitioner has been sentenced to prison after a jury trial, and this Court will in due course carefully consider his petition for habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. At this moment, however, Petitioner has not met the extremely high threshold required for release pending habeas review. Therefore, the instant motion is considered and denied. Even if this Court were to apply the applicable requirements for release pending appeal under 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b), it would find that Petitioner should not be released. 1 -2- Case: 4:21-cv-00127-JAR Doc. #: 7 Filed: 02/18/21 Page: 3 of 3 PageID #: 77 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED Petitioner Sacorey Clark’s Amended Motion for Release and/or Conditional Release under 18 U.S.C. § 3141 (Doc. 3) is DENIED. Dated this 18th day of February, 2021. ________________________________ JOHN A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE -3-

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