Mata v. Edge
MEMORANDUM ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING 3 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS. Signed by Judge Rodney Gilstrap on 10/11/2017. (sm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
RIGOBERTO MATA, JR.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:17cv149
MEMORANDUM ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING
THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Rigoberto Mata, Jr., an inmate confined within the Bureau of Prisons, proceeding pro se,
filed the above-styled petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
The Court referred this matter to the Honorable Caroline M. Craven, United States Magistrate
Judge, at Texarkana, Texas, for consideration pursuant to applicable orders of this court. The
Magistrate Judge has submitted a Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge
concerning this case. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the petition for writ of habeas corpus
The Court has received and considered the Report and Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge, along with the records, pleadings and all available evidence. Petitioner filed
objections to the Report and Recommendation. The court must therefore conduct a de novo review
of the objections in relation to the pleadings and the applicable law.
Petitioner challenges a conviction for conspiracy to launder money. He asserts the following
grounds for review: (a) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction; (b) the prosecution
intentionally distorted the facts of his case because he elected to go to trial; (c) he received
ineffective assistance of counsel and (4) the trial court was biased against him. The Magistrate Judge
concluded petitioner’s grounds for review could not be asserted in a § 2241 petition because they
were not (1) based on a Supreme Court decision that is retroactively applicable on collateral review
and establishes petitioner may have been convicted of a nonexistent offense and (2) foreclosed by
applicable circuit law at the time when they could have been asserted in petitioner’s trial, direct
appeal or first motion to vacate filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
In his objections, petitioner argues that he should be able to assert his grounds for review in
a § 2241 petition. He states his conviction constituted a complete and fundamental miscarriage of
justice because he is actually innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. He also asserts that
under the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in United States v.
Trejo, 610 F.3d 308 (5th Cir. 2010), which was issued 12 month after his trial, the jury could not
have concluded he acted with the required mens rea to support his conviction.
Petitioner’s objections are without merit. A claim that a prisoner is actually innocent because
the conduct he engaged in no longer constitutes a crime provides a basis for relief under § 2241 only
if the argument is based on a retroactively applicable decision of the Supreme Court.
Requena v. United States, 243 F.3d 893, 904 (5th Cir. 2001). Petitioner has cited no retroactively
applicable decisions of the Supreme Court that were decided after his trial and support his
arguments. Trejo, the decision petitioner primarily relies on in support of his claim of actual
innocence, is a decision of the Fifth Circuit rather than the Supreme Court. As a result, it does not
provide petitioner with a basis for relief in this proceeding.
Accordingly, petitioner’s objections are OVERRULED.
The findings of fact and
conclusions of law of the Magistrate Judge are correct and the report of the Magistrate Judge is
A final judgment will be entered in accordance with the Magistrate Judge’s
So Ordered this
Oct 10, 2017
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