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Hampton v. Craig

April 20, 2006

RANDY HAMPTON, PETITIONER,
v.
T.R. CRAIG, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary L. Sharpe, United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

I. Background

Presently before the Court is a petition for habeas corpus brought by Petitioner Randy Hampton pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Dkt. No. 1. Petitioner has paid the filing fee required for this action. Petitioner, who is confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Ray Brook, New York, brings this action to challenge a sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Petitioner was convicted on April 1, 1996 and sentenced to a term of 360 months imprisonment. Dkt. No. 1, Petition at 2. Petitioner does not indicate whether he appealed from his conviction and sentence. According to Petitioner, he filed a motion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the sentencing court, which that court denied on January 22, 2003. Dkt. No. 1, Memorandum of Law at 3.

In support of his Petition, Petitioner relies upon Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348 (2000);*fn1 Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004);*fn2 and United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005).*fn3 Petitioner asserts that his sentence enhancements violate his Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, and that he is therefore entitled to resentencing. Dkt. No. 1, Memorandum of Law at 4.*fn4

II. Discussion

A. Section 2255 and Section 2241

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a federal court who wishes to attack the validity of his conviction or sentence collaterally may file a motion in the sentencing court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255; Adams v. United States, 372 F.3d 132, 134 (2d Cir. 2004); Chambers v. United States, 106 F.3d 472, 474 (2d Cir. 1997). That right, however, is not unlimited. Rather, § 2255 contains a gatekeeping provision that limits a petitioner's ability to file a second or successive § 2255 motion. In pertinent part, this statute provides that

[a] second or successive motion must be certified as provided in section 2244 by a panel of the appropriate court of appeals to contain --

(1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense; or

(2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable.

28 U.S.C. § 2255.

By contrast, a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is the proper vehicle to challenge the execution of a sentence. See Adams, 372 F.3d at 135; 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For example, a petitioner may use a § 2241 petition to challenge a federal official's computation of a sentence, parole decisions, or prison disciplinary actions. See Jiminian v. Nash, 245 F.3d 144, 146 (2d Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). A federal prisoner, however, generally may not seek relief from his conviction or sentence pursuant to a § 2241 petition.

B. Section 2255's Savings Clause

There is an exception to the bar against a federal prisoner using a § 2241 petition to attack a federal conviction collaterally. Pursuant to the so-called "savings clause" of § 2255, a federal prisoner may seek relief under § 2241 if he can show that his remedy under § 2255 "is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his ...


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