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Griffin v. Warden Federal Correctional Institute Oakdal

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

February 18, 2015

WILLIE J. GRIFFIN, JR. BOP#XXXXX-XXX,
v.
WARDEN FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE OAKDAL A/K/A C. MAIORANA.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

KATHLEEN KAY, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is the pro se habeas corpus petition filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by petitioner Willie J. Griffin, Jr. Petitioner is an inmate in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (hereinafter "BOP"); he is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute in Oakdale, Louisiana (hereinafter "FCIO").

This matter was referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the standing orders of the court. For the following reasons it is recommended that the petition be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

I.

Background

Following a jury trial, Griffin was found guilty of conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Doc. 1, p. 2. On December 2, 1999, he was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida to 236 months imprisonment followed by eight years of supervised release. Doc. 1, pp. 1, 2.[1] Griffin appealed his conviction and sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit which issued an opinion on April 19, 2001 upholding the sentence. Doc. 1, p. 2; United States v. Griffin, 253 F.2d 709 (11th Cir. 2001). Griffin then filed a habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 with the sentencing court and appealed the denial of that petition to the Eleventh Circuit. Doc. 1, p. 2; See also Griffin v. Hogsten, 2007 WL 1811222 (U.S. Dist. Court, M.D. Pa. 2007). He also sought a writ of certiorari from the United States Supreme Court, which was denied. Id. Griffin filed a subsequent section 2255 motion which was denied as successive on August 27, 2009. See Griffin v. Butterworth, 3:10-cv-342 (U.S. Dist. Court, N.D. Fla.). Griffin also filed several habeas petitions under 28 USC §2241 challenging the use of his prior state conviction to enhance his 1999 federal sentence. All petitions were denied.[2]

On April 14, 2014, Griffin filed the current habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Therein, he claims that:

(1) He is actually innocent of the § 851 enhancement in light of Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S.Ct. 1678 (2013) as his state conviction does not require the mens rea element found in its federal counterpart, 21 U.S.C. § 841 (a)(1) and therefor is not punishable as a felony under the Controlled Substance Act.
(2) The court's use of his prior conviction violates Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276, 186 L.Ed.2d 438 (2013) as it was used as a predicate offense to enhance the mandatory minimum pursuant to § 851. Doc. 1, pp. 4-5.
(3) The court's position as found in Reyes-Requena v. United States, 243 F.3d 893, 901 (5th Cir. 2001) and/or Fifth Circuit precedent is contrary to Supreme Court case law which allows a petitioner to claim actual innocence of a sentence versus a conviction only.
(4) This court must declare Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151, 186 L.Ed.2d 314 (2013) retroactively applicable.
(5) His conviction under § 841(b) is flawed because Congress did not intend for federal law to override the constitutional balance of federal and state powers. Doc. 3, pp. 2-4.
(6) The omission of drug quantity in a particular case is structural error in violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments where a defendant raised a grand jury and jury trial challenge to the constructive amendment of the indictment which resulted in a change of proof at trial, and that McMillian v. ...

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