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Jackson v. Johnson

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

September 4, 2018

ERIC L. JACKSON, Petitioner
v.
CALVIN JOHNSON, Respondent

          DEE D. DRELL MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus (28 U.S.C. § 2241) filed by pro se Petitioner Eric L. Jackson. (“Jackson”) (#03936-087). Jackson is an inmate in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana. Jackson challenges his sentence imposed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

         Because Jackson cannot meet the requirements of the savings clause of 28 U.S.C. § 2255, his petition should be dismissed.

         I. Background

         Following a jury trial, Jackson was convicted of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(iii), 846 (2000); one count of distribution of cocaine base within 1000 feet of a school in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), 860; one count of possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base within 1000 feet of a school in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(iii), 860; and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine within 1000 feet of a school in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), 860. United States v. Jackson, 63 Fed.Appx. 149 (4th Cir. 2003). Jackson was sentenced to 360 months in prison. Id.

         According to his petition, Jackson did not appeal or file a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 1, p. 4-5). However, court records and published jurisprudence indicate otherwise. Jackson's conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. Id., cert. denied, Jackson v. United States, 540 U.S. 934 (2003).

         Jackson filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence under § 2255, which was denied. Jackson v. United States, 5:04-cv-113, 2007 WL 1726442 (N.D. W.Va. June 12, 2007). The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Jackson's motion for certificate of appealability. United States v. Jackson, 286 Fed.Appx. 49 (4th Cir. 2008).

         Jackson filed a motion to reduce sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The motion was denied because the new sentencing guidelines had no effect on Jackson's base offense level under the drug quantity table. (5:01-cr-004, N.D. W.Va., Doc. 158). The Fourth Circuit affirmed the ruling. (5:01-cr-004, N.D. W.Va., Doc. 167). Jackson filed three additional letters/motions in the district court seeking a reduction of his sentence, which were denied on the same grounds as the original motion. (5:01-cr-004, N.D. W.Va., Doc. 182).

         Jackson filed another motion to vacate under § 2255, alleging that he was entitled to resentencing under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). The motion was denied because Jackson was not sentenced as a career offender or an Armed Career Criminal, so Johnson was inapplicable. (5:01-cr-004, N.D. W.Va., Doc. 211).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Jackson cannot meet the requirements of the savings clause.

         Jackson seeks to proceed under the savings clause of § 2255(e), which provides a limited exception to the rule that a § 2241 petition may not be used to challenge the validity of a federal sentence and conviction. See Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 452 (5th Cir. 2000). The savings clause allows a prisoner to rely on § 2241 if the remedy available under § 2255 would be “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). The burden of affirmatively proving that the § 2255 remedy is inadequate rests with the petitioner. See McGhee v. Hanberry, 604 F.2d 9, 10 (5th Cir. 1979).

         The Fifth Circuit has identified the limited circumstances under which the savings clause of § 2255 applies. A petitioner must demonstrate that: (1) his claims are based on a retroactively applicable Supreme Court decision, which establishes that he may have been convicted of a nonexistent offense; and (2) his claims were foreclosed by circuit law at the time when the claims should have been ...


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