Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Stiles v. Williams

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

October 31, 2017

JAMISON MICHAEL STILES, Petitioner,
v.
LOUIS WILLIAMS, II, Respondent.

          OPINION & ORDER

          JAMES D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pro se petitioner Jamison Michael Stiles is a prisoner in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) currently housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin (FCI-Oxford). He is serving a sentence for a 2014 conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Stiles has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his sentence under Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016).

         The petition is before the court for preliminary review, pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.[1] Under Rule 4, I will dismiss the petition only if it plainly appears that Stiles is not entitled to relief. As discussed below, Stiles is not entitled to the relief that he seeks, so I will dismiss the petition.

         ALLEGATIONS OF FACT

         I draw the following facts from Stiles's petition, Dkt. 1, and publicly available case records.

         In 2014, Stiles pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. In 2016, he was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924, which imposes a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence of imprisonment on defendants convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm who have three or more previous convictions for serious drug offenses or violent felonies. (Without the ACCA sentencing enhancement, the felon-in-possession statute sets a 10-year maximum sentence with no minimum. See § 924(a)(2).) Stiles says that the sentencing judge found that the ACCA applied to him because of five prior Missouri convictions for "sale of a controlled substance." Id. at 8. Court records indicate that he had five class B felony convictions under Missouri Revised Statute § 195.211. See United States v. Stiles, No. 13-cr-340, Dkt. 41-1 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 24, 2014). The court sentenced Stiles to 94 months of imprisonment. The court imposed a sentence below the mandatory minimum because of Stiles's substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense, as allowed by 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e).

         In 2016, Stiles moved to vacate or set aside his conviction under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the Western District of Missouri. The motion was denied. Stiles then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 in this court.

         ANALYSIS

         Although postconviction relief to federal prisoners generally must proceed under § 2255, Stiles brings this challenge under § 2241. To obtain relief under § 2241, a habeas petitioner must satisfy three conditions. First, the prisoner must show that he relies on a judicial decision in "a 'statutory-interpretation case, ' rather than a 'constitutional case.'" Brown v. Caraway, 719 F.3d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Brown v. Rios, 696 F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2012)). "Second, the prisoner must show that he relies on a retroactive decision that he could not have invoked in his first § 2255 motion." Id. Third, the prisoner must demonstrate that there was "a grave enough error to be deemed a miscarriage of justice corrigible therefore in a habeas corpus proceeding." Id. (quoting Rios, 696 F.3d at 640). Stiles plainly cannot satisfy the third condition, so I must dismiss his petition.

         Stiles, who was sentenced under the ACCA, challenges his sentence under Mathis, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. In Mathis, the Court reaffirmed the proper process for determining whether a defendant's prior state daw conviction is a violent felony under the ACCA: the "categorical approach." 136 S.Ct. at 2248. Under the categorical approach, the sentencing court should look to the statutory definition of the offense to see if the elements satisfy the ACCA's definition of a violent felony. Only if the state law "define[s] multiple crimes" by listing "elements in the alternative, " that is, if it is "divisible, " should the sentencing court use the "modified categorical approach, " which permits a court to look at a "limited class of documents [from the record of a prior conviction] to determine what crime, with what elements, a defendant was convicted of" and then review those elements to see if they satisfy the ACCA's definition. Id. at 2249.

         Stiles satisfies the first condition, because Mathis is a statutory-interpretation case. Dawkins v. United States, 829 F.3d 549, 551 (7th Cir. 2016). As for the second condition, I assume thai Mathis applies retroactively. See Jackson v. Williams, No. 17-cv-319, 2017 WL 3668850, at *2 (W.D. Wis. Aug. 23, 2017).

         But Stiles cannot obtain relief under § 2241 because he cannot satisfy the third condition. That is, he cannot demonstrate that there was any error in his sentencing, let alone a grave enough error to be deemed a miscarriage of justice. I take Stiles to contend that under Mathis, the sentencing court erroneously found that his prior Missouri convictions for sale of a controlled substance were serious drug offenses.

         The ACCA defines a serious drug offense as "an offense . . . involving manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance . . . for which a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more is prescribed by law." 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (2) (A) (ii). Stiles was convicted of selling marijuana under Missouri Revised Statute § 195.211.2. In 1992, when Stiles committed these crimes, § 195.211 prohibited the distribution, delivery, manufacture, or production (or the attempt or possession with intent to do one of those things) of a controlled substance. It provided that

2. Any person who violates or attempts to violate this section with respect to any controlled substance except five grams or less of ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.