United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
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).
petition is before the court for preliminary review, pursuant
to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases. 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.
the following facts from Stiles's petition, Dkt. 1, and
publicly available case records.
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).
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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 ...