United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY DISTRICT JUDGE.
Keith Cloudy, a federal prisoner incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin, seeks
post-conviction relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Cloudy pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Indiana to
possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture
or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base
in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). United States
v. Cloudy, No. 13-cr-147 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 13, 2015). In
their plea agreement, the government and Cloudy agreed that
he qualified for a two-level enhancement pursuant U.S.S.G
§ 2D1.1(b)(1) for possession of a dangerous weapon. At
sentencing, the court ordered Cloudy to serve 57 months in
prison and 24 months of supervised release.
petition to this court, Cloudy seeks to challenge the Bureau
of Prison's (“BOP”) decision to deny him a
one-year sentence reduction for completing the residential
drug program (“RDAP”), which was denied because
of the weapons possession enhancement. This petition is
before the court for preliminary review pursuant to Rule 4 of
the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, which applies to
petitions not brought under § 2254. See Rule
1(b), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. While it appears
that Cloudy's petition may be moot because he was
recently been released from confinement, his petition will
also be dismissed at initial screening because it is plainly
apparent that Cloudy is not entitled to relief.
courts cannot award or calculate credit for time served at
sentencing; the Attorney General, via the BOP, computes
credit and otherwise administers federal sentences.
United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334-35
(1992). Even so, “[a] § 2241 petition allows [the
court] to adjudicate whether the BOP is correctly
administering federal sentences.” Taylor v.
Lariva, 638 Fed.Appx. 539, 541 (7th Cir. 2016); see
also Romandine v. United States, 206 F.3d 731, 736 (7th
Cir. 2000) (“Requests for sentence credit, or for
recalculation of time yet to serve, . . . must be presented
to the Attorney General (or her delegate, the Bureau of
Prisons), and adverse decisions may be reviewed by an action
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.”).
contends that he should have received a one-year sentence
reduction for completing RDAP on September 19, 2016. Under 18
U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)(B), “[t]he period a prisoner
convicted of a nonviolent offense remains in custody after
successfully completing a treatment program may be reduced by
the Bureau of Prisons, but such reduction may not be more
than one year from the term the prisoner must otherwise
serve.” Thus, even when a prisoner is otherwise
eligible for early release, whether the one-year sentence
reduction is applied falls with the BOP's discretion.
Lopez v. Davis, 531 U.S. 230, 241 (2001)
(“When an eligible prisoner successfully completes drug
treatment, the Bureau thus has the authority, but not the
duty, both to alter the prisoner's conditions of
confinement and to reduce his term of imprisonment.”).
Cloudy's submissions, it appears that the BOP determined
that he was not eligible for early release as a result of his
sentence enhancement for possessing a weapon. The court is
unaware of any case law that would empower a court to reverse
the BOP's exercise of discretion to deny sentence
reduction after a determination that he meets the definition
of a violent offender based his conviction of possessing a
firearm while distributing illegal drugs. As set forth above,
even assuming that Cloudy were eligible for the
sentence reduction, “Section 3621(e)(2)(B) permits but
does not compel early release, so it would be difficult to
say that the custody violates even a statute[, ]” much
less the Constitution. Bush v. Pitzer, 133 F.3d 455,
456 (7th Cir. 1997).
Cloudy was not automatically entitled to a one-year sentence
reduction, he has failed to state a claim for habeas relief.
See Richmond, 387 F.3d at 605 (“The difference
between a claim of entitlement to be released, and an
opportunity to be considered for release, also affects the
choice between § 2241 and a mundane civil
action[.]”); Martin v. Holinka, No. 10-cv-391,
2011 WL 382913, at *1 (W.D. Wis. Feb. 3, 2011) (declining to
consider a petitioner's claim under § 2241 because
“if petitioner prevailed on his claim, [the court]
would direct the bureau to exercise its discretion in
determining an appropriate sentence reduction for petitioner,
but [the court] could not order petitioner's release on a
particular date”). The writ of habeas corpus is not
designed to address this type of complaint.
ORDERED that petitioner Keith Cloudy's petition for a
writ of habeas corpus is DENIED for failure to show that he
is in custody in violation of the Constitution or the ...