United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
FELIX WALLS Reg. #02414-112 PETITIONER
GENE BEASLEY RESPONDENT
Kristine G. Baker United States District Judge
the Court is the Recommended Disposition submitted by United
States Magistrate Judge Beth Deere (Dkt. No. 11). Mr. Walls
filed objections to the Recommended Disposition (Dkt. No.
14). After careful consideration of the Recommended
Disposition, the objections, and a de novo review of
the record, the Court adopts the Recommended Disposition as
its findings in all respects (Dkt. No. 11). As the Court
concludes that it does not have jurisdiction to consider Mr.
Walls' petition, the Court denies as moot his motion for
emergency bail (Dkt. No. 13).
Court writes further to explain its reasoning and to address
Mr. Walls' objections. In 1995, Mr. Walls was convicted
by a jury for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute
and to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to launder money.
United States v. Walls, et al., No.
2:92-cr-80236-RHC-1, Dkt. No. 154 (E.D. Mich. June 15, 1995).
He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 360 months on the
drug conspiracy count and 60 months on the money laundering
conspiracy count; the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed
these convictions and remanded the case for a new trial.
United States v. Walls, 162 F.3d 1162 (Table), 1998
WL 552907 (6th Cir. 1998). A third superseding indictment was
issued in 1999, which added a quantity to the drug conspiracy
count and added a new count for conspiracy to launder
monetary instruments. Walls, et al., at Dkt. No.
280. Mr. Walls was again convicted by a jury on both
conspiracy charges and sentenced to imprisonment for life on
the drug conspiracy count and 60 months on the money
laundering conspiracy count, to run concurrently. Walls,
et al., at Dkt. No. 517. The Sixth Circuit upheld the
convictions on both counts but vacated the sentence on the
drug conspiracy count and remanded for sentencing pursuant to
United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 200 (2005).
United States v. Walls, 148 Fed. App'x 286 (6th
Cir. 2005). On remand, on August 1, 2006, the district court
sentenced Mr. Walls to life imprisonment on the drug
conspiracy count of the third superseding indictment.
Walls, et al., at Dkt. No. 616. The Sixth Circuit
affirmed the sentence, and the United States Supreme Court
denied Mr. Walls' petition for writ of
certiorari. United States v. Walls, 546 F.3d
728 (6th Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 558 U.S. 1001
February 2007, while his appeal was pending, Mr. Walls filed
a Rule 60(b) motion to vacate judgment in the district court
and that motion was docketed as a motion to vacate sentence
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Walls, et al., at Dkt.
No. 632. The district court dismissed that § 2255 motion
for lack of jurisdiction due to Mr. Walls' pending
appeal. Walls, et al., at Dkt. No. 633. On December
3, 2010, Mr. Walls again filed a § 2255 motion in the
district court, but he withdrew that motion at a motion
hearing on March 10, 2016. Walls, et al., at Dkt.
Nos. 669, 700.
Walls is before this Court on a petition filed under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. In his petition, he seeks release from
imprisonment because of alleged violations of his Fifth and
Sixth Amendment rights, including allegations that he is
actually innocent, that the trial judge erred during his
first trial, that his life sentence is the result of
vindictive prosecution, and that he was ineffectively
assisted by counsel at trial and during his appeals (Dkt. No.
1). Specifically, Mr. Walls asserts that the statute under
which he was convicted carries a maximum term of 20
years' imprisonment and that, since he has satisfied that
term, he is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus and
immediate release (Id.).
Court does not have jurisdiction to hear Mr. Walls'
§ 2241 petition. Federal law is clear that a collateral
challenge to a federal conviction or sentence must generally
be raised in a motion to vacate filed in the sentencing court
under § 2255-in this case, the Eastern District of
Michigan-and not in a habeas petition filed in the
court where the petitioner is incarcerated under § 2241.
See Hill v. Morrison, 349 F.3d 1089, 1091 (8th Cir.
2003) (citation omitted). While federal prisoners may bring
petitions under § 2241, such petitions are generally
limited to challenges to the execution of a
sentence, such as the administration of parole and
computation of sentences. See Matheny v. Morrison,
307 F.3d 709, 712 (8th Cir. 2002) (“A petitioner may
attack the execution of his sentence through § 2241 in
the district where he is incarcerated; a challenge to the
validity of the sentence itself must be brought under §
2255 in the district of the sentencing court.”)
2255's “savings clause” does provide a narrow
exception to this rule by providing that an application for
relief under § 2255:
shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has
failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which
sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief,
unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is
inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
28 U.S.C. § 2255 (emphasis added). The effect of this
“savings clause” is that a federal prisoner may
file a § 2241 petition challenging his federal sentence
or conviction if he establishes that the remedy provided
under § 2255 is otherwise inadequate or ineffective.
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that:
a § 2255 motion is not “inadequate or
ineffective” merely because: (1) “§ 2255
relief has already been denied, ” (2) “[the]
petitioner has been denied permission to file a second or
successive § 2255 motion, ” (3) “a second or
successive § 2255 motion has been dismissed, ” or
(4) “[the] petitioner has allowed the one year statute
of limitations and/or grace period to expire.”
Hill, 349 F.3d at 1091 (quoting United States v.
Lurie, 207 F.3d 1075, 1077 (8th Cir. 2000)) (alterations
in original) (citations omitted). Furthermore, “[a]
prisoner cannot raise, in a § 2241 motion filed in the
district of incarceration, an issue which could or was
actually raised in the § 2255 motion filed in the