The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT KUGLER, Magistrate Judge
This matter is before the Court on the petition of Sean William
Murphy ("Murphy") for habeas corpus relief under
28 U.S.C. § 2241. The "petition" was initially filed with the Court on or
about December 12, 2003. Murphy filed a motion to supplement or
amend his "petition" on or about February 15, 2005. The Court has
reviewed all documents submitted and, for reasons now discussed,
will dismiss the petition and amended petition in their entirety. BACKGROUND
Murphy is presently in custody at F.C.I. Fort Dix in Fort Dix,
New Jersey, serving a 204 month sentence as imposed by the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Murphy's projected release date is May 30, 2011.
In June 1996, Murphy was charged in a four count indictment for
drug-related offenses. On November 4, 1996, pursuant to a plea
agreement, Murphy pled guilty to count II of the indictment,
which charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with
intent to distribute cocaine in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. On April 1, 1997, Murphy was sentenced to 204
Murphy filed a direct appeal, which the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit denied in an unpublished memorandum
opinion. See United States v. Murphy, No. 97-7178 (3d Cir.
Dec. 9, 1997). On December 9, 1998, Murphy filed a pro se
motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, in the Middle District of
Pennsylvania. The district court denied Murphy's § 2255 motion on
February 16, 1999. The Third Circuit affirmed on appeal. See
United States v. Murphy, No. 99-3316 (3d Cir. Nov. 24, 1999).
On or about December 12, 2003, Murphy filed this habeas
petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In his petition, Murphy
challenges the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") scoring of his custody
classification. He states that the BOP imposed the Greatest Severity Public Safety Factor ("PSF") based on his current
offense (conspiracy to distribute cocaine), the amount of crack
cocaine involved (in excess of 1.5 kilograms) and the finding
that Murphy was a leader of a drug conspiracy responsible for
distributing 4.21 kilograms of crack cocaine.
Murphy argues that the information is inaccurate and contrary
to the court's findings. He claims that the Greatest Severity PSF
adversely affects his custody classification, his prison
designation, and his participation in prison programs. He also
seeks monetary damages and a correction in his PSF to make him
eligible for prison camp designation.
On or about February 15, 2005, Murphy filed a motion to
supplement/amend his petition. He raises claims based on recent
Supreme Court cases. Specifically, Murphy challenges his enhanced
sentence as unconstitutional under Blakely v. Washington,
542 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004); United States v. Booker,
125 S.Ct. 738 (2005); and Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 476
(2000). Murphy contends that the sentencing judge enhanced his
sentence based on findings inconsistent with the charged offense.
The indictment allegedly charged Murphy with "conspiracy to
distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute in excess
of 5 kilograms of cocaine, a schedule II narcotic controlled
substance." Murphy argues that he understood the offense conduct
to involve "powder" cocaine based on the explanation provided to him by his defense counsel. (Motion to
Amend, at ¶¶ 3-4, pg. 5). However, the judge determined, based on
the lesser standard of preponderance of the evidence, that the
offense involved at least 1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine, which
unfairly exposed petitioner to an enhanced base offense under the
United States Sentencing Guidelines ("U.S.S.G."), thereby
increasing his federal sentencing range.
Next, Murphy argues that the district court sentenced
petitioner based on "uncharged and unalleged elements/factors of
the criminal offense conduct." Specifically, the base offense
level was determined pursuant to the court finding 1.5 kilograms
of crack cocaine instead of cocaine powder, which would have had
a lower base level. Murphy asserts that these actions violated
his Fifth Amendment right to due process and his Sixth Amendment
right to notice and jury trial guarantees.
Murphy asserted similar claims under Apprendi in a motion for
a sentencing adjustment under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and 18 U.S.C. § 3742(a). On July 11,
2000, the Honorable William W. Caldwell, United States District
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, entered an Order
denying petitioner's request for a downward departure. The Third
Circuit affirmed on appeal. See United States v. Murphy, No.
00-2276 (3d Cir. Oct. 4, 2001). Shortly after Murphy sought to amend his petition in this case,
he filed a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), in the Middle
District of Pennsylvania, attacking his conviction and sentence
under Apprendi and Booker. Judge Caldwell denied the motion
on April 7, 2005. Murphy sought reconsideration, which the court
also denied. See United States v. Murphy, No. CRIM.
1:CR-96-149, 2005 WL 2314135 (M.D.Pa. Sept. 22, 2005).
"Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading
requirements." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). A
petition must "specify all the grounds for relief" and set forth
"facts supporting each of the grounds thus specified." See
28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 2(c) (amended Dec. 1, 2004), applicable to §
2241 petitions through Habeas Rule 1(b).
Habeas Rule 4 requires the Court to examine a petition prior to
ordering an answer and to summarily dismiss the petition if "it
plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that
the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court."
28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4. "Federal courts are authorized to
dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally
insufficient on its face." McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856; see
also United States v. ...