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Mines v. C. Johnson

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

August 28, 2017

RASHEEN MINES, Petitioner,
C. JOHNSON, Respondent.

          Rasheen Mines, Petitioner pro se


          JEROME B. SIMANDLE, U.S. District Judge.


         Rasheen Mines, a federal prisoner confined at FCI Fairton, New Jersey, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, asking the Court to resentence him without the career offender sentencing enhancement. Petition, Docket Entry 1. For the reasons expressed below, this Court will dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.


         A jury convicted Petitioner and his co-defendants of conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951(a), (b)(1), and (b)(3), and the Travel Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1952(a)(2), (a)(3)(B), (b) and (2); substantive violations of the Hobbs Act and the Travel Act; brandishing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and (2); and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and (2). See Amended Judgment, United States v. Mines, Cr. No. 06–126–JBS–4 (D.N.J. entered May 1, 2007), Docket Entry 147 at 1. Petitioner received a prison sentence of 480 months. Id. at 2.[1] The Third Circuit affirmed the conviction and sentence. United States v. Hernandez, 306 F. App'x 719, 723 (3d Cir. 2009). The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. Mines v. United States, 558 U.S. 905 (2009).

         Petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on October 7, 2010 raising various ineffective assistance of counsel claims. This Court denied the motion. Mines v. United States, No. 10-5163, 2013 WL 6187185, at *2 (D.N.J. Nov. 26, 2013), certificate of appealability denied, No. 14-4059 (3d Cir. June 8, 2015). Petitioner thereafter filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b) requesting permission to file a second or successive § 2255 motion. In re: Rasheen Mines, No. 16-2545 (3d Cir. stayed May 26, 2016).[2] Petitioner argued his sentence was unconstitutional due to the Supreme Court’s new decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015)(holding residual clause of Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) was void for vagueness).

         Petitioner filed the instant petition on June 16, 2017. He argues that his state court burglary conviction is broader than the generic burglary charge, meaning he can no longer be considered a career offender due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016) (holding a prior conviction does not qualify as the generic form of a predicate violent felony offense listed in the ACCA if an element of the crime of conviction is broader than an element of the generic offense). He asks the Court to resentence him without the career offender designation.


         Petitioner brings this petition as a pro se litigant. The Court has an obligation to liberally construe pro se pleadings and to hold them to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Higgs v. Attorney Gen. of the U.S., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011), as amended (Sept. 19, 2011) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). A pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 (3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney Gen., 878 F.2d 714, 721-22 (3d Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970).

         Nevertheless, a federal district court must dismiss a habeas corpus petition if it appears from the face of the petition that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4 (made applicable through Rule 1(b)); see also McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         Section 2241 “confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence.” Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001). A challenge to the validity of a federal conviction or sentence must be brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Jackman v. Shartle, 535 F. App’x 87, 88 (3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (citing Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir. 2002)). “[Section] 2255 expressly prohibits a district court from considering a challenge to a prisoner's federal sentence under § 2241 unless the remedy under § 2255 is ‘inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.’” Snyder v. Dix, 588 F. App’x 205, 206 (3d Cir. 2015) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)); see also In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 249 (3d Cir. 1997).

         “A § 2255 motion is inadequate or ineffective only where the petitioner demonstrates that some limitation or procedure would prevent a § 2255 proceeding from affording him a full hearing and adjudication of his wrongful detention claim.” Cradle v. U.S. ex rel. Miner, 290 F.3d 536, 538 (3d Cir. 2002) (citations omitted). “Section 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely because the sentencing court does not grant relief, the one-year statute of limitations has expired, or the petitioner is unable to meet the stringent gatekeeping requirements of . . . § 2255.” Id. at 539 (citations omitted). ...

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