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Gaskins v. Ledwith

United States District Court, D. Kansas

March 31, 2015

DANIEL H. GASKINS, Petitioner,
COLONEL SIOBAN LEDWITH, Commandant, USDB, Respondent.


RICHARD D. ROGERS, District Judge.

This pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus was filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by Mr. Gaskins whe he was an inmate of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (USDB). Petitioner seeks to challenge his placement on "Mandatory Supervised Release" on several grounds. Respondent was ordered to show cause and has filed his Answer and Return (Doc. 10). Petitioner has filed his Traverse (Doc. 16). Having examined all materials filed, the court dismisses the petition for failure to show exhaustion on all claims and failure to state a claim for relief under § 2241.


Mr. Gaskins is a former active duty member of the United States Army. In 2007 while he was stationed in Italy, he committed offenses against his sponsor's 12-year old daughter and was reassigned to a different duty station where he assaulted another female acquaintance. United States v. Gaskins, 72 M.J. 225, 228 (CAAF 2013). As a result, he was convicted by military court-martial on February 8, 2008, of carnal knowledge in violation of Article 120, UCMJ (sexual intercourse with a person under sixteen (16) years of age), of indecent acts with a child, and of indecent assault, both in violation of Article 134, UCMJ.[1] Id. His convictions and sentence were modified and eventually affirmed on direct appeal ending in July 2013.

Shortly after Mr. Gaskins was convicted, he was confined at the USDB. In February 2009, February 2010, and February 2011, he submitted requests for clemency to the Army Clemency and Parole Board (AC&PB). The AC&PB denied these requests in April 2009, March 2010 and March 2011, respectively. After petitioner's sentence was set aside in February 2011, his status was changed to "pre-trial confinee." During the interim between the date the ACCA set aside petitioner's original sentence and the date a new sentence was adjudged in October 2011, he had no adjudged sentence and was not considered for clemency or parole during this interim period.

In July 2013, petitioner submitted a parole and clemency request together with a "Supervision Release Plan." On September 19, 2013, the AC&PB denied his request for clemency and parole and placed Mr. Gaskins on the MSR program instead. Petitioner was notified that the AC&PB directed his placement on MSR and that his term of supervision would expire on July 22, 2016, which is his Maximum Release Date. He was informed that while on MSR he would be required to comply with the conditions delineated in the "Certificate of Supervised Release" Doc. 8-1 at 36. Mr. Gaskins' was free to remain in prison, and his departing the USDB upon being granted release constituted his agreement to the MSR conditions.

Petitioner filed this action in April 2014. He was thereafter released under the MSR program on July 17, 2014, which was his Minimum Release Date. This date was more than two years prior to the expiration of petitioner's sentence of 8 years and 6 months.


Petitioner does not seek to challenge his convictions or sentence. Instead, he presented four grounds for relief in his petition that mainly challenge the execution of his sentence. All four grounds assert a violation of Due Process. As facts in support of Ground (1), petitioner alleged that his adjudged sentence is "going to be unlawfully extended" due to "unlawful forfeitures of good conduct time (GCT) and earned time abatement (ETA) relating to the Mandatory Supervised Release program" and by attempts to force him to waive his GCT/ETA. As facts in support of Ground (2), he alleged that the USDB and the AC&PB are not following their own regulations and directives concerning prisoner release and revocation of GCT and ETA. In support of Ground (3), he alleged that he did not receive two of the four parole hearings for which he was eligible and was deprived of the opportunity for early release as a result. In support of Ground (4), he alleged that "unlawful revocations" of his GCT and ETA and the "illegal addition of mandatory supervised release" have interfered with his constitutional rights by "impeding international travel, marry, collect property, raise children."

While the relief available in a federal habeas corpus petition generally is release from allegedly unlawful confinement, Mr. Gaskins did not specify in his petition the particular relief being sought. After the court issued its order to show cause to respondents, petitioner filed a "Motion for Prohiborty (sic) Injunction" (Doc. 5). In this motion, Mr. Gaskins asks the court to "prohibit the enforcement of the Army Clemency and Parole Board's (ACPB) mandatory conditions" imposed upon him "while on involuntary Mandatory Supervised Release" and to prohibit the AC&PB, USDB, or the United States Probation Office (USPO) from forcing petitioner to attend any mandated programs and "violat(ing) petitioner's release" for failure to comply with said conditions until a ruling is entered in this case. Respondent opposes this motion. See (Doc. 8).


Respondent filed a very comprehensive Answer and Return (A&R) together with 753 pages of attachments. In the A&R, respondent discusses each ground in the petition and asserts, among other things, that petitioner's due process claims are conclusory and that he fails to state sufficient facts in support of Grounds (2), (3) and (4).

Petitioner responded to the A&R by filing his Traverse. In his Traverse, he does not argue that he stated sufficient facts in his petition. Therein, he alleges many additional facts and arguments that should have been, but were not, set forth in his petition. In his Traverse, petitioner for the first time seeks to be "removed from supervised release." In addition, he seeks for the first time an award of damages "due to Respondent depriving" petitioner of "the opportunity of being released and earning a living" and as "reimbursement" from "the government for ...

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