Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Spradley v. English

United States District Court, D. Kansas

November 28, 2017

ANTHONY D. SPRADLEY, Petitioner,
v.
N.C. ENGLISH, Warden, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN W. LUNGSTRUM U.S. District Judge

         This matter is a petition for habeas corpus filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner, a prisoner in federal custody, proceeds pro se[1].

         Background

         Petitioner, along with several others, was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana of crimes related to their participation in a large drug conspiracy based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and running from approximately 1992 to 1997. U.S. v. Thompson, 286 F.3d 950 (7th Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1134 (2003).

         In late 1996, Marcus Willis began working for law enforcement officials and infiltrated the group. In June 1997, Willis was murdered in a vehicle belonging to one of the defendants. Following that, criminal charges were filed against petitioner and several other participants in the conspiracy. Petitioner was charged with conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and murder of an informant in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(a)(1)(C). He was acquitted of the murder-related charge.

         At sentencing, the district court sentenced petitioner to life imprisonment on the drug conspiracy count under §2D1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines and found that the §2D1.1(d)(1) murder cross-reference was applicable to petitioner and certain other defendants. Finally, the court sentenced petitioner to a consecutive term of 20 years for money laundering.

         On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed petitioner's conviction and upheld the application of the drug offense murder cross-reference to him, finding the evidence was sufficient to show it was reasonably foreseeable to him that Willis would be murdered with malice aforethought.

         Petitioner also sought relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255[2], alleging his defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to properly challenge the application of the murder cross-reference to him.

         The habeas petition

         In this action, petitioner seeks habeas corpus relief under Burrage v. United States, __U.S.__, 134 S.Ct. 881 (2014). In Burrage, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant cannot be held liable for the death-results enhancement provision unless the use of the drug supplied was a but-for cause of the death.

         Discussion

          As a federal prisoner, petitioner has two distinct remedies for post-conviction relief. First, he may challenge the legality of his conviction or sentence by filing a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the sentencing court. This provision generally provides a federal prisoner with “one adequate and effective opportunity to test the legality of his detention, in his initial §2255 motion.” Prost v. Anderson, 636 F.3d 578, 586 (10th Cir. 2011). If that remedy is unsuccessful, the prisoner may file a “second or successive” motion under § 2255 only if the appropriate court of appeals grants prior authorization, which requires a finding that the motion presents either newly discovered evidence that would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the prisoner guilty or that the prisoner relies on a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the U.S. Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).

         In contrast, “[p]etitions under § 2241 are used to attack the execution of a sentence … [and] the fact or duration of a prisoner's confinement….” McIntosh v. United States Parole Comm'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811-12 (10th Cir. 1997)(quotations and brackets omitted). A petition brought under § 2241 is filed in the district where the petitioner is incarcerated.

         The motion remedy under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 “is generally the exclusive remedy for a federal prisoner seeking to attack the legality of detention, and must be filed in the district that imposed the sentence.” Brace v. United States, 634 F.3d 1167, 1169 (10th Cir. 2011)(citation omitted). The single exception to this appears in the savings clause of § 2255(e), which provides: “a federal prisoner may resort to § 2241 to contest his conviction if but only if the § 2255 remedial mechanism is ‘inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.'” Prost, 636 F.3d at 580 (quoting 28 U.S.C. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.