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Williams v. Warden

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

February 20, 2014

MARSHALL DeWAYNE WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM

A. RICHARD CAPUTO, District Judge.

I. Introduction

Marshal DeWayne Williams is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at USP Lewisburg, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He commenced the above-captioned action by filing a pro se petition for relief of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.) Liberally construing Mr. Williams' habeas petition, he appears to be challenging multiple federal convictions and indictments, obtained from various federal district courts across the United States. He argues he is being held "in custody without statutory authority" as 18 U.S.C. 4084 was repealed in 1989. ( Id., ECF p. 6 and p. 14.)

Simultaneous to the filing of his Petition, Mr. Williams filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 6), a motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 4), and two motions for an evidentiary hearing (Docs. 5 and 8).

For the reasons that follow, the Petition will be summarily dismissed.

II. Background[1]

In 1984, Mr. Williams was convicted by a jury in the United States District Court for the North District of Texas of one count each of malicious destruction of property used in interstate commerce, resulting in death; possessing an unregistered firearm; and making a firearm without regulatory approval. See U.S. v. Williams, 775 F.2d 1295, 1297 (5th Cir. 1985), cert. denied 475 U.S. 1089 , 106 S.Ct. 1477, 89 L.Ed.2d 732 (1986). Mr. Williams planted a pipe-bomb in a newspaper vending machine. The pipe-bomb exploded, killing Mr. Williams' stepfather. Mr. Williams was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment for count one, and two terms of ten years imprisonment for counts two and three, with the latter two terms running concurrently to one another and consecutive to the first count. ( Id. ) On direct appeal, the court affirmed his convictions, but vacated his life sentence and remanded for resentencing on count one. ( Id. ) On remand, the district court sentenced him to 99 years on count one. All other aspects of the sentencing order were affirmed. ( Id.) Mr. Williams then filed a motion to vacate sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which was denied. U.S. v. Williams, 110 F.Appx. 400 (5th Cir. 2004).

In 2001, Mr. Williams filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the validity of his Texas conviction. The petition for writ of habeas corpus was denied because Mr. Williams failed to demonstrate that § 2255 was inadequate or ineffective remedy to challenge the validity of his North District of Texas conviction. See Williams v. Ray, 46 F.Appx. 598 (10th Cir. 2002). The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the habeas petition. ( Id. )

In 2001, Mr. Williams, along with other federal prisoners, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, asserting that they were entitled to resentencing under the federal sentencing guidelines enacted subsequent to their convictions. The district court denied the petition. See Bledsoe v. U.S., No. 01-3168-RDR, 2002 WL 126623 (Jan. 28, 2002). The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision. Bledsoe v. U.S., 384 F.3d 1232 (10th Cir. 2004), cert. denied 544 U.S. 962 , 125 S.Ct. 1745, 161 L.Ed.2d 605 (2005).

Subsequently, Mr. Williams filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 asserting that his federal sentence had ceased to exist as a matter of law following the repeal of 18 U.S.C. § 4082. See Williams v. T.C. Outlaw, U.S.D.C. 05-2305-B/P (W.D. Tenn. Mar. 31, 2006).[2] The district court denied the petition and Mr. Williams appealed. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's ruling. Specifically, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Mr. Williams'

challenge to his continued imprisonment is grounded on certain provisions of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1987. which repealed 18 U.S.C. § 4082, which required federal courts to commit convicted persons to custody of the Attorney General or his authorized representative. Portions of Williams's appellate brief suggest that the repeal of § 4082(a) terminated the Bureau of Prisons' authority to keep him in custody. But under the general savings clause of the United States Code, § 4082(a) remains in force as to Williams. See 1 U.S.C. § 109; Harris v. Sivley, No. 92-15429, 1993 WL 210672, at *3 (9th Cir. June 15, 1993)("when [§4082(a)] was repealed, the Attorney General did not lose the power to hold the appellant.")

Williams v Outlaw, U.S.C.A. No. 06-5560 (6th Cir. Dec. 5, 2006).[3]

Meanwhile, on January 23, 2009, Mr. Williams was convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee for one count of mailing threatening communications to a federal judge who presided over one of his habeas cases. U.S. v. Williams, 641 F.3d 758, 764-66 (6th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___ , 132 S.Ct. 348, 181 L.Ed.2d 219 (2011). On appeal, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Mr. Williams' conviction but vacated his sentence. ( Id. ) Before his resentencing, Mr. Williams filed a motion for a writ of discharge. The district court denied the motion. Mr. Williams was eventually resentenced to 96 months of imprisonment to run consecutive to his existing federal sentence. Mr. Williams appealed both his new term of imprisonment and the denial of his motion for a writ of discharge. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals consolidated the appeals. See U.S. v. Williams, Nos. 12-5818/6497 (6th Cir. Nov. 21, 2013)(unpublished opinion).[4] On November 21, 2013, the appellate court affirmed the district court's resentencing of Mr. Williams and its denial of his motion for a writ of discharge. ( Id. )

On August 17, 2009, Mr. Williams filed a "petition for emergency writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum" with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Williams v. Zuercher, No. 09-CV-127, 2010 WL 420066 (Feb. 1, 2010). He again raised the "claims that the BOP no longer ha[d] the authority to continue him in federal custody, because of the repeal of 18 U.S.C. §§ 4082(a) and 4084 by section 218(a) of the Sentencing Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1987. ( Id. at *3.) The district court summarily denied the petition as barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion as "Mr. Williams' claim [was] virtually ...


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