United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Lamar Pearson's motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct sentence by a person in federal
custody, filed on a court-form for bringing claims under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. As discussed below, in actuality, Pearson
challenges not the validity of his sentence but the execution
of his sentence, and therefore his claims are more
appropriately interpreted as ones brought under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Furthermore, the Court will order petitioner to
show cause as to whether he has exhausted his administrative
remedies through the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”)
before bringing this matter before the Court.
January 4, 2013, petitioner was arrested for the offense of
drug trafficking in the second degree and charged in the
Circuit Court of St. Louis, Missouri. See State v. Lamar
A. Pearson, No. 1322-CR00100-01 (22nd Jud. Cir. Jan. 4,
2013). Based on the same conduct, petitioner was charged in
this federal court with possession with intent to distribute
cocaine base. See U.S. v. Pearson, No.
4:13-CR-184-CDP (E.D. Mo. May 15, 2013) (hereinafter
“Pearson I”). At the time that
petitioner committed the offense charged, he was on parole
from a previously imposed life sentence for murder in the
second degree and armed criminal action from the St. Louis,
Missouri Circuit Court (Docket No. 901-1762). See Pearson
I, ECF No. 56.
November 25, 2013, petitioner was sentenced in this Court to
seventy-one (71) months, followed by a three (3) year term of
supervised release, to “run concurrently with any
sentence imposed under Docket No. 1322-CR00100-01, and
consecutively to any sentence imposed regarding the
defendant's parole under Docket No. 901-1762, which is
pending revocation.” Pearson I, ECF No. 46 at
2. Petitioner remained in state custody at the time this
sentence was imposed. On August 21, 2014, petitioner was
sentenced in state court to ten (10) years in Docket No.
1322-CR100-01. On November 23, 2015, this Court reduced
petitioner's federal sentence from seventy-one (71) to
fifty-seven (57) months imprisonment to “run
consecutively to the sentence imposed in Docket No.
901-1762.” Pearson I, ECF No. 53 at 1.
argues in his habeas petition that he has served his entire
federal sentence from Pearson I, and he requests a
formal discharge of this sentence. According to petitioner,
his federal sentence of fifty-seven (57) months began running
on November 25, 2013, and ran concurrent with his ten (10)
year sentence in his state case, which started August 27,
2014. ECF No. 1-1 at 2. Petitioner states that since
“[T]HERE IS NO SENTENCE BEING SERVED FOR ANY
REVOCATION, ” he has completed the full fifty-seven
(57) month term and it should be discharged. Id. at
4. Petitioner brings this issue before the Court now because
he “was just served a detainer that states a U.S.
Marshal hold, to begin a federal sentence with no jailtime
applied.” ECF No. 1 at 4.
Proper Habeas Statute for Requested Relief
U.S.C. § 2241 and 28 U.S.C. § 2255 confer
jurisdiction over habeas petitions filed by federal inmates
challenging their convictions or sentences. “The exact
interplay between § 2241 and § 2255 is
complicated.” Cardona v. Bledsoe, 681 F.3d
533, 535 (3d Cir. 2012). However, the Eighth Circuit has made
clear that where a petitioner brings a “claim related
to the manner in which the sentence is being executed, as
opposed to the legality of the sentence … [s]uch a
claim is properly cognizable in a habeas corpus petition
under section 2241” instead of under section 2255.
U.S. v. Clinkenbeard, 542 F.2d 59, 60 (8th Cir.
1976). In other words, where a petitioner “does not
directly contest the legality of the sentences imposed by the
district court but the manner in which those sentences will
be carried out by prison authorities, ” the Eighth
Court has held that such an attack is “on the manner in
which a sentence is executed, as distinguished from its
legality, [and] may be cognizable in a habeas corpus petition
under 28 U.S.C. s 2241.” U.S. v. Knight, 638
F.2d 46, 47 (8th Cir. 1981).
petitioner has filed his application for writ of habeas
corpus on a petition used for submitting §
claims for relief. However, a review of his claims reveals
that he is challenging the execution of his federal sentence,
not its legality. Specifically, petitioner asserts that he is
currently serving his state ten-year sentence and that his
federal sentence should be running concurrently with that
sentence. According to petitioner, he has been confined on
the concurrent state sentence for more than fifty-seven (57)
months such that his federal sentence should be complete.
Such a claim is more properly brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241, and the Court will analyze petitioner's
claims under that statute.
Requested Relief of Federal Sentence Discharge
his habeas petition and a recent letter filed in Pearson
I, petitioner claims that he did not receive any
sentence for parole revocation in Docket No. 901-1762 and
that he is currently serving his ten-year sentence for his
state charge from Docket No. 1322-CR00100-01. See Pearson
I, ECF No. 57 at 1-2. The United States District Court
Probation Office disagrees. After petitioner sent the
Probation Office a letter based on the arguments made in his
habeas petition, the Probation Office filed a letter in
Pearson I explaining the calculation of
petitioner's jail time. See Pearson I, ECF No.
56. In that letter, the Probation Office states that after
petitioner was sentenced in state court on August 21, 2014,
to ten (10) years in Docket No. 1322-CR100-01, he remained in
state custody until August 27, 2014, when he was returned to
the Missouri Department of Corrections for parole revocation
in Docket No. 901-1762. According to the Probation Office,
petitioner is currently in state custody serving his sentence
in Docket No. 901-1762 and that petitioner's
“federal sentence cannot begin until completion of the
sentence in Docket No. 901-1762.” Pearson I,
ECF No. 56 at 2. As stated at petitioner's sentencing,
his fifty-seven (57) month federal sentence in Pearson
I runs consecutively to any sentence imposed regarding
his parole revocation. So if petitioner is still serving his
parole revocation sentence, then his Pearson I
sentence has not yet begun to run.
of the dispute between petitioner and the Probation Office as
to which state sentence petitioner is currently serving,
administrative procedures exist within the BOP for resolution
of claims such as those raised by petitioner here.
See BOP's Administrative Remedy Program, 28
C.F.R. § 542.10 et seq. In fact, under 18
U.S.C. § 3621, the BOP possesses discretionary authority
to designate a state facility as a place for federal
confinement either in advance of prisoner placement or
through a nunc pro tunc order designating the state
facility after the fact. See, e.g., Dunn v. Sanders,
247 Fed.Appx. 853, 854 (8th Cir. 2007). However, the BOP
cannot act as a de facto sentencing authority. Setser v.
U.S., 566 U.S. 231, 239 (2012).
BOP remedies must be exhausted by petitioner before filing
suit in this Court. See Mathena v. U.S., 577 F.3d
943, 946 (8th Cir. 2009) (“A prisoner may bring a
habeas action challenging the BOP's execution of his
sentence only if he first presents his claim to the
BOP.”) (citing U.S. v. Chappel, 208 F.3d 1069,
1069 (8th Cir. 2000) (per curiam); Rogers v. U.S.,
180 F.3d 349, 357 (1st Cir. 1999)). Petitioner must first
pursue relief through the BOP program, then if he is
displeased with the BOP's resolution of his claim, he ...