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Williams v. Bethtord

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division

June 8, 2015

FRANKLIN L. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN WILIAM BETHTORD, F.C.C. Coleman Low, Respondent.

ORDER and MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

R. STAN BAKER, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner Franklin Williams ("Williams"), who is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Camp-Low in Coleman, Florida, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to attack the sentence he received in this Court. (Doc. 1.) Williams also filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 4.) As set forth below, this action is the latest in a long line of procedurally deficient efforts by Williams to attack his sentence. Accordingly, Williams' Section 2241 petition and his Motion for Summary Judgment should be DISMISSED, and this case should be CLOSED. Williams filed a Motion to Amend, (doc. 5), which is GRANTED, but only to the extent the undersigned has considered the contents of Williams' Motion in making his recommended disposition of this petition. Williams filed a Motion for Evidentiary Hearing, (doc. 6), which is DENIED. Finally, Williams should be DENIED the issuance of a certificate of appealability and DENIED leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.

BACKGROUND

Williams was convicted in this Court, after a jury trial, of one count of distribution of more than five grams of cocaine base and one count of distribution of more than 50 grams of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The Honorable William T. Moore, Jr., sentenced Williams to 292 months' imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently with each other and with Williams' revoked state parole term, 10 years' supervised release, and a $200.00 special assessment. Williams filed an appeal. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Williams' convictions and sentences. United States v. Williams, 262 F.Appx. 165 (11th Cir. 2008).

Williams filed a Section 2255 motion in which he asserted he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. United States Magistrate Judge James E. Graham recommended Williams' initial motion be denied, and Judge Moore adopted this recommendation as the opinion of the Court. (CV508-34, Doc. Nos. 4, 61.) Williams filed post-judgment motions and other pleadings in CV508-34, including a motion to amend or to re-open the case based upon his claims of actual innocence and ineffective assistance of counsel. (CV508-34, Doc. No. 154.)

Williams filed another Section 2255 motion in which he alleged that he received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel because his attorney on appeal would not argue that his trial counsel was ineffective and because his appellate counsel refused to file a motion for a new trial. Williams also alleged he was denied the right to have a psychological evaluation for his post-traumatic stress disorder for which he has been treated for 30 years. Williams contended he was denied his right to confront witnesses at trial, in violation of the Sixth Amendment. Williams averred he was arrested without a warrant and that he was improperly under electronic surveillance, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Williams asserted Judge Moore was biased and had a conflict of interest. Finally, Williams asserted he was convicted in the absence of evidence other than hearsay. Magistrate Judge Graham recommended Williams' motion be dismissed as a successive Section 2255 motion. Judge Moore adopted the Report and Recommendation as the opinion of the Court, and Williams' motion was dismissed. (CV509-104, Doc. Nos. 33, 38.) Williams filed post-judgment pleadings in that case, as well, such as a motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence and a claim based on actual innocence. (CV509-104, Doc. Nos. 46, 54.)

Williams filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, asserting his right to confront witnesses at trial was violated. Williams also asserted the only evidence introduced at trial was hearsay and that he should be granted a new trial. Williams averred he was incompetent to stand trial, his counsel was ineffective, he should have been afforded a psychological evaluation, and the electronic surveillance conducted was illegal. According to Williams, his convictions and sentences resulted in a miscarriage of justice. Magistrate Judge Graham recommended Williams' petition be dismissed, and Judge Moore adopted this recommendation as the opinion of the Court. (CV511-18, Doc. No. 13.)

In another Section 2241 petition, Williams asserted he was denied his right to prove his actual innocence. Williams contended he also was denied his right to: have a voice test, confront witnesses, and a psychological evaluation. Williams contended he is being detained illegally. Magistrate Judge Graham recommended that petition be dismissed. The Honorable J. Randal Hall adopted this recommendation as the opinion of the Court, over Williams' objections. (CV511-118, Doc. Nos. 5, 8, 9.)

Williams asserted in yet another Section 2241 petition his sentence should be reduced based on new law. Williams also asserted his sentence was enhanced without benefit of a hearing. Williams also asserted he was mentally incompetent to stand trial. Magistrate Judge Graham recommended that this petition be dismissed, and Judge Hall adopted this recommendation as the opinion of the Court, over Williams' objections. (CV512-72, Doc. Nos. 13, 18, 20.) Judge Hall denied Williams' motion for reconsideration. (Id. at Doc. Nos. 22, 23.)

In yet another Section 2241 petition, Williams maintained the government failed to notify him that it was seeking an enhancement. Williams averred he has not been given the right to challenge the legality of his sentence. Williams contended he should have the opportunity to challenge the prior convictions used to enhance his sentence. The Magistrate Judge recommended Williams' petition be dismissed, and Judge Hall adopted this recommendation as the opinion of the Court, over Williams' objections. (CV514-7, Docs. 4, 18.)

In the petition now before the Court, Williams asserts the Government did not give him proper notice of its intent to seek a sentence enhancement pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851. Williams also asserts his attorney was ineffective for failing to object to the Government's sentence enhancement. It also appears Williams takes issue with the Court not ruling on the merits of his previously-filed petitions and 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motions (which are plentiful). Williams alleges he is actually innocent of the Section 851 enhancement. (Doc. 5, p. 2.)

DISCUSSION

I. Section 2241 Petition

Ordinarily, an action in which an individual seeks to collaterally attack his conviction should be filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the district of conviction. 28 U.S.C. § 2255; Sawyer v. Holder, 326 F.3d 1363, 1365 (11th Cir. 2003). In those instances where a Section 2241 petition attacking custody resulting from a federally imposed sentence is filed, those Section 2241 petitions may be entertained where the petitioner establishes that the remedy provided under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 "is inadequate or ...


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