United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. Gossett United States Magistrate Judge.
petitioner, Hakeem Willis, a self-represented prisoner
confined at Federal Correctional Institution Williamsburg,
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. This matter is before the court pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.). Having reviewed the Petition in
accordance with applicable law, the court concludes that it
should be summarily dismissed.
Factual and Procedural Background
a federal prisoner housed in the Federal Correctional
Institution in Williamsburg, South Carolina, indicates he was
convicted of Hobbs Act robbery, conspiracy to commit Hobbs
Act robbery, and carrying a firearm during the commission of
a crime of violence in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (Pet., ECF No. 1 at 2,
ECF No. 1-1 at 1-2.) In 2012, he was sentenced to an
aggregate term of 272 months' imprisonment.
(Id.) Petitioner indicates that his direct appeal
was dismissed and his motion to motion to vacate, set aside,
or correct the sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 was
denied. (Id. at 2-3.)
now files this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner argues that his
conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (carrying a firearm
during the commission of a crime of violence) is unlawful in
light of United States v. Simms, 914 F.3d 229 (4th
Cir. 2019). Specifically, he argues that § 924(c)
is unconstitutionally void for vagueness and Hobbs Act
robbery does not qualify as a crime of violence under §
924(c)'s force clause or residual clause.
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se petition
filed in this case pursuant to the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases,  28 U.S.C. § 2254; the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214;
and in light of the following precedents: Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden, Md.
House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995) (en banc);
Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983).
court is required to liberally construe pro se
pleadings, which are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys. Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007); King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d
206, 214 (4th Cir. 2016). Nonetheless, the requirement of
liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore
a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set
forth a claim cognizable in a federal district court. See
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th
Cir. 1990); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 684 (2009) (outlining pleading requirements under Rule 8
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for “all civil
petitioner cannot challenge his federal conviction and
sentence through § 2241 unless he can show under the
“savings clause” of § 2255(e) that a §
2255 motion is “inadequate or ineffective to test the
legality of his detention.” See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(e); see also Rice v. Rivera, 617 F.3d
802, 807 (4th Cir. 2010) (providing that if a federal
prisoner brings a § 2241 petition that does not fall
within the scope of the savings clause, the district court
must dismiss the unauthorized habeas petition for lack of
jurisdiction). The United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit has held that a petitioner must establish the
following criteria to demonstrate that a § 2255 motion
is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of a
(1) at the time of conviction, settled law of this circuit or
the Supreme Court established the legality of the conviction;
(2) subsequent to the prisoner's direct appeal and first
§ 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such that the
conduct of which the prisoner was convicted is deemed not to
be criminal; and (3) the prisoner cannot satisfy the
gatekeeping provisions of § 2255 because the new rule is
not one of constitutional law.
United States v. Wheeler, 886 F.3d 415, 427 (4th
Cir. 2018) (restating the test adopted in In re
Jones, 226 F.3d 328 (4th Cir. 2000)).
noted above, the United States Supreme Court recently found
that the residual clause § 924(c)(3)(B) is
unconstitutional. United States v. Davis, No.
18-431, __ S.Ct. __, 2019 WL 2570623 (June 24, 2019). But
even assuming Petitioner meets the first two elements of the
In reJones test, Petitioner cannot meet
the third element because the decision in Davis is a
new rule of constitutional law. Therefore, Petitioner is
foreclosed from bringing a § 2241 habeas petition in
this court to challenge his sentence. Petitioner's
remedy, if any, appears to be to seek permission to file a
§ 2255 motion in the court in which he was sentenced by
filing a motion for leave to file a successive § 2255
motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit.See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
Therefore, this case should be ...