United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE OR CORRECT
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
27, 2016, Larry James Williams (“Plaintiff”)
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, moving
to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. Mot. to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence,
ECF No. 1.
Mr. Williams' motion is an uncertified, successive
habeas corpus petition, this Court must transfer it
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
(the “Tenth Circuit”), without addressing the
reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's motion to vacate, set aside or correct
sentence, ECF No. 1, and DENIES as moot
Plaintiff's remaining motions.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
April 2012, Plaintiff pled guilty to one specification of
rape of a child, two specifications of aggravated sexual
contact with a child, and one specification of forcible
sodomy at a General Court-Martial. Williams v.
Ledwith, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131342 at *1, 2015 (D.
Kan. 2015), aff'd, 671 Fed.Appx. 719
(10th Cir. 2016). Plaintiff appealed his
conviction to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals on three
grounds: (1) ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) improper
judicial conduct of a providence inquiry; and (3)
Plaintiff's intellectual incapacity to confess and
purported coercion of his confession by the Criminal
Investigative Division (CID). Id. at 2.
January of 2014, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed
Plaintiff's conviction and sentence. Id. That
court had considered “the entire record, including
consideration of the issues personally specified by the
appellant.” Id. In March of 2014, Plaintiff
appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
(“CAAF”), which denied his petition in April of
2014. Id. That same month, Plaintiff petitioned the
CAAF for reconsideration, and included three additional
motions and new factual claims. Id. The CAAF denied
Plaintiff's motions and petition for reconsideration.
September 5, 2014, Plaintiff filed a petition for habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in the District of
Kansas. Id. Plaintiff asserted three claims: (1)
ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) error in the
providence inquiry and insufficiency of the evidence; and (3)
newly-discovered evidence. Id. at 6. Plaintiff
sought “a retrial or reversal of the charges, release,
a declaration that his Army enlistment is invalid,
declaratory judgment, an admission of abuse of discretion by
the military judge, an investigation of the CID and
damages.” Id. That district court considered
both Plaintiff's allegations and an affidavit submitted
by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Id. at 6-7.
The court then decided Plaintiff's case on the merits and
held “that the military courts gave full and fair
consideration to petitioner's claims alleging ineffective
assistance of counsel, an inadequate providence inquiry, and
insufficient evidence, and that waiver bars petitioner's
claim of newly-discovered evidence.” Id.
27, 2016, Plaintiff filed this motion to vacate, set aside,
or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Mot. to
Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence, ECF No. 1. Shortly
after Plaintiff filed this motion, the Tenth Circuit affirmed
the denial of Plaintiff's writ of habeas corpus.
Williams, 671 Fed. App'x. at 719.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
federal prisoner challenging a criminal sentence may do so
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 “where the sentence (1) was
imposed in violation of the U.S. Constitution or the laws of
the United States; or (2) was entered by a court without
jurisdiction to impose the sentence; or (3) exceeded the
maximum detention authorized by law; or (4) is otherwise
subject to collateral attack.” Adams v. United
States, 372 F.3d 132, 134-35 (2d Cir. 2004) (“As
amended by the AEDPA, § 2255 now contains a gate-keeping
feature that limits a prisoner's ability to file a second
or successive § 2255 motion.”)
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA)
limits a prisoner's ability to file a second or
successive § 2255 motion. Id. The Act requires
a second or successive petition to be certified by a panel of
an appropriate court of appeals to contain: “(1) newly
discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of
the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by
clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder
would have found the movant guilty of the offense; or (2) a
new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on
collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously
unavailable.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h); see also 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3); Adams, 372 F.3d at 135.
AEDPA does not define a ‘second or successive'
petition or motion.” Corrao v. United States,
152 F.3d 188, 191 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing Camarano v.
Irvin, 98 F.3d 44, 45-46 (2d Cir. 1998)). The Second
Circuit, however, has repeatedly held that a petition is
deemed to be second or successive if a prior petition
“raising claims regarding the same conviction or
sentence [ ] has been decided on the merits.”
Quezada v. Smith, 624 F.3d 514, 517-18 (2d Cir.
2010) (quoting Corrao, 152 F.3d at 191)(Further,
“AEDPA requires the permission of a court of appeals to
file a second or successive habeas corpus petition in a
district court . . . .”); Camarano, 98 F.3d at
45-47 (per curium)(“Our interpretation of ‘second
or successive' petitions in § 2244 also finds
support in the jurisprudence of claim preclusion . . . .
[i.e., as a] “modified res judicata rule.”
Citing Felker v. Turpin, 116 S.Ct. 2333, 2340