Marrero v. Ives

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 06-19-2012
  • Case #: 09-16053
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Graber for the Court; Circuit Judges Schroeder and Thomas
  • Full Text Opinion

For purposes of applying the “escape hatch” under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, “[a] petitioner cannot be actually innocent of a noncapital sentence under the escape hatch.”

Edwin Marrero appealed the district court’s dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus for lack of jurisdiction. Marrero was convicted of interference with interstate commerce by threat or violence and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. The district court classified Marrero as a career offender and sentenced him accordingly. Marrero later filed a pro se petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which the district court construed as a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and dismissed for failure to state an adequate claim of actual innocence. Generally, a petitioner seeking to challenge the lawfulness of his detention must file a § 2255 motion. However, a petitioner may file a § 2241 petition under § 2255’s “escape hatch” where “the remedy under § 2255 is ‘inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.'” A petitioner may invoke the escape hatch under § 2255 where he “(1) makes a claim of actual innocence, and (2) has not had an unobstructed procedural shot at presenting that claim.” On appeal, Marrero claimed, inter alia, that he was “‘actually innocent’ of being a career offender under the Sentencing Guidelines.” The Ninth Circuit disagreed, reasoning that “‘[a]ctual innocence‘ means factual innocence, not mere legal insufficiency.” Marrero’s claim that he should not be considered a career offender “is a purely legal claim that has nothing to do with factual innocence.” Therefore, the district court properly dismissed Marrero’s § 2241 petition. AFFIRMED.

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