Hueso v. Barnhart, No. 18-6299 (6th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
In 2010, Hueso was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for drug crimes. In 2013, Hueso unsuccessfully moved to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255. His second unsuccessful petition, in 2018, argued that his state convictions were not “felony drug offenses” and that his mandatory minimum should have been 10 years. A 2019 Ninth Circuit case subsequently undercut the substantive portion of the district court’s denial of relief. Hueso filed another petition. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 permits a second 2255 motion only if there is new evidence of innocence or a new rule of constitutional law from the Supreme Court. Prisoners seeking relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241 must show that section 2255 is “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of [their] detention.” Hueso argued that prisoners barred from filing a second 2255 motion may seek habeas relief under section 2241 based on new circuit court decisions. The Fourth Circuit has accepted that position. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the denial of relief. Hueso’s cited circuit court cases do not render a 2255 motion “inadequate or ineffective” within the meaning of section 2255(e); the two circuit decisions cannot establish section 2255’s inadequacy and his cited Supreme Court decision issued when his direct appeal was pending, so he could have cited it in the ordinary course.