Franklin v. Keyes, No. 19-1758 (7th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
In 2014, Franklin was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), based on six prior convictions, including three for Minnesota burglary and two for Illinois residential burglary. Franklin neither appealed nor pursued 28 U.S.C. 2255 collateral relief within a year. He sought habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241 after the Supreme Court’s 2016 “Mathis” decision clarified that the Minnesota convictions did not qualify as ACCA predicates. Because three qualifying convictions remained, the district judge denied relief. The Seventh Circuit subsequently held that Illinois residential burglary convictions do not qualify as ACCA predicates. The government conceded that Franklin’s sentence is unlawful but opposed section 2241 relief, arguing that Franklin could have challenged the use of his Illinois burglary convictions as ACCA predicates on direct appeal or in a timely section 2255 motion.
The Seventh Circuit reversed the denial of relief, citing its “Davenport” holding that a federal prisoner should be permitted to seek habeas corpus "if he had no reasonable opportunity to obtain earlier judicial correction of a fundamental defect in his conviction or sentence because the law changed after his first 2255 motion.” Before the Mathis decision, any challenge to the use of his Minnesota or his Illinois burglaries as ACCA predicates was destined to fail given Eighth Circuit precedent. The limitations period in section 2255(f) blocked a Mathis-based motion in the sentencing court.