United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
SHARION AYCOCK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the petition of Shawn
Michael Brown for a writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. The court did not require the government
to respond to the petition, and the matter is ripe for
resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the instant
petition for a writ of habeas corpus will be denied.
Corpus Relief Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
writ of habeas corpus, a challenge to the legal
authority under which a person may be detained, is ancient.
Duker, The English Origins of the Writ of Habeas Corpus: A
Peculiar Path to Fame, 53 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 983 (1978); Glass,
Historical Aspects of Habeas Corpus, 9 St. John's L.Rev.
55 (1934). It is “perhaps the most important writ known
to the constitutional law of England, ” Secretary
of State for Home Affairs v. O'Brien, A.C. 603, 609
(1923), and it is equally significant in the United States.
Article I, § 9, of the Constitution ensures that the
right of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be
suspended, except when, in the case of rebellion or invasion,
public safety may require it. Habeas Corpus, 20 Fed.
Prac. & Proc. Deskbook § 56. Its use by the federal
courts was authorized in Section14 of the Judiciary Act of
1789. Habeas corpus principles developed over time
in both English and American common law have since been
The statutory provisions on habeas corpus appear as
sections 2241 to 2255 of the 1948 Judicial Code. The
recodification of that year set out important procedural
limitations and additional procedural changes were added in
1966. The scope of the writ, insofar as the statutory
language is concerned, remained essentially the same,
however, until 1996, when Congress enacted the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act, placing severe restrictions
on the issuance of the writ for state prisoners and setting
out special, new habeas corpus procedures for
capital cases. The changes made by the 1996 legislation are
the end product of decades of debate about habeas
28 U.S.C. § 2241, a federal court may issue the writ
when the petitioner is in state custody pursuant to something
other than a state judgment (such as pretrial detention,
pretrial bond order, etc.), permitting a federal court to
order the discharge of any person held by a state in
violation of the supreme law of the land. Frank v.
Mangum, 237 U.S. 309, 311, 35 S.Ct. 582, 588, 59 L.Ed.
969 (1915).). Section 2241 is an appropriate vehicle to
challenge government action that affects the actual duration
of the petitioner's custody (rather than the length of
the sentence imposed), “such as challenges to
administrative orders revoking good-time credits, computation
of a prisoner's sentence by prison officials, a right to
release on parole, or other equivalent sentence-shortening
devices.” § 5:7. Federal prisoners-Section 2241
habeas corpus petitions, Postconviction Remedies § 5:7.
The petitioner in this case thus seeks the appropriate form
of federal habeas corpus relief.
and Procedural Posture
November 15, 2012, Shawn Brown was sentenced in state court
to serve a term of 5 years' incarceration with the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”)
for possession of marijuana. MDOC credited 88 days towards
his sentence for pretrial detention from July 3, 2012, to
July 5, 2012 (2 days) - and from August 21, 2012, to November
15, 2012 (86 days). He was convicted in this court and
sentenced on January 15, 2014, to incarceration for 100
months for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
(marijuana and cocaine). United States v. Brown,
1:12CR167-SA-DAS. While Mr. Brown was serving his state
sentence, the United States Marshal Service took physical
custody of him from March 25, 2013, to February 18, 2014, so
that he could receive a mental evaluation and for trial on
his federal criminal charge. He was returned to the physical
custody of MDOC on February 18, 2014.
released on parole on his state sentence and remanded to the
custody of the United States Marshal Service on a federal
detainer on October 29, 2014. He was given into the physical
and legal custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons on
December 12, 2014. He fully completed his state sentence on
October 28, 2015, and is now serving out the remainder of his
Interplay Between Mr. Brown's State and Federal
overarching fact throughout this discussion is that Mr. Brown
remained in the continuous legal custody of
Mississippi authorities from the date of his state
conviction, November 15, 2012, until his state sentence fully
expired on October 28, 2015. From the date of his
federal conviction, January 15, 2014, until the
expiration of his state sentence, October 28, 2015, he was
also in the legal custody of the United States
because his state and federal sentences ran concurrently. As
set forth below, the State and Federal governments exchanged
physical custody of Mr. Brown several times, but
none of these exchanges altered the terms of his
incarceration for either conviction.
Applied to Mr. Brown's State and Federal
Brown claims that he is entitled to credit towards his
federal sentence from March 25, 2013, to January 13, 2014 - a
period during his physical custody with the Marshal Service.
He also argues that he is entitled to one year of credit
towards his federal sentence - from October 29, 2014, to
October 28, 2015. This represents the period between his
release on parole from his state sentence into physical
federal custody and the expiration of his state ...