Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Samak: 2255 savings clause does not apply

In Samak v. Warden, FCC Coleman, No. 13-12161 (Sept. 10, 2014), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief, holding that the savings clause of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) did not authorize Samak to file a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Samak claimed that the district court did not have authority to impose a life sentence without a jury recommendation for his violation of the Organized Crime Control Act (OCCA). The Court noted one requirement for the § 2255 savings clause to apply is that an argument be foreclosed by circuit precedent. Here, to the contrary, “binding Fifth Circuit precedent at the time of sentencing actually supported his claim that he should not have been sentenced to life imprisonment.”