Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, January 08, 2021

Amodeo: 2241 Petition Unavailable for Actual Innocence Claim

In Amodeo v. FCC Coleman-Low Warden, No. 17-15456 (Jan. 8, 2021) (Ed Carnes, Branch, Luck), the Court affirmed the dismissal of a 2241 habeas petition claiming actual innocence.

Applying its en banc decision in McCarthen, the Court held that the petitioner’s claim could not be brought in a 2241 petition because 2255 was not an inadequate or ineffective remedy.  Because the petitioner could have brought that type of claim in an initial 2255 motion, 2255 was not inadequate or ineffective, even if procedural bars would have precluded petitioner from prevailing in a 2255 motion.  Under McCarthen, the Court explained, two categories of claims may be brought under 2241: 1) those challenging the execution of a sentence, such as the deprivation of good-time credits; and 2) those in which the sentencing court has been dissolved or is no longer available, as in the military context.