United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
L. RUSSELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Charles Keith Jackson, a state court prisoner appearing pro
se, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus seeking
relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1). However,
because Petitioner is challenging the revocation of a
suspended sentence, the Court finds that the proper avenue
for relief is 28 U.S.C. § 2241. The Court therefore
construes the petition as a request for relief under §
2241 and applies de novo review to the two claims raised
therein. See Leatherwood v. Allbaugh, 861 F.3d 1034,
1041-43 (10th Cir. 2017) (acknowledging circuit precedent
that challenges to the revocation of a suspended sentence are
reviewed de novo under § 2241).
and Procedural History
challenges the revocation of the suspended sentence he
received in Oklahoma County District Court No. CF-1999-1736.
On March 3, 1999, Petitioner killed two people while driving
under the influence of alcohol, and on February 23, 2000, he
pled guilty to two counts of first degree manslaughter.
Petitioner received a concurrent twenty-year sentence with
ten years suspended. Pursuant to the probation guidelines,
Petitioner was advised that his suspended sentence could be
revoked in full if he violated any city, state or federal law
(O.R. 1, 17-20, 23-33). In Carter County District Court No.
CF-2014-177, Petitioner was charged with his third first
degree manslaughter offense, and on June 9, 2014, the State
filed an application to revoke Petitioner's suspended
sentence (O.R. 51).
March 17, 2015, a hearing on the application was held.
Petitioner pled guilty to the application and the parties
presented argument regarding sentencing. The State asserted
that the sentence should be revoked in full. The prosecutor
argued that after killing two people, Petitioner “was
given a chance to have a normal life, ” but having
caused a third death under the same circumstances, revoking
the entire ten-year suspended sentence was “the only
appropriate thing to do.” In support of his argument,
the prosecutor offered photographs documenting
Petitioner's new crime. He also presented the results of
a blood test which showed that Petitioner was driving under
the influence of drugs. Referring to the transcript of
Petitioner's trial on the new charge, which the trial
court had the opportunity to read, the prosecutor remarked
how Petitioner attempted to flee the scene and showed no
remorse for what he did (Tr. 3/17/15, 3-4).
counsel argued that although the offenses were the same, the
circumstances were “significantly different.” In
the prior case, Petitioner was driving under the influence of
alcohol, but in the new case, he was driving under the
influence of a prescribed medication. Defense counsel also
noted that there was no evidence showing the amount of
medication in his system at the time of the accident (Tr.
3/17/15, 5). Nevertheless, defense counsel acknowledged the
severity of situation: “[Petitioner] very well may have
three people's blood on his hands” (id. at
6). Consequently, defense counsel's only request to the
trial court was for a concurrent sentence should the trial
court grant the State's application to revoke
(id. at 5-6). Defense counsel argued that the
jury's assessment of a twenty-five year sentence on the
new charge, when the jurors knew about Petitioner's prior
manslaughter convictions and could have returned a life
sentence, showed that there were mitigating circumstances
warranting a concurrent sentence:
[Petitioner] is a member of my community. I'm from
Ardmore. A jury sat, impaneled, heard the evidence. They were
aware that these other two persons had previously been killed
by [Petitioner] in an accident and they gave him 25 years.
They had the option of giving him life.
I understand this is heinous and so does [Petitioner], but
this situation, Your Honor, warranted a trial. And I believe
the evidence that came out at trial was mitigating to the
fact that the jury declined to give him life in prison. He
may very well have three people's blood on his hands. I
can't speak to that or not. But I will tell the Court
that, having heard the full breadth of the evidence, the jury
still chose to give him 25 and not life.
Id. Defense counsel also noted that Petitioner, who
was fifty-seven years old at the time of the revocation
hearing, was not a young man (O.R. 70; Tr. 3/17/15,
announcing its sentencing decision, the trial court gave
Petitioner an opportunity to speak. Petitioner acknowledged
the severity of his crimes and he took full responsibility
for his actions (Tr. 3/17/15, 7-8). Consistent with his
counsel's argument, he asked only for a concurrent
All I'm asking is, you know, I've been sentenced for
25 years at 85 percent, you know, and if I do, am blessed
enough to walk out, you know, I'd hate to -- I just
don't want to have that ten years being something else I
have to do, Your Honor. That's all I've got to say.
(id. at 8). The trial court then revoked
Petitioner's suspended sentence in full and ordered it to
run consecutive to his twenty-five year sentence
(id.). In No. RE-2015-377, the Oklahoma Court of
Criminal Appeals (hereinafter “OCCA”) affirmed
the revocation. A copy of this unpublished opinion is
attached to the response (Doc. 15 at Exhibit 5).
presents two grounds for relief, both of which were presented
to the OCCA in his appeal of the trial court's revocation
order. See Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 866
(10th Cir. 2000) (“A habeas petitioner is generally
required to exhaust state remedies whether his action is
brought under § 2241 or § 2254). Respondent has
responded to the petition (Doc. 15). No. reply has been
filed. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court finds that
Petitioner is not entitled to habeas relief.