Buford petitioned for release pro se, claiming his continued detention during the COVID-19 pandemic violated the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause and asserting that he was not guilty of a violent crime due to a change in the law. The court denied his petition, holding that a federal prisoner could not invoke the 28 U.S.C. § 2255 savings clause to challenge his conviction based on an intervening change in the law. The court also held that Buford was not entitled to proceed under § 2241 because the limited circumstances under which § 2255’s saving clause applied were not present, as he did not challenge the execution of his sentence, he did not assert the sentencing court is unavailable, and his sentence was not imposed by multiple courts. The court held that Buford's claims that his confinement exposed him to a serious health risk were not cognizable under § 2241. The court dismissed the petition without prejudice and would allow a subsequent civil rights complaint to be filed.
Buford v. Warden, No. 5:20-cv-00171 (M.D. Fla. June 8, 2020)
Crowdsourced legal documents from around the country related to COVID-19 and incarceration, organized, collected, and summarized for public defenders, litigators, and other advocates. Created and managed by Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, and Zealous. Mostly federal court opinions, but now expanding to states and legal filings, declarations, and exhibits.
This resource is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists, and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that Covid-19 poses to individuals who are detained.