Muse v. Daniels

Muse, with others, boarded the MV Maersk Alabama in 2009, off the Somalian coast, taking its captain hostage. Muse initially stated that he was 16 at the time. Before a hearing to determine his age, Muse told an agent that he was 18. At the hearing, Muse refused to testify. A New York Magistrate concluded that Muse was at least 18 when the crime occurred. Prosecuted as an adult, Muse pleaded guilty to piracy, 18 U.S.C. 2280, and was sentenced to 405 months’ imprisonment. The plea agreement contains a promise “not to seek to withdraw his guilty plea or file a direct appeal or any kind of collateral attack" based on his age at the time of the crime or the time of the plea. Nonetheless, Muse filed a 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion, arguing that a magistrate lacked authority to decide whether he was an adult and that his lawyer furnished ineffective assistance by not pursuing that question. Chief District Judge Preska denied that motion; the Second Circuit declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Turning to the Southern District of Indiana, where he is imprisoned, Muse unsuccessfully sought habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, agreeing that Muse has not identified any inadequacy in section 2255. The reason he could not contest the magistrate’s decision has nothing to do with section 2255, but was the consequence of his waiver. View "Muse v. Daniels" on Justia Law