Gardner v. Dunn (INMATE 3)
ORDERED as follows: 1. Petitioner Willie Gardner's 7 Objection is OVERRULED; 2. the 6 Recommendation is ADOPTED; and 3. Petitioner Willie Gardner's petition for writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A) for Petitioner's failure to obtain the requisite order from the Eleventh Circuit authorizing the consideration of a successive habeas petition. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 7/23/2015. (kh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JEFFERSON S. DUNN,
CASE NO. 2:15-CV-390-WKW
On June 23, 2015, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation (Doc. # 6),
to which Petitioner Willie Gardner has filed a timely Objection (Doc. # 7). Upon
an independent and de novo review of those portions of the Recommendation to
which objection is made, the Objection is due to be overruled, the
Recommendation is due to be adopted, and Mr. Gardner’s petition for writ of
habeas corpus is due to be dismissed.
Mr. Gardner filed the present habeas petition to challenge the sentence of
life without the possibility of parole he received for a crime he committed when he
was a juvenile. He argues that his sentence should be vacated in light of Miller v.
Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 2469 (2012), in which the Supreme Court held that
imposition of mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for
juvenile offenders sentenced as adults violates the Eighth Amendment.
Magistrate Judge did not reach the merits of Mr. Gardner’s challenge because he
determined that Mr. Gardner had failed to obtain the requisite order from the
Eleventh Circuit authorizing the district court to consider a successive habeas
petition, leaving the court without jurisdiction.
Mr. Gardner objects to the Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge. In his
Objection, Mr. Gardner does not argue that his present petition is not successive
for purposes of triggering the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). Nor
does he contend that he has received the requisite authorization from the Eleventh
Circuit. Rather, Mr. Gardner argues that this action should be stayed pending the
Supreme Court’s determination in Montgomery v. Louisiana, 135 S. Ct. 1546
(2015), on grounds that Montgomery will determine whether the holding in Miller
should be applied retroactively.
While this court acknowledges the import of the forthcoming decision in
Montgomery, its pendency does not confer jurisdiction upon this court to entertain
Mr. Gardner’s petition. As the Supreme Court has explained, failing to adhere to §
2244(b)(3)’s “gatekeeping provisions” deprives district courts of jurisdiction to
entertain habeas petitions.
Burton v. Stewart, 549 U.S. 147, 152 (2007).
Accordingly, this court echoes the determination of the Eleventh Circuit that
dismissal of the present petition “does not preclude” Mr. Gardner from seeking
leave from the Eleventh Circuit to file a new, successive petition “after the
Supreme Court decides Montgomery.” In re Gardner, No. 15-12442-E (11th Cir.
June 25, 2015).
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
Petitioner Willie Gardner’s Objection (Doc. # 7) is OVERRULED;
the Recommendation (Doc. # 6) is ADOPTED; and
Petitioner Willie Gardner’s petition for writ of habeas corpus is
DISMISSED under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A) for Petitioner’s failure to obtain the
requisite order from the Eleventh Circuit authorizing the consideration of a
successive habeas petition.
A final judgment will be entered separately.
DONE this 23rd day of July, 2015.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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