Lawrence v. Hetzel, et al (INMATE 2)
ORDER directing that on or before October 25, 2011 Petitioner may file a response to the 8 answer filed by Respondents, as further set out. Signed by Honorable Judge Terry F. Moorer on 10/4/11. (scn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STEVE CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE,
GARY HETZEL, WARDEN, et al.,
This cause is before the court on a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for habeas corpus relief
filed by Petitioner Steve Lawrence on September 6, 2011. In this petition, Petitioner
challenges his conviction and sentence for murder entered against him by the Circuit Court
for Russell County, Alabama, on January 18, 2008.
Respondents filed an answer in accordance with the provisions of Rule 5, Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, in which they contend
that Petitioner is procedurally defaulted on each of his claims for relief because he did not
properly present these claims to the state courts in accordance with applicable procedural
rules and federal law. O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838 (1999); Smith v. Jones, 256
F.3d 1135, 1140-1146 (11th Cir. 2001); Brownlee v. Haley, 306 F.3d 1043, 1065 (11th Cir.
2002); Holladay v. Haley, 209 F.3d 1243, 1254 n. 9 (11th Cir.); Bailey v. Nagle, 172 F.3d
1299, 1303 (11th Cir. 1999); Collier v. Jones, 901 F.2d 770, 773 (11th Cir. 1990); Teague
v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989).
A procedural default bars consideration of the merits of a claim “unless the prisoner
can demonstrate cause for the default and actual prejudice as a result of the alleged
violation of federal law, or demonstrate that failure to consider the claims will result in a
fundamental miscarriage of justice.” Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 750, 111 S.Ct.
2546, 2565, 115 L.Ed.2d 640 (1991); Peoples v. Campbell, 377 F.3d 1208, 1235 (11th Cir.
2004); Henderson v. Campbell, 353 F.3d 880, 892 (11th Cir. 2003). However, even if the
petitioner fails to show cause and prejudice, a procedural default will not preclude a federal
court from considering a habeas petitioner's federal constitutional claim where the
petitioner is able to show that the court's failure to address his claim would result in a
"fundamental miscarriage of justice." Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 320 (1995); Murray
v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478 (1986). The miscarriage of justice exception allows federal courts
to address procedurally defaulted claims if the petitioner shows that "a constitutional
violation has probably resulted in the conviction of one who is actually innocent." Carrier,
477 U.S. at 496.
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that on or before October 25, 2011 Petitioner may file a response to the
answer filed by Respondents. Any pleadings, documents or evidence filed after this date
will not be considered by the court except in exceptional circumstances. Petitioner is
advised that at any time after October 25, 2011 the court shall "determine whether an
evidentiary hearing is required. If it appears that an evidentiary hearing is not required, the
[court] shall make such disposition of the petition as justice shall require." Rule 8(a),
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.
Petitioner is instructed that when responding to Respondents' answer he may file
sworn affidavits or other documents in support of his claims. Affidavits should set forth
specific facts which demonstrate that Petitioner is entitled to relief on those grounds
presented in the habeas corpus petition. If documents which have not previously been filed
with the court are referred to in the affidavits, sworn or certified copies of those papers
must be attached to the affidavits or served with them.
When Petitioner attacks
Respondents' answer by use of affidavits or other documents, the court will, at the proper
time, consider whether to expand the record to include such materials. See Rule 7, Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.
Petitioner is cautioned that in responding to Respondents' assertion that all of his
constitutional claims for relief are procedurally defaulted he must state specific reasons
why he failed to comply with the state's procedural rules or otherwise did not present or
pursue these claims in state court either at the trial court level, on appeal or in available
post-conviction proceedings. Petitioner is advised that the reasons presented must be
legally sufficient and that the facts surrounding or relating to the reasons for the failure
must be stated with specificity. If Petitioner asserts that this court should address the
procedurally defaulted claims under the fundamental miscarriage of justice exception,
Petitioner must show specific reasons for the application of this exception
Done, this 4th day of October 2011.
/s/ Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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