Slaton v. Dunn

Filing 9

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge L Scott Coogler on 5/17/2017. (PSM)

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FILED 2017 May-17 PM 02:20 U.S. DISTRICT COURT N.D. OF ALABAMA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA MIDDLE DIVISION NATHAN D. SLATON, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON S. DUNN, Respondent. Case No.: 4:15-cv-00900-LSC-JHE MEMORANDUM OPINION On May 29, 2015, Petitioner Nathan Slaton (“Slaton”) filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, requesting relief from his sentence of mandatory life imprisonment without parole. (Doc. 1). Because Slaton has obtained the relief requested in his petition for habeas relief, he now moves to dismiss this pending habeas action as moot. (Doc. 8). The motion is due to be GRANTED. Slaton was convicted of one count of capital murder for an incident that occurred when he was 17 years old. On July 9, 2007, Slaton was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, which was the mandatory minimum sentence for a 17-year-old child convicted of capital murder in Alabama. See ALA. CODE § 13A-6-2(c); Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 578 (2005). After the decision in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), which invalidated his mandatory life-without-parole sentence, Slaton sought relief in the state courts. On May 9, 2014, the Marshall County Circuit Court ordered the dismissal of Slaton’s petition without a hearing on the grounds that Slaton was not entitled to relief because of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that Miller is not retroactive. Order Dismissing Slaton’s Rule 32 Petition, Slaton v. State, No. CC-87-200210.62 (Ala. Cir. Ct. May 9, 2014) (citing In re Morgan, 713 F.3d 1365 (11th Cir. 2013)). The trial court’s decision was affirmed on appeal. Slaton v. State, No. CR-13-1367 (Ala. Crim. App. Nov. 14, 2014). After Slaton filed his petition in this Court, the United States Supreme Court decided Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016), establishing the retroactivity of Miller. The Supreme Court also remanded Slaton’s case for further consideration in light of Miller and Montgomery, Slaton v. Alabama, 136 S. Ct. 2445 (2016) (mem.), and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals did so as well, Order After Remand by the United States Supreme Court, Slaton v. State, No. CR-13-1367 (Ala. Crim. App. Aug. 31, 2016). On May 4, 2017, the Marshall County Circuit Court entered an order granting relief from Slaton’s mandatory sentences of life without parole. Because Slaton has obtained the relief requested in his petition for habeas relief, his petition will be dismissed as MOOT. Based on the foregoing, the Petitioner’s motion to dismiss, (doc. 8), is GRANTED. A separate order will be entered. DONE and ORDERED on May 17, 2017. _____________________________ L. Scott Coogler United States District Judge 160704 2

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