Walker v. Patterson et al

Filing 38

ORDER ADOPTING 35 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Gary Eugene Walker. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 4/28/2014. (adk)

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IN  THE  UNITED  STATES  DISTRICT  COURT  FOR  THE   SOUTHERN  DISTRICT  OF  ALABAMA   SOUTHERN  DIVISION     GARY  EUGENE  WALKER,   (#  145517),                                                            Petitioner       v.     GARY  HETZEL,     Respondent.     )   )   )   )   )   )   )   )   )   )   )           CIVIL  ACTION  NO.   12-­‐00732-­‐CB-­‐B              ORDER       This  matter  is  before  the  Court  on  the  Report  and  Recommendation  of  the   Magistrate  Judge  (Doc.  35)  and  on  Petitioner’s  Objections  thereto  (Doc.  37).    The   Magistrate  Judge  recommends  that  this  habeas  petition  be  dismissed  as  time  barred   because  it  was  not  filed  within  one  year  of  the  date  judgment  became  final  and  there   equitable  tolling  does  not  apply    In  his  objection,  Petitioner  argues  that  the   Magistrate  Judge  used  the  wrong  triggering  date  for  the  limitations  period.    Rather   than  measuring  the  one-­‐year  period  from  the  date  judgment  became  final  as   required  by  28  U.S.C.  §  2244(d)(1)(A),  Petitioner  contends  that  the  limitations   period  should  be  measured  based  on  §  2244(d)(1)(D).    Under  that  subsection,  the   period  begins  to  run  on  “the  date  on  which  the  factual  predicate  of  the  claim  or   claims  could  have  been  discovered  through  the  exercise  of  due  diligence.”    28  U.S.C.   §  2244(d)(1)(D).     Due  diligence  requires  that  Petitioner  “must  show  some  good  reason  why  he   or  she  was  unable  to  discover  the  facts  supporting  the  motion  before  filing  the  first   habeas  motion.”    In  re  Boshears,  110  F.3D  1538,  1540  (11th  Cir.  1997)  (defining  due   diligence  in  context  of  second  or  successive  petition);  accord  Melson  v.  Allen,  538   F.3d  983  (11th  Cir.  2008)  (applying  Boshears  due  diligence  definition  to   2244(d)(1)(D)),  rev’d  on  other  grounds,  560  U.S.  ___,  130  S.Ct.  2549  (2010).    A  mere   allegation  that  Petitioner  did  not  know  about  the  claims  earlier  is  not  sufficient.    Id.     Here,  Petitioner  points  to  two  new  pieces  of  evidence  that  he  has  recently  obtained,   but  he  has  failed  to  explain  why  this  evidence  could  not  have  been  discovered   earlier.1     In  sum,  Petitioner’s  objection  has  no  merit.    As  the  Magistrate  Judge  correctly   concluded,  the  one-­‐year  limitations  period  began  to  run  on  the  date  judgment   became  final,    28  U.S.C.  §  2244(d)(1)(A),  and,  thus,  the  petition  is  time  barred.         Therefore,  after  de  novo  review,  the  Court  hereby  OVERRULES  Petitioner’s   objections  and  ADOPTS  the  Magistrate  Judge’s  Report  and  Recommendation.     DONE  and  ORDERED  this  the  28th    day  of  April,  2014                             s/Charles  R.  Butler,  Jr.       Senior  United  States  District  Judge                                                                                                                   1The  first  piece  of  evidence  is  a  letter  from  the  Alabama  Bar  Association   dated  March  31,  2014,  confirming  that  Petitioner’s  trial  attorney,  Vader  Al   Pennington,  has  been  disciplines  11  times  since  1991,  including  two  suspensions,   and  ending  with  disbarment  in  2010.    Clearly,  Mr.  Pennington’s  status  has  been  a   matter  of  public  record  since  at  least  2010.    The  second  is  a  supplemental  forensics   report  dated  June  18,  1986,  providing  analysis  of  a  palm  print  submitted  to  the   laboratory  for  identification  and  identified  as  Petitioner’s.    Petitioner  states  that  he   obtained  a  copy  of  this  document  in  July  2013  from  attorneys  who  represented  him   in  his  state  court  DNA  discovery  motion.    Petitioner,  has  provided  no  explanation  as   to  why  he  could  not  have  obtained  this  evidence  through  discovery  at  some  earlier   stage  of  the  state  court  proceedings,  such  as  one  of  his  six  Rule  32  petitions.      

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