Goodwin v. Roper
OPINION MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Goodwins supplemental petition for writ of habeas corpus [ECF No. 91 ] and motion to stay execution [ECF No. 92 ] are DENIED. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 12/5/14. (KJS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
PAUL T. GOODWIN,
No. 4:06CV848 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Paul Goodwin is scheduled to be executed by the State of Missouri on December 10,
2014. Mr. Goodwin has filed a “supplemental” petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 and moves to stay his execution. He argues that he suffers from an intellectual
disability and that the imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment. Having
carefully and painstakingly reviewed the matter, the Court finds that relief must be denied
because the supplemental petition is indeed successive and Mr. Goodwin has not obtained
authorization from the Court of Appeals to seek such relief in this Court.
Mr. Goodwin was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for killing
Mrs. Joan Crotts, a widow in her sixties. In his state court motion for postconviction relief,
Goodwin argued that the death penalty violated the Eighth Amendment because he is
intellectually disabled. The state court examined the claim under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S.
304 (2002), and found that it was refuted by the trial record. See Goodwin v. Missouri, 191
S.W.3d 20, 27-31 (Mo. banc 2006).
The state court reviewed the trial testimony of his two experts and the state’s expert. Mr.
Goodwin retained Dr. Rosalyn Schultz, a forensic psychologist to testify on his behalf.
Dr. Schultz conducted a forensic evaluation of [Goodwin] prior to trial which
included eleven and a half hours of interaction with [Goodwin], personality
testing, competency to stand trial assessments, intelligence tests, achievement
tests, malingering tests, psychological testing, and a personal history. In
describing [Goodwin’s] intellectual abilities on direct examination, Dr. Schultz
stated: “He also has intellectual impairments, a lower level of IQ, not in the
retarded range but in the borderline range, and so he – didn’t achieve very
well. He wasn’t getting along with his peers.” In addition, Dr. Schultz reviewed
and offered testimony concerning [Goodwin’s] records from the Special School
District beginning in 1973 through graduation from the Wirtz Skill Center. In
explaining the records, Dr. Schultz stated in direct examination: “Consistently on
the IQ tests, his verbal IQ, his full scale IQ, was in the borderline range, meaning
not as low as mentally retarded but not up in the normal range, and there’s an
indication of learning disability that shows up on the testing.”
Resp’t Ex. C at 12 (Mot. Ct.’s Findings of Facts, Conclusions of Law, and J.) (citations omitted;
emphasis in original). Dr. Schultz also discussed his “hearing impairment, his employment
history, his relationship with his family, his relationship with his fiancé, his writings in his
fiancé’s journal, [and] his daily life living alone in his home . . .” Id.
Dr. John Rabun, a psychiatrist, testified that Goodwin’s IQ results were in the borderline
range of intelligence and did not show “mental retardation.” Id. at 14. Dr. Rabun also found “no
deficits in [Goodwin’s] adaptive level of functioning . . .” Id.
Finally, Dr. Richard Wetzel, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine,
also testified that Goodwin was in the borderline range of intelligence. Id. at 15.
In his habeas proceedings before this Court, Mr. Goodwin argued that the state court’s
finding that he did not suffer from an intellectual disability was unreasonable. The Court denied
the claim on the merits.
In his supplemental petition, he argues that the state court’s determination of his
intellectual disability claim is contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision in Hall v. Florida, 134 S.
Ct. 1986 (2014), in which the Court held that Florida’s rule, foreclosing additional evidence of a
capital defendant’s intellectual disability if his IQ score was more than seventy, created
unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability would be executed in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. Mr. Goodwin contends that his supplemental petition is not a second or
successive petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b) because he had no fair opportunity to raise such a
claim until Hall was decided on May 27, 2014.
Goodwin is incorrect. Title 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1) prohibits the litigation of claims that
were presented in prior petitions. Despite his daring convoluted arguments to the contrary, the
supplemental petition merely restates his previous claim that he should not have been sentenced
to death because he is intellectually disabled. Additionally, the Supreme Court did not make the
rule in Hall retroactive to cases on collateral review. See In re Henry, 757 F.3d 1151, 1159 (11th
Cir. 2014). But even if it had made it retroactive, and even if Mr. Goodwin could present his
claim in a supplemental petition such as this one, his/ argument would still fail because the state
postconviction court allowed additional evidence of his intellectual functioning, including
evidence of his adaptive behavior, despite his IQ scores being above seventy.
For these reasons, this Court finds that the supplemental petition is successive and must
be dismissed. Moreover, this Court does not believe that Goodwin has demonstrated that jurists
of reason would find it debatable whether the supplemental petition is second or successive. The
process for Mr. Goodwin has been rich, full, and complete Thus, this Court will not issue a
certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Goodwin’s supplemental petition for writ of habeas
corpus [ECF No. 91] and motion to stay execution [ECF No. 92] are DENIED.
Dated this 5th day of December, 2014.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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