Crespo v. Cassady
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court will not issue a certificate of appealability. Signed by District Judge Rodney W. Sippel on 9/20/16. (ARL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOSE ERASMO CRESPO,
No. 4:16-CV-1460 NAB
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the petition of Jose Crespo for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The petition is denied.
Petitioner was convicted by a jury of capital murder in 1982. The state court
sentenced him to life imprisonment. He appealed, and the Missouri Court of
Appeals for the Eastern District affirmed. The court issued its mandate in March
1984. He says he wanted to appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court but his request
was denied. According to the petition, he did not file a motion for postconviction
Petitioner acknowledges that the one-year statute of limitations has run. He
says that, at some point after 1982, the Missouri legislature repealed an unstated
Article of the State Constitution that would have allowed him to appeal to the
Missouri Supreme Court. He argues that the legislature’s action should allow him
to file a late § 2254 petition.
While the petition is time-barred, the Court finds it need not dismiss on that
ground. Under 28 U.S.C. ' 2254(a), a district court may only entertain a petition
for writ of habeas corpus if the petitioner “is in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” In other words, grounds that
do not state a constitutional issue are not cognizable in a federal habeas petition.
E.g. Gee v. Groose, 110 F.3d 1346, 1351-52 (8th Cir. 1997). The petition sounds
in state law and does not state a cognizable ground for federal relief. As a result, it
Finally, Petitioner has failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right, which requires a demonstration “that jurists of reason would
find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a
Khaimov v. Crist, 297 F.3d 783, 785 (8th Cir. 2002)
(quotation omitted). Thus, the Court will not issue a Certificate of Appealability.
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition for writ of habeas corpus is
DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court will not issue a certificate of
Dated this 20th day of September, 2016.
RODNEY W. SIPPEL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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