Mallett v. United States of America

Filing 19

MEMORANDUM ORDER overruling movant's objections and adopting 16 Report and Recommendation. Signed by Judge Ron Clark on 1/8/10. (tkd, )

Download PDF
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS BEAUMONT DIVISION DAWANE A. MALLETT VS. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:07-CV-922 MEMORANDUM ORDER OVERRULING MOVANT'S OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION Movant Dawane A. Mallett, a federal prisoner, proceeding pro se, filed this motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255. The court ordered that this matter be referred to the Honorable Earl S. Hines, United States Magistrate Judge, at Beaumont, Texas, for consideration pursuant to applicable laws and orders of this court. The magistrate judge has submitted a Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge. The magistrate judge recommends denying the motion to vacate sentence. The court has received and considered the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge, along with the record, pleadings, and all available evidence. Movant filed objections to the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation. The court has conducted a de novo review of the objections in relation to the pleadings and the applicable law. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b). After careful consideration, the court concludes the objections are without merit. The magistrate judge correctly concluded that the grounds for review asserted by the movant lack merit. On direct appeal, the Fifth Circuit found that there was sufficient evidence for "a rational trier of fact to find that Mallett was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." United States v. Mallett, 2007 WL 2962520, at *1 (5th Cir. Oct. 11, 2007). Movant now argues that he is actually innocent of the crime. To establish that he is actually innocent, movant must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have convicted him in light of all the evidence. Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 623 (1998) (citing Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 327-28 (1995)). Movant has not met this burden. He has not presented any new evidence supporting his claim of actual innocence, he simply argues that the evidence presented at trial did not prove he committed the crimes. Thus, the claim lacks merit. Furthermore, the movant is not entitled to the issuance of a certificate of appealability. An appeal from a judgment denying federal habeas corpus relief may not proceed unless a judge issues a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. 2253; FED. R. APP. P. 22(b). The standard for granting a certificate of appealability, like that for granting a certificate of probable cause to appeal under prior law, requires the movant to make a substantial showing of the denial of a federal constitutional right. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000); Elizalde v. Dretke, 362 F.3d 323, 328 (5th Cir. 2004); see also Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 (1982). In making that substantial showing, the movant need not establish that he should prevail on the merits. Rather, he must demonstrate that the issues are subject to debate among jurists of reason, that a court could resolve the issues in a different manner, or that the questions presented are worthy of encouragement to proceed further. See Slack, 529 U.S. at 483-84; Avila v. Quarterman, 560 F.3d 299, 304 (5th Cir. 2009). If the petition was denied on procedural grounds, the petitioner must show that jurists of reason would find it debatable: (1) whether the petition raises a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right, and (2) whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling. Id. at 484; Elizalde, 362 F.3d at 328. Any doubt regarding whether to grant a certificate of appealability is resolved in favor of the movant, and the severity of the penalty may be considered in making this 2 determination. See Miller v. Johnson, 200 F.3d 274, 280-81 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 849 (2000). Here, the movant has not shown that any of the issues raised by his claims are subject to debate among jurists of reason, or that a procedural ruling is incorrect. In addition, the questions presented are not worthy of encouragement to proceed further. Movant has failed to make a sufficient showing to merit the issuance of a certification of appealability. Accordingly, a certificate of appealability shall not be issued. ORDER Accordingly, movant's objections are OVERRULED. The findings of fact and conclusions of law of the magistrate judge are correct, and the report of the magistrate judge is ADOPTED. A final judgment will be entered in this case in accordance with the magistrate judge's recommendation. A certificate of appealability will not be issued. So ORDERED and SIGNED this 8 day of January, 2010. ___________________________________ Ron Clark, United States District Judge 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.


Why Is My Information Online?