Whitaker v. Director, TDCJ-CID
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING 7 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS. Signed by Judge Ron Clark on 8/2/17. (ljw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
NATHANIEL J. WHITAKER
CIVIL ACTION NO. 9:16cv194
ORDER OVERRULING PETITIONER’S OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING
THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Petitioner Nathaniel J. Whitaker, an inmate confined in the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, proceeding pro se, brought this petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
The court referred this matter to the Honorable Zack Hawthorn, United States Magistrate
Judge, at Beaumont, Texas, for consideration pursuant to applicable laws and orders of this court.
The Magistrate Judge recommends the petition be dismissed as barred by limitations.
The court has received and considered the Report and Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge filed pursuant to such order, along with the record and pleadings. Petitioner filed
objections to the Report and Recommendation. This requires 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 petitioner’s objections should be overruled.
Petitioner claims he filed this petition based on new evidence. While petitioner does not assert when
he discovered his new evidence, the factual predicate of the claims presented could have been
discovered at or before the time of trial through the exercise of due diligence. Accordingly,
petitioner’s current claim does not serve to excuse the untimeliness of his petition which is more than
three years too late.
Furthermore, petitioner 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. 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 determination. See Miller v. Johnson, 200 F.3d 274, 280-81 (5th Cir.), cert. denied,
531 U.S. 849 (2000).
Here, petitioner has not shown that any of the issues raised by his claims are subject to debate
among jurists of reason. The factual and legal questions advanced by the movant are not novel and
have been consistently resolved adversely to his position. In addition, the questions presented are
not worthy of encouragement to proceed further. Therefore, petitioner has failed to make a sufficient
showing to merit the issuance of a certificate of appealability. Accordingly, a certificate of
appealability shall not be issued.
Accordingly, petitioner’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
So ORDERED and SIGNED this 2 day of August, 2017.
Ron Clark, United States District Judge
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