Dawson v. Davis
ORDER DISMISSING with Prejudice re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Ronald Earl Dawson. Certificate of Appealability is Denied. Signed by Judge Sam Sparks. (jf)
IN TIlE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR TilE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
RONALD EARL DAWSON
Before the Court are Petitioner Ronald Earl Dawson' s Application for Habeas Corpus Relief
under 28 U.S.C.
2254 (Document 1) and response to the Court's order to show cause
(Document 7). Petitioner, proceeding pro se, has paid the filing fee for this case. For the reasons
set forth below, Petitioner's application is dismissed.
I. STATEMENT OF TIlE CASE
Petitioner's Criminal history
According to Petitioner, the Director has custody of him pursuant to ajudgment and sentence
of the 21st Judicial District Court of Burleson County, Texas. After entering a guilty plea, Petitioner
was convicted of aggravated robbery.
The court sentenced Petitioner to 45 years in prison.
Petitioner admits he did not appeal his conviction. He did, however, challenge his conviction in
several state applications for habeas corpus relief, the earliest of which was filed in 2006.
Petitioner's Grounds for Relief
Petitioner asserts he received ineffective assistance of counsel and the trial court abused its
discretion by failing to conduct a competency hearing.
II. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Statute of Limitations
Federal law establishes a one-year statute of limitations for state inmates seeking federal
habeas corpus relief.
2244(d). That section provides, in relevant part:
(d)(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas
corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The
limitation period shall run from the latest of-(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct
review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State
action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is
removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized
by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme
Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented
could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.
(2) The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or
other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending
shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this subsection.
Petitioner's conviction became final, at the latest, on March 12, 1997, at the conclusion of
time during which he could have appealed his conviction.
R. App. P. 26.2(a). Therefore,
Petitioner had until March 12, 1998, to timely file his federal application. Petitioner did not file his
federal application for habeas corpus relief until approximately October 2, 2017, more than 19 years
after the limitations period had expired.
Petitioner's state applications did not operate to toll the limitations period, because they were
also filed after the limitations period had already expired.
227 F.3d 260, 263
(5th Cir. 2000) (state application for habeas corpus relief filed after limitations period expired does
not toll the limitations period).
Petitioner alleges no facts showing any equitable basis exists for excusing his failure to
timely file his federal habeas corpus application. See Pace
DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418
(2005) ("a litigant seeking equitable tolling bears the burden of establishing two elements: (1) that
he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance stood in his
way."). In addition, the record does not reflect any unconstitutional state action impeded Petitioner
from filing for federal habeas corpus relief prior to the end of the limitations period. Furthermore,
Petitioner has not shown he did not know the factual predicate of his claims earlier. Finally, the
claims do not concern a constitutional right recognized by the Supreme Court within the last year
and made retroactive to cases on collateral review.
Petitioner also has not shown he was actually innocent under the standard in Schiup v. Delo,
513 U.S. 298, 329 (1995). A habeas petitioner, who seeks to surmount a procedural default through
a showing of"actual innocence," must support his allegations with "new, reliable evidence" that was
not presented at trial and must show that it was more likely than not that, in light of the new
evidence, no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find the petitioner guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. See Schiup, 513 U.S. at 326-27 (1995); see also House
Bell, 547 U.S. 518
(2006) (discussing at length the evidence presented by the petitioner in support of an
actual-innocence exception to the doctrine of procedural default under Schiup) . "Actual innocence"
in this context refers to factual innocence and not mere legal sufficiency. Bousely v. United States,
523 U.S. 614, 623-624 (1998).
Petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus is dismissed as time-barred.
IV. CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
An appeal may not be taken to the court of appeals from a final order in a habeas corpus
proceeding "unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability." 28
2253(c)(1)(A). Pursuant to Rule
of the Federal Rules Governing Section 2254 cases, the
district court must issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to
A certificate of appealability may issue only if a petitioner has made a substantial showing
of the denial of a constitutional right.
Id. § 2253(c)(2). The Supreme
court fully explained the
requirement associated with a "substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right" in Slack
529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). In cases where a district court rejected a petitioner's
constitutional claims on the merits, "the petitioner must demonstrate that reasonable jurists would
find the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong." Id.
When a district ourt denies a habeas petition on procedural grounds without reaching the
petitioner's underlying constitutional claim, a COA should issue when the petitioner shows, at least,
that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial
of a constitutional right and that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court
was correct in its procedural ruling. Id.
In this case, reasonable jurists could not debate the dismissal of the Petitioner's section 2254
petition on substantive or procedural grounds, nor find that the issues presented are adequate to
deserve encouragement to proceed.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322,
U.S. at 484). Accordingly, the Court shall not issue a certificate of appealability.
It is therefore ORDERED that the Application for Writ
file-marked October 5,
of Habeas Corpus (DE
DISMISSED WIT!! PREJUDICE as time-barred.
It is further ORDERED that a certificate of appealability is I)ENIED.
day of November 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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