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Mays v. Director, TDCJ-CID

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

December 18, 2013

RANDALL WAYNE MAYS, Petitioner,
v.
DIRECTOR, TDCJ-CID, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM ORDER OVERRULING PETITIONER'S OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

MARCIA A. CRONE, District Judge.

Petitioner Randall Wayne Mays, a death row inmate confined within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging his conviction 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 that the petition be denied.

The court has received and considered the Second Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge, along with the record, pleadings, and all available evidence. Petitioner filed objections to the magistrate judge's Second 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 that Petitioner's objections are without merit. With respect to the supplemental petition and objections concerning ground for relief number five, Petitioner has failed to show either that he is mentally retarded or suffers from an intellectual disability that precludes him from execution under current law, or a substantial claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel in order to overcome the procedural default of this issue, as required by Trevino v. Thaler, 133 S.Ct. 1911, 1921 (2013). With respect to his remaining claims, Petitioner has failed to show either that the state court adjudication was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States or that the state court adjudication resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Accordingly, Petitioner's grounds for relief should be denied.

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 petitioner 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, a petitioner 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 petitioner, 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 petitioner 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.

ORDER

For the reasons stated above, 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 ...


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