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Johnson v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

June 27, 2019

LORIE DAVIS, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.



         Fredrick Wayne Johnson, also known as Frederick Wayne Johnson (TDCJ #538010; former SPN #00201268), has filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody ("Petition") (Docket Entry No. 1) to challenge a conviction entered against him in 1990. He has also filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Docket Entry No. 2) and Appellant's Motion for Summary Judgment with Brief in Support ("Johnson's MSJ") (Docket Entry No. 4). After considering all of the pleadings and the applicable law pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings in the United States District Courts, this case will be dismissed for the reasons explained below.

         I . Background

         On February 7, 1990, a jury in the 177th District Court for Harris County, Texas, found Johnson guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sentenced him to life imprisonment in Cause No. 527808.[1] On direct appeal Johnson argued that the trial court improperly excluded evidence that the 16-year-old victim was promiscuous, among other things, but the intermediate court of appeals rejected all of his arguments and affirmed the conviction. See Johnson v. State, 800 S.W.2d 563 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 1990, pet. ref'd).

         Subsequently, Johnson filed a motion for post-conviction DNA testing under Chapter 64 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which the trial court granted.[2] The trial court found that the test results were "not favorable" to Johnson and an intermediate court of appeals affirmed that conclusion. See Johnson v. State, 183 S.W.3d 515 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet. ref'd). In doing so, the court of appeals acknowledged that test results for DNA found in a semen stain on the victim's underwear did not match Johnson, but were a match to the victim's boyfriend, with whom she had been sexually active. See id. at 518. The court of appeals noted, however, that witnesses who testified at trial saw Johnson abduct the victim and drag her into an abandoned building. See id. at 517-18. Witnesses immediately summoned the police, who arrived at the scene of a reported rape in progress and, upon encountering the disheveled victim, arrested Johnson. See id. The victim testified that Johnson raped her and threatened to kill her. See id. at 517. A physical examination of the victim revealed evidence of sexual assault and the witnesses who testified at trial, including the victim, identified Johnson as the perpetrator. See id. at 518.

         On May 30, 2019, this court received Johnson's federal habeas corpus Petition, which is not dated.[3] Because Johnson's MSJ is dated May 23, 2019, the court will treat his Petition as if it were filed on that date pursuant to the prison mail-box rule.[4] Johnson claims that he is "actually innocent" because post-conviction testing disclosed that DNA found on the victim's underwear was attributed to the victim's boyfriend, not Johnson.[5] Johnson claims further that the State failed to disclose exculpatory evidence known to them at the time of trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) .[6] Specifically, Johnson contends that the State suppressed evidence that the victim had sex with her boyfriend the morning of the alleged aggravated sexual assault by Johnson.[7]

         II. Discussion

         A. The One-Year Statute of Limitations

         According to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (the "AEDPA"), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996), all federal habeas corpus petitions filed after April 24, 1996, are subject to a one-year limitations period found in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), which provides as follows:

(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 ...

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