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Peoples v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

October 24, 2019

GARY KENDAHL PEOPLES, Petitioner,
v.
LORIE DAVIS, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MARK T. PITTMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by Petitioner, Gary Kendahl Peoples, a state prisoner confined in the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), against Lorie Davis, director of TDCJ, Respondent. After considering the pleadings and relief sought by Petitioner, the Court has concluded that the petition should be dismissed as time-barred.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 16, 1991, in Criminal District Court Number One, Tarrant County, Texas, Nos. 0417433D, 0417589D, and 0420676D, a jury found Petitioner guilty on one count of robbery causing bodily injury and two counts of aggravated robbery causing serious bodily injury and “true” to the sentence-enhancement count in each indictment. 01Tr. 152, ECF No. 15-14; 02Tr. 149, ECF No. 15-16; 03Tr. 155, ECF No. 15-15.[1] The jury sentenced him to a term of 99 years’ and two terms of life imprisonment and assessed a $10,000 fine in each case. The Second District Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed the trial court’s judgments of conviction, and, on September 15, 1993, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused Petitioner’s petitions for discretionary review. Docket Sheet, ECF No. 15-2. Petitioner does not indicate that he sought writ of certiorari. Pet. 3, ECF No. 1. Therefore, his convictions became final ninety days later on December 14, 1993. See Sup. Ct. R. 13.1. Thereafter, Petitioner sought state postconviction relief by filing four state habeas-corpus applications challenging his convictions, the first filed in July 1997 and the remaining three filed in March 2018. This federal petition for federal habeas relief was filed on September 26, 2018.[2] Pet. 1, ECF No. 1. Petitioner raises four grounds, in which he asserts that his counsel, the trial court judge, and/or the prosecution willfully deprived him of his constitutional right to a fair trial and appeal. Pet. 6-7, ECF No. 1. Respondent contends that the petition is untimely under the federal statute of limitations. Resp’t’s Preliminary Answer 6-14, ECF No. 14.

         II. LEGAL DISCUSSION

         A. Statute of Limitations

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (the AEDPA), effective April 24, 1996, imposes a one-year statute of limitations for filing a petition for federal habeas corpus relief. Section 2244(d) provides:

(1) A 1-year period of limitations 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 limitations 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 that 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 limitations under this subsection.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)-(2).

         For purposes of subsection (A), applicable to this case, petitioners attacking convictions which became final before the AEDPA’s effective date have one year from the effective date of the Act, or until April 24, 1997, to file a federal habeas-corpus action. Flanagan v. Johnson, 154 F.3d 196, 200 (5th Cir. 1998); United States v. Flores, 135 F.3d 1000, 1006 (5th Cir. 1998). Therefore, Petitioner’s ...


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