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Stevenson v. Falcone

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 19, 2017

TERRANCE STEVENSON, Petitioner,
v.
FALCONE, Respondent.

          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

          Michael P. Shea United States District Judge

         On February 14, 2017, the petitioner, Terrance Stevenson, currently incarcerated at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his state convictions.[1]

         On March 4, 1997, the petitioner was convicted of murder as an accessory, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-54a(a) and 53a-8, and conspiracy to commit murder, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-54a and 53a-48(a). The Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of conviction on June 1, 1999; State v. Stevenson, 53 Conn.App. 551, 733 A.2d 253 (1999); and the Connecticut Supreme Court denied the petitioner's petition for certification to appeal the Appellate Court's decision on July 21, 1999. State v. Stevenson, 250 Conn. 917, 734 A.2d 990 (1999).

         Following his conviction, the petitioner filed his first petition for writ of habeas corpus in state court.[2] The state habeas court denied said petition on May 2, 2000. Stevenson v. Warden, No. CV970573787, 2000 WL 638947 (Conn. Super. Ct. May 2, 2000). Thereafter, the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the state habeas court's decision. Stevenson v. Comm'r of Correction, 67 Conn.App. 908, 792 A.2d 909 (2002). On March 28, 2002, the Connecticut Supreme Court denied the petitioner's petition for certification to appeal the Appellate Court's decision. Stevenson v. Comm'r of Correction, 260 Conn. 905, 795 A.2d 547 (2002).

         Nine months later, on January 14, 2003, the petitioner filed his second state habeas action, which was denied on June 6, 2007. Stevenson v. Warden, No. CV030473103S, 2007 WL 1892843 (Conn. Super. Ct. Jun. 6, 2007). The Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the denial of that petition on February 17, 2009; Stevenson v. Comm'r of Correction, 112 Conn.App. 675, 963 A.2d 1077 (2009); and the Connecticut Supreme Court denied the petitioner's petition for certification to appeal the Appellate Court's decision on March 31, 2009. Stevenson v. Comm'r of Correction, 291 Conn. 904, 967 A.2d 1221 (2009).

         On March 28, 2012, approximately three years after the second state habeas judgment became final, the petitioner filed his third state habeas petition. The state habeas court denied that petition on December 4, 2014; Stevenson v. Warden, No. CV114004660S, 2014 WL 7593460 (Conn. Super. Ct. Dec. 4, 2014). Thereafter, the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the denial of the petition; Stevenson v. Comm'r of Correction, 165 Conn.App. 355, 139 A.3d 718 (2016); and, on June 21, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court denied the petitioner's petition for certification to appeal the Appellate Court's decision. Stevenson v. Comm'r of Correction, 322 Conn. 903, 138 A.3d 933 (2016).

         Approximately eight months after his third state habeas judgment became final, the petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court.

         Title 28, section 2244(d)(1) of the United States Code imposes a one year statute of limitations on federal petitions for writ of habeas corpus challenging a judgment of conviction imposed by a state court. The one-year limitations period runs 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.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Pursuant to § 2244(d)(2), a state habeas action or other form of post-conviction review tolls or interrupts the running of the limitation period. Smith v. McGinnis, 208 F.3d 13, 17 (2d Cir. 2000). When the state post-conviction review terminates, the “clock restarts” and the limitation period resumes. Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 638, 130 S.Ct. 2549, 177 L.Ed.2d 130 (2010) (citing Coates v. Byrd, 211 F.3d 1225 (11th Cir. 2000)).

         It appears from the face of the petition and the state court decisions referenced therein, that approximately four years and five months elapsed after the date of conviction until the filing of the instant petition in this Court. Even if no time elapsed between the conclusion of direct appeal (July 21, 1999) and the filing of the first state habeas petition, the instant petition would still be time barred. Nine months elapsed between the conclusion of the first state habeas action (March 28, 2002) and the commencement of the second state habeas action (January 14, 2003). Three years elapsed between the conclusion of the second state habeas action (March 31, 2009) and the commencement of the third state habeas action (March 28, 2012). Finally, eight more months elapsed between the conclusion of the third state habeas action (June ...


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