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Ramos v. Semple

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 11, 2019

JOSE E. RAMOS, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT SEMPLE, Defendant.

          RULING ON WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Jose E. Ramos (“Petitioner”), a state prisoner currently confined at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed an amended petition[1] for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his state conviction for murder, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-54a. Amended Petition, ECF No. 12-1 (“Am. Pet.”).

         Mr. Ramos raises four claims: (1) his state imprisonment is illegal because he is “legally sovereign, free, and immune from all claims and charges;” (2) his arrest was illegal because the name on the warrant was Jose E. Ramos and his actual name is Jose Eric Ramos; (3) his conviction violates an international treaty; and (4) the state trial court lacked jurisdiction over him because he is “a living soul, breathing man, not a corporate fiction.” Id. at 5-10.

         The Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Corrections (“Commissioner”)[2] has responded, contending that Mr. Ramos has failed to exhaust his state court remedies on any of these claims, and that, even if he had, each of the claims is frivolous. Respondent's Response to Court's Order to Show Cause, ECF No. 22 (“Resp't Resp.”).

         Mr. Ramos's reply appears to be a more detailed memorandum on his claims that does not address his failure to exhaust. Petitioner's Response to Respondent's Response to Court's Order to Show Cause, ECF No. 31 (“Reply”).

         For the following reasons, Mr. Ramos's amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Following a criminal trial, a jury convicted Mr. Ramos of murder and he received a prison sentence of sixty years. State v. Ramos, 178 Conn.App. 400, 403 (2017), Respondent Appendix, ECF No. 22 (“Resp't App.”), Ex. C.

         Mr. Ramos appealed his conviction and raised four claims: (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in failing to suppress evidence of his post-Miranda[3] silence; (3) the trial court committed plain error by admitting prior misconduct evidence; and (4) he was deprived of his right to due process as a result of prosecutorial impropriety. Ramos, 178 Conn.App. at 402. The Connecticut Appellate Court rejected all four of Mr. Ramos's claims and affirmed the conviction. Id.

         The Connecticut Supreme Court later denied discretionary review, State v. Ramos, 327 Conn. 1003 (2018), Resp't App. E, ECF No. 22-5, and the United States Supreme Court denied Mr. Ramos's petition for writ of certiorari. See Ramos v. Connecticut, 138 S.Ct. 2656 (2018), Resp't App., Ex. G.

         While his direct appeal was pending, Mr. Ramos filed a petition for a new trial under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-270. Pet. for New Trial, Resp't App., Ex. H. Mr. Ramos claimed that one of the state's witnesses had testified while she was under the influence of psychedelic substances. Id.

         Mr. Ramos also filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in state court. Ramos v. Comm'r of Corr., No. TSR-CV-16-4008151-S (Conn. Super Ct. June 27, 2016), Resp't App., Ex. I.

         On September 7, 2018, Mr. Ramos filed a motion to correct an allegedly illegal sentence in state court because he “is not the defendant named in the charging instrument, ” and the trial court therefore lacked jurisdiction over him. Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence, Resp't App., Ex. J. Mr. Ramos argued that he is a “sovereign [who] is answerable only to God and conscience.” See Id. at 11. The trial court denied his motion, finding no legal basis to correct the sentence imposed. State v. Ramos, No. KNLCR120119499 (Strackbein, J.), 2018 WL 5786064 (Conn. Super. Ct. Oct. 16, 2018), Resp't App., Ex. Mr. Ramos appealed the denial of his motion, which remains pending. See State v. Ramos, No. AC42330 (Conn. App. Nov. 26, 2018).

         On December 7, 2018, Mr. Ramos moved to consolidate the petition for new trial and habeas petition for trial purposes, which the state court granted. See Ramos v. State, No. TTD-CV16-5012323 ...


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