United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
MICHAEL P. SHEA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 1, 2019, the petitioner, Ezra Benjamin, a prisoner
currently confined at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed a petition for
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
challenging his 2002 state convictions. ECF No. 1 at 2. The
petitioner was convicted in one information of assault in the
second degree,  unlawful restraint in the first degree,
assault in the third degree and in a second information of
sexual assault in the first degree,  assault in the second
degree, unlawful restraint in the first degree, and assault
in the third degree. State v. Benjamin, 86 Conn.App.
344, 345, 861 A.2d 524 (2004). The state court sentenced him
on January 10, 2003 to forty years of imprisonment. ECF No. 1
at 2; Connecticut State Department of Correction, Inmate
Information, Inmate No. 250838,
petitioner appealed his convictions on March 20, 2003
claiming that: (1) his second-degree and third-degree assault
convictions violated the state and federal constitutional
prohibitions against double jeopardy, (2) the trial court
improperly instructed the jury on the unlawful restraint
charge, and (3) prosecutorial impropriety deprived him of a
fair trial. ECF No. 1 at 3; Benjamin, 86 Conn.App.
at 348-62. On December 14, 2004, the Connecticut Appellate
Court reversed the trial court's judgment with respect to
the first claim and remanded the case with instructions to
merge the second-degree and third-degree assault convictions
and vacate the sentences for third-degree assault.
Benjamin, 86 Conn.App. at 352. The Appellate Court
affirmed the judgment in all other respects. Id. at
362. The petitioner did not seek certification to appeal the
Appellate Court's decision. ECF No. 1 at 3.
12, 2012, the petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus in state court. ECF No. 1 at 5; Benjamin v.
Warden, No. TSR-CV12-4004820 (Conn. Super. Ct. July 12,
2012). He claimed that trial counsel was ineffective by (1)
failing to properly investigate his case, (2) violating the
“Cronic standard, ” and (3) failing
to properly cross-examine witnesses. ECF No. 1 at 5. The
state court rejected his petition on January 11, 2018.
Benjamin, No. TSR-CV12-4004820. Thereafter, the
Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed the petitioner's
appeal, and on June 12, 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court
denied certification to appeal the Appellate Court's
decision. Id. The petitioner now raises the same
three claims regarding trial counsel's representation in
his federal petition. ECF No. 1 at 9-17.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”) restricts the ability of prisoners to
seek federal review of their state criminal convictions.
Smith v. McGinnis, 208 F.3d 13, 15 (2d Cir. 2000).
AEDPA provides a one-year statute of limitations for federal
habeas actions filed by prisoners in custody pursuant to a
state court judgment. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1); Murphy
v. Strack, 9 Fed.Appx. 71, 72 (2d Cir. 2001). 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
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). A state habeas action or other
form of post-conviction review tolls or interrupts the
running of the limitation period. 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(2); Smith, 208 F.3d at 17. When the state
post-conviction review terminates, the “clock
restarts” and the limitation period resumes.
Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 638 (2010) (citing
Coates v. Byrd, 211 F.3d 1225 (11th Cir. 2000)).
State post-conviction review does not “resuscitate an
expired period.” Murphy v. Strack, 9 Fed.Appx.
71 (2d Cir. 2001).
appears from the face of the petition that over seven and a
half years elapsed between the date of the Connecticut
Appellate Court's decision, December 14, 2004, and the
filing of the state habeas petition, July 12, 2012. This time
period significantly exceeds the one-year limitations period
established under AEDPA. Thus, the instant petition appears
on the foregoing, the Court hereby ORDERS the petitioner to
show cause within thirty (30) days from the date of this
Order why his federal petition should not be dismissed as
time-barred under § 2244(d)(1). Any such response may
include any grounds for equitable tolling, as set forth in
Holland, 560 U.S. at 659-50. Failure to file a
supplemental pleading within thirty (30) days from the date
of this Order will result in the dismissal of the petition
 Conn. Gen. Stat. §