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Beason v. Davenport

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division

November 26, 2014

JOSEPH M. BEASON, Petitioner
v.
CARTER DAVENPORT, Warden, and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA, Respondents

Joseph M Beason, Petitioner, Pro se, Springville, AL.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

HARWELL G. DAVIS, III, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

Petitioner, Joseph M. Beason, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges the validity of his 2008 conviction in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

Factual and Procedural Background[1]

Petitioner was indicted by the St. Clair County Grand Jury on February 15, 2008. On May 20, 2008, petitioner pled guilty to unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, with the sale occurring within three miles of a school and within three miles of a public housing project, in violation of Ala. Code § § 13A-12-211, 13A-12-250 and 13A-12-270. The conviction was based on his sale of crack cocaine to a confidential informant. The trial court sentenced petitioner to a 30-year term of imprisonment on June 30, 2008 (20 years for the distribution conviction, based on petitioner's status as an habitual offender, five years consecutive because the distribution occurred near a school, and an additional five years consecutive because the distribution occurred near a housing project). The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions but reversed the sentence and remanded the case to the trial court for re-sentencing on May 29, 2009. The appellate court instructed the trial court to re-sentence petitioner without the enhancement for sale near a housing project. On remand, on June 22, 2009, the trial court sentenced petitioner to a 25-year term of imprisonment. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed on July 24, 2009.

Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule 32, Ala.R.Crim.P., on October 12, 2009. As grounds, he asserted that the State failed to provide proper notice of its intent to invoke the habitual offender sentencing provisions, that the trial court failed to advise petitioner of the proper mandatory minimum and possible maximum sentences, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, that the court was without jurisdiction to render judgment or impose sentence, and that he was actually innocent of the charge against him. The trial court denied the petition without a hearing on November 30, 2009, as without merit or precluded from consideration. The denial of collateral relief was affirmed by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on April 27, 2010. A certificate of judgment was issued on May 12, 2010.

Petitioner filed a second Rule 32 petition in the trial court, signed January 26, 2011. The filing date is shown on the docket sheet as February 25, 2011. As grounds, he asserted that the trial court was without jurisdiction to render judgment or impose sentence because the indictment failed to allege petitioner sold drugs to a confidential informant, that the sentence imposed exceeded the maximum authorized by law, and that newly discovered material facts required the conviction or sentence to be vacated. He also alleged he was actually innocent and that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. The petition was denied and dismissed on March 29, 2011. Petitioner's appeal was dismissed on September 29, 2011, and a certificate of judgment was issued that same day.

Petitioner filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus on October 9, 2014. As grounds, he asserts that he was entrapped and that he is actually innocent of the charge against him because he did not know that the bag he handed to the confidential informant contained drugs.

Discussion

Title 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), provides:

(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 ...

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