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McNeal v. Gordy

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

April 10, 2015

JASON LEE McNEAL, # 263268, Petitioner,
v.
CHRISTOPHER GORDY, et al., Respondents.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

WALLACE CAPEL, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This case is before the court on a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by state inmate Jason Lee McNeal ("McNeal") on July 23, 2013.[1] Doc. No. 1. McNeal challenges his convictions and consecutive 30-year sentences for the offenses of first-degree rape and first-degree rape sodomy following a 2008 jury trial in the Circuit Court of Houston County, Alabama. He argues that (1) he was denied a fair trial when the trial court ruled that his juvenile records were admissible for impeachment; (2) he was denied his right to testify on his own behalf; (3) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial based on the conduct of the victim and victim's family inside and outside the courtroom; (4) the jury's verdicts were not supported by substantial evidence; (5) his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance; and (6) the trial court used the incorrect sentencing range when sentencing him. See Doc. No. 2 at 4-33.

The respondents have filed an answer (Doc. No. 8) in which they argue that McNeal's petition is time-barred by the one-year limitation period applicable to § 2254 petitions, as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Upon review of the pleadings, evidentiary materials, and applicable law, the court concludes that no evidentiary hearing is required and that McNeal's petition should be denied as untimely.

II. DISCUSSION

AEDPA's One-year Limitation Period: 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)

Title 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") provides the statute of limitations for federal habeas petitions and states:

(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 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.
(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 ...

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