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Lee v. Stewart

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

June 12, 2018

GLEN DEWAYNE LEE, # 265526, Petitioner,
v.
CYNTHIA STEWART, et al., Respondents.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          WALLACE CAPEL, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This case is before the court on a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by Alabama inmate Glen Dewayne Lee (“Lee”) on September 6, 2016. Doc. No. 1.[1] Lee challenges his 2009 murder conviction and resulting sentence of life in prison entered by the Circuit Court of Geneva County. The respondents argue that Lee's petition is time-barred by AEDPA's one-year limitation period. See Doc. No. 7. The undersigned agrees with the respondents and finds that Lee's petition is untimely and should be denied without an evidentiary hearing.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On March 6, 2009, a Geneva County jury found Lee guilty of murder, in violation of § 13A-6-2, Ala. Code 1975. See Doc. No. 7-1 at 5. On May 7, 2009, the trial court sentenced Lee to life imprisonment. Id. at 6. Lee appealed, and on February 19, 2010, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction by unpublished memorandum opinion.[2] Doc. No. 7-2. After that court overruled Lee's application for rehearing, Lee filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Alabama Supreme Court, which was denied on May 7, 2010; a certificate of judgment was issued that same date. See Doc. No. 7-1 at 7; Doc. No. 7-3.

         On January 25, 2011, Lee filed a petition in the trial court seeking post-conviction relief under Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure.[3] See Doc. No. 7-5 at 2. An evidentiary hearing was held on Lee's Rule 32 petition on June 3, 2014, and on June 26, 2014, the trial court entered an order denying the Rule 32 petition. Id. at 4. Lee appealed, and on March 6, 2015, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals issued a memorandum opinion affirming the trial court's denial of his Rule 32 petition.[4] Doc. No. 7-5. After that court overruled Lee's application for rehearing, Lee filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Alabama Supreme Court, which was denied on July 10, 2015; a certificate of judgment was issued that same date. Doc. No. 7-6. .

         Lee, acting pro se, filed this 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition on September 6, 2016. On the § 2254 form, Lee lists only one claim: that the indictment charging him with murder failed to state an offense. Doc. No. 1 at 6. Underneath that claim, however, he includes cursory allegations that the trial court “operated on incompetent authority” and erred in its jury instructions, and that his trial counsel “operated under conflict of interest in law and fact.” Id. Lee also includes a lengthy attachment with his petition, where he elaborates on the claims in the body of his petition and also asserts claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, trial court error, and prosecutorial misconduct. See Doc. No. 1 at 52-138. Many, if not most, of these additional claims appear to relate to his main claim that the indictment in his case failed to state an offense.[5] Id.

         The respondents argue that Lee's petition is time-barred under the one-year federal limitation period. Doc. No. 7 at 4-8.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. AEDPA's One-Year Limitation Period

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) provides the statute of limitations for § 2254 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 ...

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