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Hankins v. Butts

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

August 16, 2017

JONATHAN MICHAEL HANKINS, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH BUTTS, Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         Once convicted and after exhaustion or waiver of any right to appeal, a defendant is presumed to stand “fairly and finally convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 164 (1982).

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, the effort of Jonathan Michael Hankins to show otherwise with respect to his Johnson County convictions fails. For the reasons explained in this Entry, the petition of Jonathan Michael Hankins for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied. In addition, the Court finds that a certificate of appealability should not be issued.

         I. Background

         The facts pertinent to the respondent's arguments that the statute of limitations had expired prior to Hankins's filing of his petition for writ of habeas corpus and that the action is barred by procedural default are the following:

         1. On May 11, 2010, Hankins was charged in Johnson County with two counts of Class C felony child molesting. Hankins entered a plea of guilty to both charges on October 8, 2010 and he was sentenced to concurrent sentences of eight (8) years.

         2. On April 1, 2011, Hankins's direct appeal was dismissed with prejudice.

         3. Hankins filed an action for post-conviction relief on March 13, 2011. The motion for post-conviction relief was denied on December 14, 2015. No appeal was filed pertaining to the motion for post-conviction relief.

         4. On January 17, 2017, Hankins's petition for permission to file a successive post-conviction relief petition was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

         5. Applying the prison mailbox rule, Hankins filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus on January 30, 2017. His amended petition was filed on April 26, 2017.

         II. Discussion

         A petitioner must overcome several procedural barriers before a court will review the merits of a petition for a writ of federal habeas corpus. As Justice O'Connor noted in Daniels v. United States, “Procedural barriers, such as statutes of limitations and rules concerning procedural default and exhaustion of remedies, operate to limit access to review on the merits of a constitutional claim.” 532 U.S. 374, 381 (2001); see also United States v. Olano, 507 U.S. 725, 731 (1993). Accordingly, “when examining a habeas corpus petition, the first duty of a district court . . . is to examine the procedural status of the cause of action." United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 1128, 1132 (7th Cir. 1990).

         A. Statute of Limitations

         In an attempt to “curb delays, to prevent ‘retrials' on federal habeas, and to give effect to state convictions to the extent possible under law, ” Congress, as part of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), revised several of the statutes governing federal habeas relief. Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404 (2000). “Congress enacted AEDPA to advance the finality of criminal convictions.” Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 662 (2005). “To that end, it adopted a tight time line, a one-year limitation.” Id. Along with triggering dates not applicable here, “[u]nder 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A), a state prisoner ...


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