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Shaw v. Jones

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

April 26, 2018

ROGER SHAW, Petitioner,
v.
JULIE L. JONES and FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondents.

          OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          SHERI POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on initial review of the file. Petitioner, currently incarcerated within the Florida penal system at Desoto Correctional Institution filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1) on January 12, 2018. Petitioner challenges his 1974 conviction for first degree murder for which he is serving a life sentence imposed by the Circuit Court for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in and for Manatee County, Florida. Because the case is in the early stages, no response has been filed to the Petition. Upon review of the Petition, the Court concludes that this case must be dismissed without prejudice to allow Petitioner the opportunity to seek authorization from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to file a second 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas petition.

         BACKGROUND

         On November 29, 1973, Petitioner was indicted for first degree murder for the beating death of George Beckworth. (Doc. 1-1 at 6). Petitioner pled nolo contendere to the charge on January 28, 1974. Id. at 10. Petitioner was seventeen years old at the time with an IQ between sixty and seventy. Id. at 6. Petitioner was sentenced to life without parole. Id. at 2.

         Petitioner has filed two previous petitions for habeas relief with this Court relating to his 1974 murder conviction and sentence, Shaw v. DOC, 8:10-cv-2490 (M.D. Fla. 2010); and Shaw v. DOC, 8:11-cv-1853 (M.D. Fla. 2011). Both prior petitions were dismissed as time barred under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Petitioner filed the instant Petition on January 12, 2018.

         DISCUSSION

         Petitioner avers that his Petition should be granted because he was a juvenile when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Petitioner argues that the AEDPA statute of limitations does not apply to his case because recent Supreme Court case law made sentencing a juvenile to life in prison without parole unconstitutional. Petitioner argues that the Supreme Court ruling is retroactive and applies to his case. However, Petitioner's Petition is a successive petition it must be dismissed.

         Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and may only hear cases where authorized by the Constitution or by statute. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Title 28 U.S.C. § 2244 provides, in relevant part:

(b) (1) A claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application under section 2254 that was presented in a prior application shall be dismissed.
(2) A claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application under section 2254 that was not presented in a prior application shall be dismissed unless-
(A) the applicant shows that the claim relies on a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable; or
(B)
(i) the factual predicate for the claim could not have been discovered previously through the exercise of due diligence; and
(ii) the facts underlying the claim, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error, no reasonable factfinder would ...

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