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Camp v. Secretary, Department of Corrections

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

June 25, 2019

JAMES CAMP, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

          ORDER

          WILLIAM F. JUNG United States District Judge.

         James Camp, a Florida prisoner, initiated this action, through counsel, by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2254 (Doc. 1). The court ordered Respondent to show cause why the relief sought in the petition should not be granted (Doc. 2). Thereafter, Respondent filed a response in opposition (Doc. 6), to which Mr. Camp replied (Doc. 10). Upon consideration, the petition will be denied.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On August 4, 2009, Mr. Camp was charged by an Amended Information with sexual battery by a person eighteen years of age or older upon a child less than 12 yeas of age, and lewd or lascivious molestation by a person 18 years of age or older upon a child less than 12 years of age (Respondent's Ex. Al). The Amended Information indicated that the sexual battery occurred "on one or more occasions between October 13, 1996 and October 12, 1999. . .", and the lewd or lascivious molestation occurred "on one or more occasions between October 1, 1999 and October 12, 1999. . ." (Id.). A jury found Mr. Camp not guilty of the sexual battery charge, but guilty of the lewd and lascivious molestation charge (Respondent's Ex. A3).

         He filed a motion to vacate the conviction on the ground that the statute of limitations barred prosecution of the offense, which was denied (Respondent's Ex. A6). He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years sex offender probation (Respondent's Ex. A7). His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal (Respondent's Ex. B3).

         Mr. Camp filed a motion for post-conviction relief under Rule 3.850, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, alleging several grounds of ineffective assistance of trial counsel (Respondent's Ex. CI). The Rule 3.850 motion was denied (Respondent's Exs. C5, C6, C7), and the denial was affirmed on appeal (Respondent's Ex. CI 1).

         Mr. Camp thereafter filed his federal habeas petition in this court (Doc. 1). He alleges two grounds for relief:

1. Whether Mr. Camp's rights under Article I of the United States Constitution were violated through ex post facto prosecution of a statute that was enacted subsequent to the date of the alleged crime charged, which would have been precluded by the statute of limitations under the statute in effect at the time of the alleged commission of the offense of conviction; and
2. Whether the Petitioner's due process rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution were violated because of the failure of trial counsel to use evidence that clearly demonstrated that the victim witness's allegations were during a time clearly outside of the statute of limitations in violation of the ex post facto prohibition under Art. I, Sec. 10, CI. 1 of the United States Constitution.

         II. GOVERNING LEGAL PRINCIPLES

         Because Mr. Camp filed his petition after April 24, 1996, this case is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Penry v. Johnson, 532 U.S. 782, 792 (2001); Henderson v. Campbell, 353 F.3d 880, 889-90 (11th Cir. 2003). The AEDPA "establishes a more deferential standard of review of state habeas judgments," Fugate v. Head, 261 F.3d 1206, 1215 (11th Cir. 2001), in order to "prevent federal habeas 'retrials' and to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to the extent possible under law." Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 693 (2002); see also Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U.S. 19, 24 (2002) (recognizing that the federal habeas court's evaluation of state-court rulings is highly deferential and that state-court decisions must be given the benefit of the doubt).

         A. Standard of Review Under the AEDPA

         Pursuant to the AEDPA, habeas relief may not be granted with respect to a claim adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the adjudication of the claim:

(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). The phrase "clearly established Federal law," encompasses only the holdings of the United States Supreme Court "as of the time of the relevant state-court decision." Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412 (2000).

         "[S]ection 2254(d)(1) provides two separate bases for reviewing state court decisions; the 'contrary to' and 'unreasonable application' clauses articulate independent considerations a federal court must consider." Maharaj v. Secretary for Dep't. of Corr., 432 F.3d 1292, 1308 (11th Cir. 2005). The meaning of the clauses was discussed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Parker v. Head, 244 F.3d 831, 835 (11th Cir. 2001):

Under the "contrary to" clause, a federal court may grant the writ if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the United States Supreme Court] on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than [the United States Supreme Court] has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts. Under the 'unreasonable application' clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ if the state court identifies the correct governing legal principle from [the United ...

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