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Lawson v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections

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

January 13, 2020

OSHANE LAWSON, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          MARCIA MORALES HOWARD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Status

         Petitioner Oshane Lawson, an inmate of the Florida penal system, initiated this action on July 5, 2017, [1] by filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Petition; Doc. 1) with the United States District Court Northern District of Florida. The Northern District transferred the case to this Court on July 11, 2017. See Doc. 3. In the Petition, Lawson challenges a 2010 state court (Duval County, Florida) judgment of conviction for second-degree murder. Lawson raises one ground for relief. See Petition at 5-8.[2] Respondents have submitted an answer in opposition to the Petition. See Motion to Dismiss Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Response; Doc. 29) with exhibits (Resp. Ex.). Lawson filed a brief in reply. See Motion for Leave to Respond and Response to Motion to Dismiss (Reply; Doc. 30). This case is ripe for review.

         II. One-Year Limitations Period

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) amended 28 U.S.C. § 2244 by adding the following subsection:

(d)(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 toward any period of limitation under this subsection.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). In McQuiggin v. Perkins, 569 U.S. 383, 386 (2013), the United States Supreme Court held that a claim of actual innocence, if proven, provides an equitable exception to the one-year statute of limitations. The United States Supreme Court explained:

We hold that actual innocence, if proved, serves as a gateway through which a petitioner may pass whether the impediment is a procedural bar, as it was in Schlup[3] and House, [4] or, as in this case, expiration of the statute of limitations. We caution, however, that tenable actual-innocence gateway pleas are rare: "[A] petitioner does not meet the threshold requirement unless he persuades the district court that, in light of the new evidence, no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Schlup, 513 U.S., at 329, 115 S.Ct. 851; see House, 547 U.S. at 538, 126 S.Ct. 2064 (emphasizing that the Schlup standard is "demanding" and seldom met). And in making an assessment of the kind Schlup envisioned, "the timing of the [petition]" is a factor bearing on the "reliability of th[e] evidence" purporting to show actual innocence. Schlup, 513 U.S., at 332, 115 S.Ct. 851.

Id. at 386-87.

         Respondents contend that this action is untimely. Response at 7-14. In his Reply, Lawson argues that his failure to timely file the Petition should be excused pursuant to Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S.Ct. 1309, 1316 (2012). Reply at 2-3. According to Lawson, he, himself, was ineffective for failing to file his initial postconviction motion within the one-year limitations period to toll the statute of limitations. Id. at 2. Lawson also asserts that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the ...


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