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Clark v. Burton

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

April 7, 2017

JASON L. CLARK, Plaintiff,
v.
DEWAYNE BURTON, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS [1] AND DENYING AS MOOT MOTION TO STAY [3]

          LAURIE J. MICHELSON U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         In 2009, a jury convicted Petitioner Jason Clark of second-degree murder and two counts of assault with intent to commit murder. The Michigan Court of Appeals summarized the facts of Clark's case this way:

Throughout the day on June 19, 2008, Jasmine Thurman and Tequila Lewis had been feuding about a stolen gun. Finally, Jasmine went to Tequila's house, armed with a baseball bat, to confront Tequila about the gun. A large crowd gathered. Just as Jasmine swung the bat at Tequila, gun shots were fired. Jasmine was killed and two of her friends were shot.
[Clark], Tequila's boyfriend, who was standing nearby, was charged with firing the shots that killed Jasmine and wounded two of her friends. . . . Tequila's brother, Demarious Lewis, admitted to firing an AK-47 out of an upstairs window with the intention of scaring the crowd of people and pleaded guilty to associated charges in separate criminal proceedings.

People v. Clark, No. 293581, 2011 WL 1377072, at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. Apr. 12, 2011) (paragraphing altered). Apparently, in addition to Lewis, “an unknown person standing by a car in the parking lot fired a shot into the air.” (R. 1, PID 38.) Clark was sentenced to fifty to eighty years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction.

         On or around October 12, 2016, Clark submitted for mailing a petition asking this Court to grant him a writ of habeas corpus. (See R. 1, PID 40.) His petition asserts four claims for relief. (See R. 1.) He also asks this Court to stay this case and hold his habeas corpus petition in abeyance so that he can ask the state trial court to consider three additional claims for relief. (R. 3.)

         After screening Clark's habeas corpus petition, see Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, and reviewing his motion to stay, it appeared to the Court that all of Clark's claims-the four in his petition and the three in his motion-were barred by AEDPA's one-year statute of limitations. In particular, the Court reasoned as follows:

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act provides that, to be timely, a petition for habeas corpus must be filed within one year of the latest of the following four dates:
(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.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).

Assuming first that the latest of these four dates is “the date on which the judgment became final, ” § 2244(d)(1)(A), then AEDPA's one-year clock started to run 90 days after the Michigan Supreme Court's decision, on December 26, 2011. See Gonzalez v. Thaler, __ U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 641, 654 (2012). It continued to run until Clark filed his motion for relief from judgment on December 21, 2012. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). At that point, there was less than one week left on the one-year clock. The clock remained paused while that state-court motion was pending, see § 2244(d)(2), and restarted once the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave on April 28, 2015, see Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 329 (2007). Thus, ...

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