United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS 
J. MICHELSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
2001, Terrance Taylor was convicted of first-degree felony
murder and other charges. He received a mandatory life
sentence without the possibility of parole. Taylor was 18
when he committed the murder.
2018, Taylor filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Some of his claims raise what he says are errors of
constitutional significance from his 2001 trial. Other claims
rely on evidence he first discovered in 2007. And still
others rest on more recent Eighth Amendment caselaw. But
because Taylor's conviction became final in 2004 and he
did nothing to challenge that conviction until, at the
earliest, 2015, Taylor's petition is time barred.
Terrance Taylor was 18, he broke into the home of Crystal
Agueros, his ex-girlfriend. Crystal was at home, along with
her new boyfriend, Edward Arreguin, and Crystal's sister,
Sarah. Taylor stabbed all three. Crystal and Sarah survived,
but Edward did not.
time, Taylor was arrested, tried, and convicted. And because
he was convicted of first-degree felony murder, among other
things, Taylor received a mandatory life sentence without the
possibility of parole. See Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.316(1). Taylor appealed his sentence and conviction. In
2003, the state courts affirmed both. See People v.
Taylor, No. 238559, 2003 WL 1919537 (Mich. Ct. App. Oct.
22, 2003); lv. den. 671 N.W.2d 52 (2003). Nearly 12
years later, Taylor moved for post-conviction relief in the
state courts. And in 2018, Taylor petitioned for a writ of
habeas corpus. (ECF No. 1.)
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act governs
petitions for writs of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d). AEDPA establishes a one-year limitations period.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). This period can
start or restart at a few possible points in time. 28 U.S.C.
2244(d). The earliest the clock can start to tick is
“the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for
seeking such review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A).
However, the limitations period will restart on “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.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1)(C). Likewise, the limitations period resets
on the date when “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)(D). In any event, no matter when the limitations
period starts to run, if it runs out, AEDPA bars relief
unless the petitioner lays out a basis for equitable tolling
and actual innocence. Akrawi v. Booker, 572 F.3d
252, 260 (6th Cir. 2009).
parties spar over how and when Taylor's limitations
period started to run. The Warden says § 2244(d)(1)(A)
applies to all of Taylor's claims. This means
Taylor's clock started in early 2004-90 days after the
Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal (which is the
time for seeking review in the United States Supreme Court).
That means Taylor had until early 2005 to timely petition for
a writ of habeas corpus. But Taylor filed in 2018, and thus
the Warden thinks the entirety of Taylor's petition is
takes a different view. He raises eight claims, and he says
§ 2244(d)(1)(A) only applies to six of them. While he
agrees those six are untimely, he blames the tardiness on his
appellate counsel. As for his petition's remaining two
claims, Taylor says § 2244(d)(1)(C) restarted the
limitations period on one, and § 2244(d)(1)(D) restarted
the period on the other. So Taylor says at least two of his
claims are timely, and invites the Court to look past the
tardiness of the other six.
at least has the better of the argument on how to apply the
statute of limitations. The claim-by-claim approach is
proper. See Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 416
n.6 (2005); Bachman v. Bagley, 487 F.3d 979, 984
(6th Cir. 2007); Ege v. Yukins, 485 F.3d 364, 373-74
(6th Cir. 2007). Yet even applying a claim-by-claim approach,
the entirety of Taylor's petition is still untimely.
first, the six claims Taylor agrees are untimely under §
2244(d)(1)(A). He says his tardiness is really his appellate
counsel's fault. The Court reads this as a request to
equitably toll the limitations period. But habeas corpus
petitioners are not entitled to counsel. See Pennsylvania
v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987); see also
§ 2254(i). So blaming his tardiness on an attorney's
errors is no basis for equitable tolling. See Lawrence v.
Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 336- 37 (2007) Cf. Winkfield
v. Bagley, 66 Fed.Appx. 578, 583-84 (6th Cir. 2003)
(petitioner was not entitled to equitable tolling of
limitations period for filing federal habeas corpus petition,
even though he alleged that his counsel failed to pursue
direct appeal of his conviction in state court, where
petitioner offered no explanation for the almost ten-year
delay between his last communication with his attorney and
the filing of his motion for leave to file delayed appeal in
state court); Winters v. Edwards, 27 Fed.Appx. 327,
329 (6th Cir. 2001) (denying equitable tolling based on
petitioner's claim that attorney failed to file direct
appeal and trial court failed timely to appoint counsel,
where petitioner waited over five years after conviction to
file state collateral proceeding). At bottom, Taylor concedes
he is 13 years late raising six of his claims, and he does
not establish a basis for an equitable tolling of his
limitations period on those claims.
Taylor says he has timely raised an Eighth Amendment claim.
Taylor thinks recent Supreme Court precedent mandates he be
resentenced. Back in 2012, the Supreme Court prohibited
mandatory life sentences without possibility of parole for
defendants who were under 18 years old when they committed
their crimes. See Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460,
465 (2012). And in 2016 Miller was made retroactive
to cases on collateral review. See Montgomery v.
Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718, 732 (2016). And in 2018,
Taylor says the Sixth Circuit, in In Re Lambert, No.
18-1726, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25332 (6th Cir. Sep. 5, 2018),
extended Miller to include defendants like Taylor,
who were 18 when they committed their crimes. ...