United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO
J. MICHELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Martin, a Michigan state prisoner, is serving concurrent
prison sentences of 15 to 30 years for armed robbery, Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.529, and 5 to 20 years for assault with
intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.84(1)(a). She challenges these convictions in
a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. (ECF No. 1.) Martin concedes that her petition is not
timely filed but seeks to proceed despite the late filing
because she argues that she is actually innocent. Respondent
Shawn Brewer, the warden, seeks to dismiss the petition
because, he argues, Martin presents no new evidence to
establish her actual innocence. The Court agrees and denies
the petition as time-barred.
was convicted by a Calhoun County Circuit Court jury and
sentenced on May 30, 2014. Martin filed an appeal of right in
the Michigan Court of Appeals raising three claims. The
Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed her convictions.
People v. Martin, No. 322220, 2015 WL 6484906 (Mich.
Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2015). The Michigan Supreme Court denied
leave to appeal. People v. Martin, 880 N.W.2d 590
nearly three years, Martin took no further court action to
challenge her convictions until she filed the pending
petition, which was signed on March 20, 2019, and docketed on
April 22, 2019.
one-year limitations period applies to all federal habeas
corpus petitions. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).
This limitations period runs “from the latest” of
four dates: (1) the date on which the state-court judgment
became final; (2) the date on which an impediment to filing
for federal habeas relief caused by state action in violation
of the Constitution or federal law is removed; (3) the date
the Supreme Court recognized a new constitutional right made
retroactive and applicable to collateral review; or (4) the
date the prisoner discovered new facts that could not have
been discovered previously. Id. Here, the relevant
subsection is § 2244(d)(1)(A).
direct review, the Michigan Supreme Court denied Martin's
application for leave to appeal on June 28, 2016. Because
Martin did not petition for a writ of certiorari with the
United States Supreme Court, her conviction became final on
September 26, 2016, when the 90-day time period for seeking
certiorari expired. See Bronaugh v. Ohio, 235 F.3d
280, 283 (6th Cir. 2000) (holding that the one-year statute
of limitations does not begin to run until the time for
filing a petition for a writ of certiorari for direct review
in the United States Supreme Court has expired). The
limitations period commenced the following day, September 27,
2016, and continued to run, uninterrupted, until it expired
one year later. See Id. Martin dated her habeas
petition on March 20, 2019, almost eighteen months after the
limitations period expired on September 27, 2017. This is the
basis of the Warden's motion to dismiss the petition.
(ECF No. 5, PageID.59.)
did not file a response to the motion to dismiss but
addressed the timeliness issue in her petition. She concedes
her petition is untimely but argues that the Court should
excuse the untimeliness because she is actually innocent.
Supreme Court has held that a showing of actual innocence
overcomes the statute of limitations in the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. McQuiggin v.
Perkins, 569 U.S. 383, 392 (2013). But a valid claim of
actual innocence requires a petitioner “to support
… allegations of constitutional error with new
reliable evidence-whether it be exculpatory scientific
evidence, trustworthy eyewitness account, or critical
physical evidence-that was not presented at trial.”
Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 324 (1995). “The
Schlup standard is demanding and permits review only in the
‘extraordinary' case.” House v.
Bell, 547 U.S. 518, 538 (2006) (citation omitted). A
court presented with new evidence must consider it in light
of “all the evidence, old and new, incriminating and
exculpatory, without regard to whether it would necessarily
be admitted under rules of admissibility that would govern at
trial.” Id. (citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). “Based on this total record, the court
must make ‘a probabilistic determination about what
reasonable, properly instructed jurors would do.'”
Id. (quoting Schlup, 513 U.S. at 329). This
standard does not require absolute certainty about the
petitioner's guilt or innocence:
A petitioner's burden at the gateway stage is to
demonstrate that more likely than not, in light of the new
evidence, no reasonable juror would find him guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt-or, to remove the double negative, that more
likely than not any reasonable juror would have reasonable
House, 547 U.S. at 538.
claim of actual innocence is based upon alleged trial errors
rather than new evidence. She argues that had her trial
“not been riddled with errors that were constitutional
in nature, the jury may have, in all probability, would have,
c[o]me to a different conclusion and allowed this Petitioner,
an innocent defendant, to go free.” (ECF No. 1,
PageID.32.) But the actual-innocence exception requires
“new reliable evidence.” Schlup, 513
U.S. at 324. Martin's argument that errors in the trial
proceedings swayed the jury to convict her is not new
evidence. So the Court finds no basis for excusing her
failure to comply with the statute of limitations.
reasons set forth, the Court GRANTS Brewer's motion (ECF
No. 5) and DISMISSES Martin's petition for writ of habeas
corpus (ECF No. 1). The Court also finds that no reasonable
jurist would debate the Court's procedural ruling, or
debate whether the petition states a “valid claim of
the denial of a constitutional right, ” see Slack
v. McDaniel,529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000), and thus, the
Court DENIES a ...