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COOMBS v. DIGUGLIELMO
July 20, 2004.
DAVID DIGUGLIELMO, et al.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS RUETER, Magistrate Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Presently before the court is a counseled petition for a writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner was
found guilty of committing a series of robberies in the Court of
Common Pleas for Philadelphia County. He was sentenced to a
minimum of fifty-nine and a maximum of one-hundred and sixty
years imprisonment. In his Memorandum of Law filed in support of
the habeas petition, counsel argues that at trial the prosecutor
excluded African-American individuals from jury service, in
violation of the principles set forth in Batson v. Kentucky,
476 U.S. 79 (1986). This is petitioner's only ground for relief.
To support his Batson argument, petitioner relies heavily upon
the recent decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in
Holloway v. Horn, 355 F.3d 707 (3d Cir. 2004), which
interpreted Batson. On July 16, 2004, the District Attorney
filed a petition for writ of certiorari to review the Third
Circuit's decision in Holloway. See United States Superior
Court Docket No. 03A964.
The Commonwealth has filed an unopposed motion to stay further
proceedings in the habeas case now before the court pending a
decision by the Supreme Court on the petition for writ of
certiorari. Both parties agree that the Supreme Court's
decision in Holloway may have a significant impact on the case
before the court. See Motion for Stay ¶ 5. A federal court has inherent power to stay a case pending the
outcome of a related proceeding "in an effort to maximize the
effective utilization of judicial resources and to minimize the
possibility of conflicts between different courts." 5A Wright and
Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure, Civil 2d § 1360 at 439
(1990). See also Landis v. North Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254
(1936) (Cardozo, J.) ("[T]he power to stay proceedings is
incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the
disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and
effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants."); Crews v.
Horn, 360 F.3d 146, 154 (3d Cir. 2004) (District courts have the
discretion to stay mixed habeas corpus petitions containing both
exhausted and unexhausted claims.).
Given the fact that the only claim raised by the petitioner
relies principally on the Third Circuit's Holloway opinion and
that both parties agree that the resources of the judiciary and
litigants will be conserved by staying this case pending the
Supreme Court's decision, the court respectfully RECOMMENDS that
the court stay the proceedings until the conclusion of all
proceedings in Horn v. Holloway, Supreme Court Docket No.
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