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Styles v. Palakovich

December 2, 2009

MAURICE A. STYLES, PETITIONER,
v.
JOHN PALAKOVICH, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul S. Diamond, J.

ORDER

AND NOW, this 2d day of December, 2009, upon consideration of Petitioner's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. No. 1), Respondent's Answer (Doc. No. 8), the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (Doc. No. 10), Petitioner's Objection to the Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 11), Respondent's Response to Petitioner's Objection (Doc. No. 12), and all related submissions, it is hereby ORDERED and DECREED:

1. Petitioner's Objection to the Report and Recommendation is OVERRULED;

2. The Report and Recommendation is APPROVED and ADOPTED;

3. The Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED;

4. There is no basis for the issuance of a certificate of appealability; and

5. The Clerk of the Court shall close this matter for statistical purposes.

BACKGROUND

On January 3, 2000, Petitioner Maurice Styles pled guilty in state court to rape, robbery, possessing an instrument of crime, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, failure to register as a sex offender, and aggravated assault. Commonwealth v. Styles, 812 A.2d 1277, 1278 (Pa. Super. 2002). On March 23, 2000, Petitioner was sentenced to the statutory maximum term of 56 to 112 years imprisonment. Id.

Petitioner appealed the sentence, arguing that the court did not refer to the sentencing guidelines adopted by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing as required by statute. See 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 9721(b) (2008). The Pennsylvania Superior Court remanded the case for resentencing. Styles, 812 A.2d at 1279. On March 25, 2003, the state court resentenced Petitioner to the same sentence, 56 to 112 years. The judge explained that he believed the maximum sentence was appropriate because of the brutality of Petitioner's crimes, because Petitioner's victims were severely injured by the deadly weapons he used to commit those crimes, and because of Petitioner's prior conviction for rape. See Doc. No. 8, Ex. C at 24-26. On June 29, 2006, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the sentence. Commonwealth v. Styles, 905 A.2d 1049 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005). On February 14, 2007, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied allocatur. Commonwealth v. Styles, 917 A.2d 314 (Pa. 2008).

On June 15, 2007, Petitioner sought relief pro se pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 9541, et. seq. On January 9, 2009, the PCRA Court denied the petition. (Id. at 2.) Petitioner did not appeal that ruling. (Id.)

On September 28, 2007, Mr. Styles, acting pro se, filed a Petition for habeas relief in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2008). The case was transferred to this Court on October 4, 2007. See Case No. 07-4175. On April 19, 2008, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the Petition be denied. See Doc. No. 11, Case No. 07-4175. Petitioner did not file objections. On May 22, 2008, then-Judge Kauffman (to whom the matter was originally assigned) issued an Order adopting the Magistrate's Report. See Doc. No. 12, Case No. 07-4175. Petitioner did not appeal that ruling.

On May 27, 2009, Petitioner, again acting pro se, began the instant action by filing his second petition for habeas relief in this Court. 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254 (2008). On September 30, 2009, the Magistrate Judge issued his Report, recommending that I deny the Petition. (Doc. No. 10.) Petitioner filed an Objection to the Report on October 16, 2009. ...


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