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Tracey Fletcher v. Raymond Lawler

April 4, 2011

TRACEY FLETCHER
PETITIONER,
v.
RAYMOND LAWLER, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY OF LEHIGH, AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DuBOIS, J.

MEMORANDUM

I. INTRODUCTION

On March 29, 1990, a jury in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County convicted petitioner of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, and possessing an instrument of crime. Commonwealth v. Fletcher, 606 A.2d 1227 (Table), No. 03298 Phila. 1990, slip op. at 2 (Pa. Super. Ct. Dec. 16, 1991). On October 18, 1990, the Honorable William J. Manfredi sentenced petitioner to a term of life imprisonment on the first-degree murder conviction, and to an aggregate concurrent term of five to ten years imprisonment on the remaining convictions. Id. at 2.

Petitioner filed a pro se Petition for Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("the Petition") in this Court on October 29, 2010. On February 22, 2011, Chief United States Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Rueter submitted a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") to the Court, recommending that the petition be dismissed as barred by the one-year statute of limitations.

On March 11, 2011, petitioner filed Objections to Magistrate Report and Recommendation ("Objections"). For the reason stated below, the Objections to the R&R are overruled, the R&R is approved and adopted, and the Petition is dismissed. A certificate of appealability is not issued.

II. BACKGROUND AND LEGAL STANDARD

The facts of this case and the applicable legal standard are set forth in detail in the R & R. The Court will not repeat them in this Memorandum except as is necessary to explain its rulings on the Objections.

III. DISCUSSION

Petitioner raised four grounds for relief in his Petition:

a. Error by the trial court in rejecting his Batson challenge;

b. Error by the trial court in allowing a witness not identified on the witness list to testify at trial;

c. Error by the trial court in denying a motion for mistrial; and,

d. Failure of the trial court to grant a new trial on the ground that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

The R&R recommended dismissing the Petition as time-barred. In his Objections, petitioner asserts that he is "trying to obtain relief in the form of a [m]iscarriage of justice and will show a colorable claim of actual [i]nnocence also with [n]ewly ...


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