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United States v. Smith

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 12, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
RICKY JEROME SMITH, Defendant.

ORDER

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER, Chief District Judge.

AND NOW, this 12th day of June, 2015, upon consideration of the motion (Doc. 130) filed pro se by defendant Ricky Jerome Smith ("Smith") for reversal of his conviction, wherein Smith alleges that, after his jury trial and conviction, an unidentified prisoner engaged in conduct similar to that underlying Smith's own conviction, and further alleges, based exclusively on "word of mouth from other prisoners, " that government witnesses who testified against him at trial fabricated disciplinary reports in connection with this recent incident, (id.), suggesting that these developments compromise the integrity of the jury's verdict in Smith's case, (see id.), and the court noting that Smith fails to cite legal authority in support of his request for relief, (see id.), but observing that the motion is untimely if construed as a request to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, see 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f) ("A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section."), [1] and in any event does not take the proper form required by the Local Rules for such motions, see L.R. 83.32.1 ("The petition or motion... shall be on the standard form supplied by the clerk of court when the petition or motion is... a § 2255 motion."); see also R. GOVERNING § 2255 CASES R. 2(c) ("The motion must substantially follow either the form appended to these rules or a form prescribed by a local district-court rule."), and further observing that, to the extent the motion is construed as request for a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence, see FED. R. CRIM. P. 33(b)(1), Smith must show that, inter alia, the purported "newly discovered evidence"[2] is not merely cumulative or impeaching, is material to the issues involved, and "would probably produce an acquittal, " United States v. Saada, 212 F.3d 210, 215-16 (3d Cir. 2000) (quoting Gov't of V.I. v. Lima, 774 F.2d 1245, 1250 (3d Cir. 1985)), and that Smith's motion fails to satisfy this "heavy burden, " United States v. Ashfield, 735 F.2d 101, 112 (3d Cir. 1984), because the motion seeks only to impeach the government witnesses who testified against him at trial, and further because the ex post facto bad acts of a third party do not compromise the integrity of the jury's verdict with regard to Smith himself, and the court concluding that Smith's motion is, however construed, time-barred and without merit, it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. Smith's motion (Doc. 130) for reversal of conviction is DENIED.
2. Smith's motion (Doc. 131) for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED as moot.

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