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Hoye v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 8, 2017

NATHAN R. HOYE, Petitioner,
v.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al., Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge

         Petitioner, Nathan R. Hoye, is a state prisoner incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. He seeks a writ of habeas corpus, pro se, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be denied.

         I. Procedural History

         Petitioner, Nathan R. Hoye (“Petitioner” or “Hoye”), proceeding pro se, challenges the judgment of sentenced entered on May 7, 2015, in Case No. CP-02-CR-0015303-2014, by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. On that date, he pled guilty and was convicted of Simple Assault (Count One), Assault by Prisoner (Count Two), and two counts of Terroristic Threats (Counts Three and Four). In total, Hoye was sentenced to a term of sixteen (16) to thirty-two (32) months of incarceration, followed by a four (4) year term of probation.

         Through counsel, Hoye filed a Post-Sentence Motion for Reconsideration of Sentence, which was denied on August 26, 2015.

         Hoye, through counsel, appealed to the Superior Court in which he argued that the trial court abused its discretion by “imposing a clearly unreasonable sentence that failed to account for the protection of the public, the gravity of the offense in relation to the impact on the victim and community, and Mr. Hoye's mental state at the time of the incident.” On May 20, 2016, the Superior Court affirmed the trial court. On June 3, 2016, through counsel, Petitioner filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal (“PAA”) with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. On October 7, 2016, through counsel, Petitioner filed an Application to Discontinue Petition for Allowance, which was granted and Petitioner's PAA was dismissed. Hoye did not seek relief under the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act.

         Similar to the arguments raised in his post-sentencing motion and on appeal, Hoye, in the instant federal habeas petition, argues that he deserves a lesser sentence because the crime was not serious enough to warrant state prison time, the victim did not suffer serious injury, he suffers from mental health issues, and has accepted responsibility. He also raises for the first time, and without any analysis or explanation, a double jeopardy claim.

         II. Standard of Review

         A. 28 U.S.C. § 2254

         This case is governed by the federal habeas statute applicable to state prisoners. 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub.L.No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, enacted on April 24, 1996 (“AEDPA”). Under this statute, habeas relief is only available on the grounds that Hoye's convictions were obtained in violation of his federal constitutional rights. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).

         As codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), AEDPA provides as follows:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim -
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented ...

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