Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Woodell v. Wenerowicz

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 26, 2017

RANCOURT WOODELL, Petitioner,
v.
MIKE WENEROWICZ, PA STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM

          Hon. John E. Jones III, Judge

         On September 11, 2014, Petitioner Rancourt Woodell (“Woodell”) filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania conviction for first degree murder. (Docs. 1, 2). On May 16, 2017, an Order issued directing the Respondent to submit a memorandum concerning the timeliness of the petition and file the complete state court record. (Doc. 23). Respondent submitted a response and filed the state court record on May 26, 2017. (Doc. 24). Petitioner sought, and was granted, an extension of time to file a reply. (Docs. 25, 26). Petitioner filed his reply on June 22, 2017. (Doc. 29).

         The petition is ripe for disposition and, for the reasons set forth below, will be dismissed as untimely.

         I. Background

         On April 25, 2002, a jury convicted Woodell of murder in the first degree. (Doc. 1). On June 4, 2002, the trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment plus restitution. (Doc. 24-2, p. 100). Post sentence motions were denied on June 3, 2003, and, on June 5, 2003, he filed a timely direct appeal in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. (Doc. 24-3, pp. 7-18). The Superior Court affirmed the Judgment of Sentence on May 28, 2004. (Id. at 20-39). Woodell filed a petition for allowance of appeal in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; the Supreme Court denied the petition on May 17, 2005. (Id. at 40). He sought review in the Supreme Court of the United States via a petition for writ of certiorari. The United States Supreme Court denied review on May 1, 2006. (Doc. 24, p. 2).

         Woodell then filed a Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”) petition pursuant to 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 9541-46, on November 14, 2006. (Id.) Years later, on May 27, 2010, after numerous amendments and supplements, and following a hearing, the PCRA Court denied relief. (Doc. 24-3, pp. 41-104; Doc. 24-4, pp. 1-104; Doc. 24-5, pp. 1-69). Woodell pursued a timely appeal and, on August 18, 2011, the Superior Court affirmed the PCRA court's order denying relief. (Doc. 24-5, pp. 89-93). He pursued relief in the Supreme Court. On July 18, 2012, the Supreme Court denied his petition for allowance of appeal. (Id. at 94).

         On May 2, 2013, Woodell filed, in this Court, his first federal petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Woodell v. Wenerowicz, M.D.Pa. Civil No. 3:13-cv-1192, Doc. 1. Woodell indicated on his Notice of Election form, issued pursuant to Mason v. Meyers, 208 F.3d 414 (3d Cir. 2000), his desire to withdraw the petition and file one all-inclusive petition. Id. at Doc. 10. An Order issued on September 24, 2013, deeming the petition withdrawn and closing the case. Id. at Doc. 13.

         Woodell filed the instant petition on September 11, 2014. (Doc. 1).

         11. Discussion

         The court shall “entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A petition filed under § 2254 must be timely filed under the stringent standards set forth in the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), Pub.L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (Apr. 24, 1996). See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) (1). Specifically, a state prisoner requesting habeas corpus relief pursuant to § 2254 must adhere to a statute of limitations that provides, in relevant part, as follows:

(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of-
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;
. . .
(2) The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.