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Henderson v. Clark

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

February 26, 2018

CALVIN HENDERSON, Petitioner,
v.
MICHAEL CLARK, Superintendent, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, and the DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Respondents.

          Daniel A. Vernacchio Assistant District Attorney

          Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         It is respectfully recommended that the petition for writ of habeas corpus be dismissed as untimely and a certificate of appealability be denied.

         II. REPORT

         A. Relevant and Procedural Background[1]

         Presently before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by state prisoner Calvin Henderson (“Petitioner” or “Henderson”), in which he is challenging his 2006 convictions and judgment for rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, kidnapping for ransom, unlawful restraint, and simple assault. On November 15, 2006, Henderson was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of 36 - 90 years imprisonment. He timely appealed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, which on September 3, 2008, affirmed Henderson's convictions and judgment. On June 30, 2009, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court accepted discretionary review. On April 25, 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's decision. Henderson, through counsel, then filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court denied certiorari on October 9, 2012. Henderson's judgment, therefore, became on October 9, 2012.

         On April 25, 2013, Henderson filed a timely pro se petition for post-conviction collateral relief under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”). (ECF No. 25-1). The PCRA court denied the petition on June 25, 2014, and the Superior court affirmed the PCRA court's decision on April 20, 2016. Henderson sought discretionary review by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but his petition for allowance of appeal was denied on September 27, 2016. (ECF No. 25-2). Thereafter, Henderson filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States. On April 24, 2017, the Supreme Court denied certiorari.

         On October 17, 2017, Henderson initiated this case by the filing of a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and attached a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The certification signed by Henderson indicates that he placed the petition in the prison mailing system on October 10, 2017. (ECF No. 6 at p. 15). Because Henderson's inmate account statement reflected that he had sufficient funds to pay the $5.00 filing fee, the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was denied on October 24, 2017. (ECF No. 2). On November 16, 2017, Henderson paid the filing fee and his petition was thereafter filed. (ECF No. 6).

         On January 19, 2018, Respondents filed an Answer in which they argue that the petition is untimely and that Henderson pleads no exceptional circumstances requiring the tolling of the statute of limitations. (ECF No. 16). The Court ordered Henderson to file a reply specifically addressing the timeliness issue. (ECF No. 17). Henderson filed a timely reply (ECF No. 25) and the matter is now ripe for disposition.

         II. Discussion

         A. Timeliness

         This proceeding is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA), the federal habeas statute applicable to state prisoners. AEDPA imposes a one-year limitations period for a state prisoner to file a federal habeas petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Generally, the limitations period begins to run on the date the judgment of sentence becomes final “by the conclusion of direct review or upon the expiration of time for seeking such review. Id. § 2244(d)(1)(A); see Gonzales v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134 (2012). This ...


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