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Stevenson v. Pennsylvania State Parole Board

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 23, 2018

ZAAMAR STEVENSON, Petitioner,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE PAROLE BOARD and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, Respondents.

          Mark R. Hornak District Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Lisa Pupo Lenihan United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         For the reasons that follow, it is respectfully recommended that the Motion to Dismiss the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 4) be granted and that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 1) be dismissed as untimely. It is further recommended that a Certificate of Appealability be denied.

         II. REPORT

         A. Procedural Background

         Zaamar Stevenson (“Petitioner”) has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Petition”) challenging his judgment of sentence entered by the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas on June 3, 2015 after he was resentenced to an aggregate term of incarceration of 3 to 8 years and a consecutive 1-year term of probation. (ECF Nos. 1, 4-2.) Petitioner's judgment of sentence stems from his April 20, 2010 conviction for two (2) counts each of possession of a controlled substances, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and delivery of a controlled substance, and one (1) count of criminal use of communication facility. Commonwealth v. Stevenson, CP-37-CR-0000665-2009 (Lawrence County Com. Pl.).[1] Following his resentencing, Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.

         On June 2, 2016, Petitioner filed a petition pursuant to the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”), 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 9541, et seq., and it was dismissed by the PCRA court on October 7, 2016. (ECF No. 4-3.) Petitioner appealed the denial of PCRA relief to the Pennsylvania Superior Court at 1797 WDA 2016, and on April 21, 2017, the Superior Court dismissed the appeal due to Petitioner's failure to file a brief. (ECF No. 4-4.)

         Pursuant to the prisoner mailbox rule, Petitioner instituted the instant habeas corpus proceedings on February 26, 2018, the date his Petition is postmarked.[2] Respondents answered by filing a Motion to Dismiss the Petition on April 5, 2018. (ECF No. 4.) Petitioner responded to the Motion to Dismiss on April 20, 2018. (ECF No. 7.) The Motion is now ripe for review.

         B. Discussion

         AEDPA imposes a one-year limitations period for state prisoners seeking federal habeas review. It is codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) and it provides:

(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;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was ...

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