United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
a Request for Certificate of Appealability
(“Request”) filed by pro se petitioner
Trevor Mattis with respect to this Court's Order dated
March 12, 2018, denying pro se petitioner's Rule
60(b) Motion (“Motion”). In his Request, pro
se petitioner contends that this Court failed to address
arguments raised in supplemental briefing in support of his
Motion. Because reasonable jurists would not debate the
merits of denying pro se petitioner's Motion,
his Request for Certificate of Appealability is denied.
se petitioner was convicted on July 20, 1990, in
Pennsylvania state court for first degree murder and
sentenced to life in prison. After pursuing a challenge to
his conviction in state court pursuant to Pennsylvania's
Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”), pro
se petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
in this Court on December 22, 1999, contending, inter
alia, that the prosecution had withheld exculpatory
evidence at trial in violation of its obligations under
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). In denying
and dismissing that Petition by Order dated January 17, 2001,
the Court concluded, inter alia, that pro
se petitioner's Brady claim was
procedurally defaulted by appellate counsel's failure to
file a petition for allowance of appeal in the Pennsylvania
Supreme Court. Mattis v. Vaughn, 128 F.Supp.2d 249,
263-64 (E.D. Pa. 2001). Pro se petitioner appealed
that ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit, which affirmed the judgment of this Court by
Order dated October 21, 2003. Mattis v. Vaughn, 80
Fed.Appx. 154 (3d Cir. 2003).
August 23, 2016, pro se petitioner filed an
Application for Leave to File Second or Successive Petition
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)
(“Application”) in the Third Circuit, contending
he was entitled to file a second or successive petition in
light of new evidence of his actual innocence. Appl. at
19-20, 24, In re Trevor Mattis, No. 16-3434 (3d Cir.
Aug. 23, 2016). By Order dated November 17, 2016, the Third
Circuit denied pro se petitioner's Application,
concluding that he had provided insufficient evidence of his
actual innocence. Order, Mattis v. Vaughn, No.
99-6533 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 17, 2016), Doc. No. 39.
December 27, 2016, pro se petitioner filed a Rule
60(b) Motion in this Court, setting forth the same claim of
actual innocence, based on the same evidence presented to the
Third Circuit. Motion, Mattis, No. 99-6533 (E.D. Pa.
Dec. 27, 2016), Doc. No. 40. Over the next fifteen months,
pro se petitioner filed at least eleven additional
documents in support of his Motion, variously labeled as
exhibits, memoranda, supplements, and addenda
(“supplemental briefing”). By Order dated March
12, 2018, this Court denied pro se petitioner's
Motion on the same ground on which the Third Circuit denied
his Application under § 2244: “pro se
petitioner has not satisfied his burden of proving that he is
actually innocent.” Order at 3, Mattis, No.
99-6533 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 12, 2018), Doc. No. 56.
March 26, 2018, pro se petitioner filed the Request
for Certificate of Appealability currently pending before
this Court, contending that this Court failed to consider the
following arguments set forth in his supplemental
1. that the “layered ineffective assistance of Trial,
Direct appeal, and Appellate counsel” excuses the
default of the Brady claim in his original habeas
petition, pursuant to Martinez v Ryan, 566 U.S. 1, 9
(2012). Doc. No. 57 at 1, 3; see also Doc. No. 49 at
1; Doc No. 50 at 1-2; Doc. No. 51 at 4, 6.
1b. that appellate counsel's failure to file a petition
for allowance of appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
amounts to abandonment by counsel and constitutes
“cause” under Martinez to excuse the
default of his Brady claim. Doc. No. 57 at 4.
2. that the prosecution's “Brady/perjured
testimony violation” constitutes cause to excuse an
unspecified procedural default under Martinez. Doc.
No. 57 at 6.
2b. that he is entitled to relief for the prosecution's
Brady violations pursuant to the Third Circuit's
decision in Haskell v. Superintendent, 866 F.3d 139
(3d Cir. 2017). E.g., Doc. No. 53 at 1; Doc. No. 57
se petitioner contends in his Request that the Court
should issue a certificate of appealability on these
arguments. The Request is ripe for decision.