United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, District Judge.
February 5, 2014,  Petitioner John Willis Warren filed
the instant 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2254 habeas corpus application
attacking his convictions from 2000 for first-degree murder
and a related handgun offense. (ECF No. 1). Respondents filed
an Answer to the Petition, arguing that the Petition should
be dismissed as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2244(d)(1).
(ECF No. 8). Alternatively, Respondents argue that the
Petition does not state a basis for relief and should be
denied, without a hearing, on that basis. Warren filed a
reply, stating that the Petition is timely filed and states a
basis for relief. (ECF No. 10). After reviewing these papers,
the Court finds no need for an evidentiary hearing.
See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts; see also 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2254(e)(2). For the reasons set forth herein, the
Court shall DENY and DISMISS the Petition with prejudice.
November 17, 2000, after a jury trial in the Circuit Court
for Baltimore City, Warren was convicted of first-degree
murder and related handgun offenses. (ECF No. 1, p. 1; Resp.
Ex. 13, p.1). He was sentenced on January 20, 2001,
to consecutive terms of life plus twenty years in prison.
(ECF No. 1, p. 1; Resp. Ex. 13, p. 1). Warren appealed the
judgment to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on the
sole ground of insufficient evidence. (ECF No. 1, p. 2). The
Court of Special Appeals affirmed his convictions in an
unreported opinion dated April 5, 2002. (ECF No. 1, pp. 2-3;
Resp. Ex. 9). Warren filed a petition for a writ of
certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Maryland, which was
denied on June 21, 2002. (ECF No. 1, p. 3; Resp. Ex. 10). He
did not file a petition for writ of certiorari to the United
States Supreme Court. (ECF No. 1, p. 3). Accordingly,
Warren's conviction became final for direct appeal
purposes on September 19, 2002, when the time for seeking
review in the Supreme Court expired. See Sup.Ct.
filed a petition for a writ of actual innocence and motion
for new trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on
January 29, 2010, which was denied without a hearing on June
15, 2010. (ECF No. 1, p. 5; Resp. Ex. 13, p. 2). On October
14, 2010, Warren filed a postconviction petition in the
circuit court, alleging prosecutorial misconduct and
ineffective assistance of counsel. (ECF No. 1, pp 3-4; Resp.
Ex. 11). Subsequently, he filed a pro se supplement to his
petition and a counseled amended petition for post-conviction
relief. (Resp. Ex. 13, p. 2). After a December 10, 2012,
hearing, the circuit court denied the petition on February
11, 2013. (ECF No. 1, p. 4; Resp. Ex. 12, 13). Warren filed
an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Special
Appeals, which was summarily denied in an unreported opinion
on January 15, 2014. (ECF No. 1, p. 4; Resp. Ex. 14, 15). The
court's Mandate issued on March 12, 2014. (Resp. Ex. 15).
filed the instant Petition on February 5, 2014.
presents one claim for this court's review: "The
State withheld evidence that would have changed the outcome
of my trial." (ECF No. 1, pp. 5-6). Before it can
address the merits of Warren's claim, however, the court
must first determine whether the Petition is properly before
28, U.S.C. Â§ 2244(d)(1) provides, in relevant part:
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;
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or
claims presented could have been discovered through the
exercise of due diligence.
28 U.S.C. Â§ 2244(d)(1). The statute further provides that
"[t]he 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 any period of limitation under this
subsection." Id. Â§ 2244(d)(2).
argue that, in Warren's case, the period of limitation
began to run on September 19, 2002, and expired on September
19, 2003. (ECF No. 8, p. 9). Warren did not file his federal
petition until more than ten years after the deadline.
Further, "[b]ecause there were no properly filed state
post conviction or other collateral proceedings related to
Warren's cases pending in state court that would have
tolled the limitations period during that time, Warren's
current federal habeas petition is time-barred under 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2244(d)." Id. (internal citation
omitted). Although Warren states that he "filed a
reconsideration of leave to appeal in the Special Appeals
Court, " which was pending at the time he filed the
instant Petition, (ECF No. 1, p. 5), he did not file his
petition for writ of actual innocence and petition for
post-conviction relief until 2010, well past the expiration
of the limitations period for filing a federal habeas
petition. Therefore, the Petition is untimely under Â§
however, contends that "[he] is entitled to Federal
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2244 (d)(1)(D)." (ECF No.
10, p. 1). He alleges that: "Soon after my conviction
and sentence in 2001, I filed repeated M.P.I.A. request[s] to
the Baltimore City Police Department/Homicide Division
requesting my investigation files. They finally sent my files
in 2009 and I discovered a clear Brady violation' soon
after I filed an actual innocence['] and then my
post-conviction." (ECF No. 1, p. 5). Warren states that:
Petitioner's petition is timely filed and does state a
basis for relief. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2244(d)(1)(D),
Petitioner's exercise of due diligence in discovering the
Brady violation in the case sub judice and acted diligently
after the discovery after the discovery of the Brady
violation. Petitioner cannot be held accountable or penalized
because of his Trial Counsel's
"ineffectiveness" for failing to discover the Brady
violation. At all relevant times, Petitioner relied on
counsel during every and all proceedings.
(ECF No. 10, p. 3). Warren provides no further information
as to when he began filing his "repeated M.P.I.A.
requests" or when in 2009 he "discovered" the
alleged Brady violation.
argue that, even under Â§ 2244(d)(1)(D), the Petition is still
untimely. They posit that:
Warren does not identify in his petition the date upon which
the factual predicate for his prosecutorial misconduct claim
was discoverable, nor does he substantiate his assertions
that he acted diligently to discover the information or acted
diligently after the discovery of the information. In any
event, Warren's bald and vague assertions are
insufficient to invoke the alternative accrual provided by 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2244(d)(1)(D). Based on the facts currently before
the court, Warren's petition should be dismissed as
(ECF No. 8, p. 10)(internal citation omitted).
are correct that the Petition is vague and lacks specifics.
Because the court cannot determine with certainty that the
Petition is time-barred, however, it will not dismiss the
Petition on that basis.
that the Petition is timely filed, it would fail on the
merits. Accordingly, the Court turns to the merits of
STANDARD OF REVIEW
application for writ of habeas corpus may be granted only for
violations of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States. 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2254(a). Section 2254(d) provides
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:
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented