United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jeff Jackson, an inmate now confined at the Eastern
Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland, filed a
Petition for Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
After review, the court finds no need for an evidentiary
hearing. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014); see also Fisher v.
Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000) (petitioner not
entitled to a hearing under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2)). For
reasons set forth below, the Petition is denied and dismissed
February 18, 2015, Jackson filed a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The petition
is dated February 7, 2015, and shall be deemed filed as of
that date. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 270-76
(1988); United States v. McNeill, 523 Fed.Appx. 979,
983 (4th Cir. 2013); United States v. Dorsey, 988
F.Supp. 917, 919-920 (D. Md. 1998) (holding a petition shall
be deemed to have been filed on the date it was deposited
with prison authorities for mailing under the “prison
Petition challenges Jackson's 2008 conviction in the
Circuit Court for Cecil County for possession of heroin with
the intent to distribute. Respondents have filed a
court-ordered Answer seeking dismissal of the Petition
premised on the argument that Jackson's claims are
time-barred. Jackson has filed a reply.
sitting in the Circuit Court for Cecil County found Jackson
guilty of one count of possession of heroin with the intent
to distribute. ECF No. 4-1 & ECF No. 4-2. Jackson filed a
direct appeal to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
Id. On April 16, 2010, the Court of Special Appeals
affirmed Jackson's conviction. The mandate was issued on
May 17, 2010. ECF No. 4-2. On August 23, 2010, the Court of
Appeals of Maryland denied Jackson's petition for a writ
of certiorari. He did not file a petition for certiorari in
the Supreme Court. Therefore, his judgment of conviction
became final on or about November 22, 2010, when the 90-day
period for filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the
Supreme Court expired. See Supreme Court Rule 13.1
(requiring petition for writ of certiorari to be filed within
ninety days of date of judgment from which review is sought);
Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 525 (2003)
(state judgment becomes final for habeas purposes when the
time expires for filing a petition for writ of certiorari to
the Supreme Court or ninety days following the decision of
the state's highest court).
months later, on April 22, 2013, Jackson filed a petition for
post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court for Cecil County.
A post-conviction hearing was held on January 17, 2014. The
petition was denied on October 1, 2014. The Circuit Court
further denied Jackson's post-judgment motion and his
motion to reopen post-conviction proceedings. ECF No. 4-1.
According to Respondent, Jackson's application for leave
to appeal the denial of post-conviction relief remains
pending. The updated state docket shows that the Court of
Special Appeals mandate was issued on February 11, 2016.
Petition to this Court, Jackson claims he has been denied his
right to effective assistance of trial counsel because
counsel: failed to raise objections to the trial court's
erroneous reasonable doubt instruction and the trial
court's failure to give an “advisory only”
jury instruction, failed to preserve Jackson's objection
to the racial composition of the jurors, and failed to
specify Jackson's request to voir dire the jurors about
their religious beliefs. Jackson additionally claims that
post-conviction counsel failed to: produce material eye
witnesses, properly articulate the issues supporting
Jackson's claims, request a “mere presence”
jury instruction, and argue that Brady errors supported
Jackson's actual innocence. ECF No. 1.
argue that the Petition is time-barred. Jackson's
conviction became final on November 22, 2010, and the
one-year statute of limitations period expired on November
22, 2011. Respondents argue that because Jackson had no
post-conviction or other collateral proceeding pending in
state court during that time period, there was no tolling of
the limitation period. A one-year statute of limitations
applies to habeas petitions in non-capital cases for a person
convicted in state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
Section 2244(d) provides that:
(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
(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