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Johnson v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

August 6, 2014

GEORGE JOHNSON, Petitioner,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

INDIRA TALWANI, District Judge.

I. Introduction

In January 2014, Petitioner George Johnson filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to remedy his allegedly unlawful detention. Presently at issue is the Respondent Commonwealth of Massachusetts's Motion to Dismiss [#11]. For the following reasons, that Motion is ALLOWED.

II. Background

On June 27, 1994, Johnson was convicted of murder in the first degree. Commonwealth v. Johnson , 426 Mass. 617, 620 (1998). He was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole. See id. Johnson timely appealed his conviction and on February 5, 1998, the SJC upheld the jury's verdict. Id. at 620, 628. Johnson did not seek certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Johnson initiated further post-conviction proceedings in state court in 2008, and on November 22, 2011, the SJC denied review. See Commonwealth v. Johnson , 461 Mass. 1, at *2-3 (2011).

On January 8, 2014, Johnson filed the instant habeas petition.

III. Discussion

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), 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 prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(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. § 2244(d)(1). With regard to subsection (A), the time for seeking direct review "includes the period for filing a certiorari petition." Lawrence v. Florida , 549 U.S. 327, 327 (2007) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2)). Further, the "time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment ...


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