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Brooks v. Pierce

United States District Court, D. Delaware

June 3, 2014

ALVIN Y. BROOKS, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.[1]

Alvin Y. Brooks. Pro se petitioner.

Gregory E. Smith, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Counsel for respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GREGORY M. SLEET, Chief District Judge.

Petitioner Alvin Y. Brooks ("Brooks") filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("petition"). (D.I. 1) The State filed an answer in opposition. (D.I. 9) For the following reasons, the court will deny the application as time-barred by the one-year limitations period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.

I. BACKGROUND

In May 2006, Brooks was arrested and subsequently indicted on, inter alia, three counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. On April 2, 2007, Brooks pled guilty to one count of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. The Superior Court sentenced him to life imprisonment on June 8, 2007. (D.I. 11, State's App. to Ans. Br. in Brooks v. State , No.282, 2008, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No.41) Brooks did not appeal his convictions or sentence.

On June 29, 2007, Brooks filed his first pro se motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"). See State v. Brooks, 2008 WL 624995 (Del. Super. Ct. Mar. 10, 2008). He filed a supplement to that motion in September 2007. On March 10, 2008, the Superior Court denied Brooks' Rule 61 motion and supplement. Id. Brooks did not appeal that decision. Instead, the very next day he filed a second Rule 61 motion, which the Superior Court denied on May 7, 2008. See Brooks v. State, 968 A.2d 491 (Table), 2009 WL 595577, at *1 (Del. Mar. 9, 2009). The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on March 9, 2009. Id.

II. DISCUSSION

Brooks' habeas petition asserts the following two grounds for relief: (1) his guilty plea was coerced; and (2) defense counsel provided constitutionally ineffective assistance. The State filed an answer, arguing that the petition should be dismissed as time-barred or, alternatively, for failing to satisfy § 2254(d). (D.I. 9)

A. One Year Statute of Limitations

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") was signed into law by the President on April 23, 1996, and habeas petitions filed in federal courts after this date must comply with AEDPA's requirements. See generally Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 336 (1997). AEDPA prescribes a one-year period of limitations for the filing of habeas petitions by state prisoners, which begins to 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 ...

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