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Hamil v. Pierce

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 8, 2014

MARK A. HAMIL, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.

Mark A. Hamil. Pro se Petitioner.

Gregory E. Smith, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD G. ANDREWS, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Petitioner Mark A. Hamil's Application for a Writ ofHabeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Petition"). (D.I. 1) The State has filed an Answer in opposition. (D.I. 9) For the reasons discussed, the Court will dismiss the Petition.

I. BACKGROUND

On November 12, 1996, Petitioner pled guilty to first degree robbery, two counts of aggravated menacing, attempted first degree murder, and second degree burglary: (D.I. 9 at 1) In exchange, the State dismissed the balance of the indictment. On January 16, 1997, the Superior Court sentenced Petitioner to a total of thirty years of imprisonment. Petitioner did not appeal his conviction or sentence. Id.

Subsequent to his sentencing, Petitioner filed several motions for sentence reduction on October 18, 1999; March 23, 2000; August 13, 2002; August 23, 2004; and October 7, 2008. (D.I 11, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 45, 46, 54, 66) Other than changes to restitution and access to alternate rehabilitation programs, all of the sentence reduction motions were denied. (D.I 11, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 49, 55, 70)

On June 11, 2013, Petitioner filed a state petition for writ ofhabeas corpus, which was denied on June 12, 2013. (D.I. 11, DeL Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 73, 74)

Petitioner filed the instant Petition on June 3, 2013. (D.I. 1 (docketed June 13, 2014)) The State filed an Answer, contending that the Court should deny the Petition for failing to assert an issue cognizable on federal habeas review. (D.I. 9) Petitioner filed a Reply. (D.I. 12)

II. GOVERNING LEGAL PRINCIPLES

A. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996

Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") "to reduce delays in the execution ofstate and federal criminal sentences... and to further the principles of comity, finality, and federalism." Woodford v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202, 206 (2003)(internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Pursuant to AEDPA, a federal court may consider a habeas petition filed by a state prisoner only "on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). AEDPA imposes procedural requirements and standards for analyzing the merits ofa habeas petition in order to "prevent federal habeas retrials' and to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to the extent possible under law." Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 693 (2002); see Woodford, 538 U.S. at 206.

III. DISCUSSION

In 2012, while still serving his thirty year sentence, Petitioner was working in the prison motor pool. (D.I. 9 at 2) The Department of Correction ("DOC") discovered that a vehicle entering the motor pool contained drugs and cell phones. Upon finding this contraband, the Warden at that time suspended all inmate workers in the motor pool. Because Petitioner did not cooperate with the subsequent investigation, he was not returned to prison employment. ...


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