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Thompson v. Pierce

United States District Court, D. Delaware

October 2, 2014

DONALD J. THOMPSON, III, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents. [1]

Donald J. Thompson, III, Petitioner, Pro se.

For Respondents: Elizabeth R. McFarlan, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware.

Page 739

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Sue L. Robinson, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the court is Donald J. Thompson, III's (" petitioner" ) application for a writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (D.I. 3) For the reasons that follow, the court will deny petitioner's § 2254 application.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In July 2004, a Delaware Superior Court jury convicted petitioner of attempted first degree robbery, first degree burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and resisting arrest. See Thompson v. State, 886 A.2d 1279 (Table), 2005 WL 2878167 (Del. Oct. 28, 2005). In December 2004, petitioner was sentenced to a total of twenty years at Level V, effective as of December 24, 2003, to be suspended after eleven years for decreasing levels of supervision. (D.I. 15 at 1) The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed petitioner's convictions and sentence on direct appeal. See Thompson, 2005 WL 2878167, at *4.

However, in the interim, on May 4, 2004 and October 4, 2004, petitioner was found to have violated his probation (" VOP" ). (D.I. 15 at 1) His VOP sentences were three months at Level V and sixty days at Level V, respectively. Id.

Years later, petitioner filed in the Superior Court a petition for a writ of mandamus asserting that his status sheet indicated that the Department of Correction improperly changed the effective date of his original sentence from December 23, 2010 to May 10, 2004. See Thompson v. Dep't of Correction, 9 A.3d 476, 2010 WL 5050956 (Del. Dec. 8, 2010). On June 14, 2010, the Superior Court held an evidentiary hearing, with petitioner participating by video. The Superior Court dismissed petitioner's petition for a writ of mandamus, but re-calculated the time remaining on petitioner's sentences. Id. at *1. The Superior Court explained that, even though the DOC had changed the original effective date of petitioner's sentence, it had nevertheless correctly calculated the time remaining on the sentences and had actually given petitioner credit for an additional six days to which he was not entitled. Id. Petitioner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that judgment. Id. at *2.

Petitioner timely filed the instant application. (D.I. 3) The State filed an answer, contending that the application should be denied because petitioner failed to assert any claims cognizable on federal habeas review. (D.I. 15) Petitioner filed a reply in opposition. (D.I. 20)

III. DISCUSSION

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a), a federal district court may only entertain a habeas application if the petitioner alleges that he is in custody in violation of the United States Constitution or the laws or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). In turn, it is well-settled that " [s]tate courts are the ...


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