United States District Court, D. Delaware
ALEX D. JUSTICE, SR., Petitioner,
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondent.
D. Justice, Sr. Pro se Petitioner.
Carolyn Shelley Hake, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware
Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for
ANDREWS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Alex D. Justice, Sr. ("Petitioner") is an inmate in
custody at the Sussex Correctional Center in Georgetown,
Delaware. Petitioner filed an Application for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
("Petition"). (D.I. 2) The State filed an Answer in
opposition, asserting that the Petition should be dismissed
as time-barred or, alternatively because three of the claims
lack merit and one fails to assert an issue cognizable on
federal habeas review. (D.I. 13) For the reasons discussed,
the Court will deny the Petition as barred by the limitations
period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.
was indicted on seven counts of second degree rape of a child
and one count of second degree unlawful sexual conduct with a
child. (D.I. 16-1 at 12-14); see Justice v. State,
69 A.3d 371 (Table), 2013 WL 3722357, at *1 (Del. July 11,
2013). On December 13, 2012, a Delaware Superior Court jury
convicted Petitioner of one count of second degree rape and
one count of unlawful sexual contact. The jury acquitted
Petitioner of the remaining charges. See Justice,
2013 WL 3722357, at *1. Thereafter, the Superior Court
conducted a separate bench trial and found that Petitioner
was a sex offender at the time of the offenses. Id.
at *2. The Superior Court sentenced him on January 25, 2013
as a habitual offender to life in prison. Id.
Prisoner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed
that decision on July 11, 2013. Id. at*3.
23, 2014, Petitioner filed a motion for postconviction relief
pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
("Rule 61 motion"). The Superior Court denied the
Rule 61 motion on September 22, 2015 (D.I. 16-12 at 8, Entry
No. 92), and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that
decision on May 2, 2016. See Justice v. State, 138
A.3d 476 (Table), 2016 WL 2585918, at *1.
filed the instant Petition in September 2016, asserting the
following grounds for relief: (1) defense counsel provided
ineffective assistance by failing to request specific DNA
discovery; (2) defense counsel provided ineffective
assistance by failing to advise Petitioner that he could wear
"street clothing" during the trial; (3) the
Superior Court erred by denying his claim of cumulative due
process error; and (4) the Superior Court erred by denying
his request for an evidentiary hearing on his Rule 61 motion.
ONE YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
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
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