United States District Court, D. Delaware
EDWARD W. BENSON, III, Petitioner,
DANA METZGER, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.
W. Benson III. Pro se Petitioner.
L. Arban, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department
of justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Respondents.
pending before the Court is Petitioner Edward W Benson,
Ill's ("Petitioner") Application 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. 13) For the reasons discussed, the Court
will dismiss the Petition.
9, 2014, Petitioner pled guilty to one count of first degree
assault as a lesser-included offense of attempted first
degree murder. (D.I. 13 at 2) The Superior Court immediately
sentenced Petitioner to twenty-five years of Level V
incarceration, suspended after four years and sis months for
lesser levels of supervision. (D.I. 13 at 2) Petitioner did
not file a direct appeal.
7, 2014, Petitioner filed a letter with the Superior Court
complaining that his rights under Americans with Disabilities
Act ("ADA") were being ignored and that he was
being denied the opportunity to earn good time credit. (D.I.
13 at 2) On July 14, 2014, Petitioner filed a letter motion
for sentence modification or reduction owing to, inter
alia, alleged violations of the ADA and denial of an
opportunity to reduce his sentence. He requested either
modification of his sentence to home confinement or,
alternatively, 145 days of good time credit. On September 23,
2014, the Superior Court denied the motion because
Petitioner's medical condition had been considered at the
time of sentencing and, in any event, his request was
premature. The Superior Court found that Petitioner had not
provided additional information warranting modification of
his sentence. (D.I. 13 at 2; D.I. 16-5) Petitioner did not
appeal that decision On January 20, 2015, Petitioner's
surrogate tiled a letter with the Superior Court requesting
relief because of Petitioner's medical condition and
alleging denial of access to programs due to his medical
condition. On January 22, 2015, die Superior Court declined
to modify Petitioner's sentence. (D.I. 13 at 2-3; D.I.
16-7) Petitioner did not appeal that decision.
December 3, 2015, Petitioner's surrogate filed another
letter with, the Superior Court, requesting relief under Rule
35 and alleging denial of good time credit, and further
alleging that Petitioner was unable to attend classes due to
a lack of transportation and other resources. On December 29,
2015, Petitioner filed a letter with the Superior Court
asking to modify his sentence, alleging that the DOC denied
him access to programs because of his disability in violation
of the ADA. Petitioner and/or his surrogate filed
supplemental letters in support of his motion on January 20,
2016, February 22, 2016, and March 7, 2016. (D.I. 13 at 3) On
March 8, 2016, the Superior Court denied Petitioner's
Rule 35 motion, finding that: 1) the request was untimely
under Rule 35(b); 2) it was repetitive; 3) the Superior Court
would not interfere with the discretion of the DOC to
classify Petitioner; 4) Petitioner provided stale information
in support of his application; and 5) there was no
extraordinary circumstance warranting relief. (D.I. 13 at 4;
D.I. 16-13) Petitioner did not appeal that decision.
EXHAUSTION AND PROCEDURAL DEFAULT
exceptional circumstances, a federal court cannot grant
habeas relief unless the petitioner has exhausted all means
of available relief under state law. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b); O'Sullivan v. Bomkel, 526 U.S.
838, 842-44 (1999); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270,
275 (1971). The AEDPA states, in pertinent part:
application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person
in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall
not be granted unless it appears that -
(A) the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the
courts of the State; or
(B)(i) there is an absence of available State corrective
process; or (ii) circumstances exist that render such process
ineffective to ...