United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on petitioner's application
for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Â§ 2254 Cases in the United
States District Courts provides that a district court shall
summarily dismiss a Â§ 2254 petition if it plainly appears
that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. The petition
is successive and shall be summarily dismissed.
state-court jury convicted petitioner of first-degree murder,
first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree robbery, and
two counts of armed criminal action. Petitioner was sentenced
by St. Louis County Circuit Court, in 1993, to consecutive
terms of life imprisonment without parole for the murder
conviction, life imprisonment for the assault conviction,
thirty years’ imprisonment for each of the robbery
convictions, and fifteen years for each of the armed criminal
action convictions. His convictions and sentences were
affirmed on appeal.
sought state and federal habeas relief after the conviction.
See Brown v. Bowersox, No. 4:97CV835 TCM (E.D.Mo.
2000). The denial of petitioner's federal habeas petition
was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the
Eighth Circuit on January 22, 2001. Brown v.
Bowersox, No. 00-3701 (8th Cir. 2001).
filed a petition for permission to file a successive habeas
petition in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 14,
2016. See Norman v. Bowersox, No. 16-3121
(8th Cir. 2016). The matter is still pending in
the Eighth Circuit. Despite filing his application to file a
successive petition in the Court of Appeals, petitioner filed
the instant petition in this Court also on July 14, 2016.
petition before the Court, petitioner seeks relief under the
Supreme Court cases of Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct.
2455 (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct.
718 (2016). On June 25, 2012, the United States Supreme Court
issued its opinion in Miller, holding that the
Eighth Amendment prohibits mandatory sentences of life
without parole for juvenile offenders. On January 27, 2016,
in Montgomery, the Supreme Court held that the
Miller rule must be applied retroactively.
on Miller, petitioner filed an application for writ
of habeas corpus in state court in January 2013. On March 15,
2016, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the merits of his
Miller claim and granted him relief, making him
parole eligible on his life sentence for murder after he has
served 25 years. Despite being granted relief on his claims,
petitioner filed a motion for rehearing on March 29, 2016, as
well as a supplement to his motion for rehearing on May 20,
2016. On July 19, 2016, just four days after petitioner filed
his application for writ of habeas corpus in this Court, the
Missouri Supreme Court vacated its March 15, 2016 order
granting petitioner relief. The July 19th Order
stated: “On the Court’s own motion, the
Court’s March 15, 2016, Order is Vacated. The motion
for rehearing is overruled as moot. The petition is denied.
See Senate Bill No. 590, 98th General Assembly.
All other pending motions are overruled as moot. Order and
mandate attached to this docket entry.”
Senate Bill No. 590 authorizes persons sentenced to a term of
life imprisonment without eligibility for parole before
August 28, 2016, who were under 18 years of age at the time
of the commission of their offenses, to submit to the parole
board a petition for review of their sentences after serving
25 years of incarceration. The Bill was signed by the
Governor and certain portions of the Bill immediately became
law. Thus, it appears that petitioner’s application for
writ of habeas corpus may have become moot.
this Court does not have the power to make such a
determination, because it does not have jurisdiction over
petitioner’s application for relief. To the extent that
petitioner seeks to relitigate claims that he brought in his
original habeas corpus petition, those claims must be denied
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1).
extent that petitioner seeks to bring new claims for habeas
relief, petitioner must obtain leave from the United States
Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit before he can bring
those claims in this Court. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A).
has not been granted leave to file a successive habeas
petition in this Court. As a result, the petition shall be
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's application for
writ of ...