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Roberson v. Wallace

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

July 18, 2017

BARRY ROBERSON, Petitioner,
v.
IAN WALLACE, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 [Doc. 1] on June 20, 2014. On August 18, 2014 Respondent filed his Response to the Court's Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should Not be Granted [Doc. 10]. Subsequent to that Petitioner filed his Traverse on October 30, 2014.[1]Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, this Court has determined that there are no issues asserted that give rise to the need for an evidentiary hearing and therefore one is not warranted. For the reasons explained below, the Response to the Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should not be Granted is well taken and the petition will be denied.

         Procedural Background

         On March 22, 1996, Petitioner was found guilty by jury of three counts of Sodomy and one count of Rape. The Twenty-First Circuit Court trial court, on May 10, 1996, sentenced him to consecutive term of imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District of Missouri, affirmed his convictions. Petitioner did not seek review by the Missouri Supreme Court. The Petitioner is currently within the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections under the previously referenced sentences.

         Petitioner filed his motion for post-conviction relief, pursuant to Rule 29.15. Thereafter, the Missouri state trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law denying the post-conviction relief motion of Petitioner. Roberson did not file a timely notice of appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals.

         Petitioner filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus against Respondent on June 20, 2014. Petitioner alleges that the Department of Corrections is unlawfully requiring him to serve eighty-five (85) percent of his sentences for rape and sodomy before he is eligible for early release and improperly classifying his offenses as “forcible rape” and “forcible sodomy.” He contends that he first discovered this alleged error in 2006. He argues that his current confinement is unlawful and asks this Court to direct the Department to change his records.

         Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, 28 U.S.C. § 2254

         (“AEDPA”) applies to all petitions for habeas relief filed by state prisoners after the statute's effective date of April 24, 1996. When reviewing a claim that has been decided on the merits by a state court, AEDPA limits the scope of judicial review in a habeas proceeding as follows:

An application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim -
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

         In construing AEDPA, the United States Supreme Court, in W ...


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