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Sykes v. Clarke

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

December 17, 2013

YUSEF HASAN SYKES, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD CLARKE, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROBERT E. PAYNE, District Judge.

By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on July 18, 2011, the Court denied a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by Yusef Hasan Sykes challenging his Virginia convictions of murder and use of firearm during the commission of a felony. Sykes v. Johnson, No. 3:10CV654, 2011 WL 2899170, at *8 (E.D. Va. July 18, 2011). On September 24, 2013, the Court received another 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition from Sykes challenging the same convictions ("September 24, 2013 Petition").

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 restricted the jurisdiction of the district courts to hear second or successive applications for federal habeas corpus relief by prisoners attacking the validity of their convictions and sentences by establishing a "gatekeeping mechanism." Felker v. Turpin , 518 U.S. 651, 657 (1996) (internal quotation marks omitted). Specifically, "[b]efore a second or successive application permitted by this section is filed in the district court, the applicant shall move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the application." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). Because the Court has not received authorization from the Fourth Circuit to file the September 24, 2013 Petition, the action will be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

An appeal may not be taken from the final order in a § 2254 proceeding unless a judge issues a certificate of appealability ("COA"). 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A). A COA will not issue unless a prisoner makes "a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). This requirement is satisfied only when "reasonable jurists could debate whether (or, for that matter, agree that) the petition should have been resolved in a different manner or that the issues presented were adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.'" Slack v. McDaniel , 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000) (quoting Barefoot v. Estelle , 463 U.S. 880, 893 & n.4 (1983)). Sykes fails to satisfy this standard. Accordingly, a COA will be denied.

The Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Memorandum Opinion to Sykes.


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