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Williams v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 1, 2017

MILTON N. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge

         On or about August 1, 2016, Milton N. Williams, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("2016 §2254 Petition, " ECF No. 1) challenging his convictions in the Circuit Court of the City of Hampton, Virginia ("Circuit Court") for object sexual penetration and sexual battery. Williams previously had filed another 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition challenging the above convictions ("2015 § 2254 Petition"). Williams v. Virginia, No. 3:I5CV69O, 2017 WL 1029112, at *13 (E.D. Va. Mar. 16, 2017). The Court dismissed the 2015 § 2254 Petition on March 16, 2017. Id. For the reasons that follow the 2016 § 2254 Petition will be denied and the action will be dismissed.

         I. Williams's Claims

         In the 2016 § 2254 Petition, Williams contends he is entitled to relief upon the following grounds:[1]

         Claim One "The Circuit Court errored and abused its discretion in denying and dismissing the petition for a writ of habeas corpus furthering a grave miscarriage of justice." (2016 § 2254 Pet. 6.)

         Claim Two The Circuit Court "errored and abused its discretion in the proceedings upon the petition for a writ of habeas corpus denying the Petitioner his 5th and 14th U.S. Amend, right to due process." (Id. at 8.)

         Claim Three "The Supreme Court of Virginia has abused its discretion and erred in refusing the Petition for Appeal" from the Circuit Court's denial of the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. (Id. at 9.)

         Claim Four "The Circuit Court and the Supreme Court of Virginia both have failed to observe Petitioner's U.S. Constitutional right to have evidence tested for DNA." (Id. at 11.)

         Claim Five "The evidence if tested would support the presumption that the petitioner is actually innocent pursuant to the reasonable jurist standard." (Id. at 12A.)

         II. Analysis of the Motion to Dismiss

         Respondent argues, inter alia, that the Court should dismiss the 2016 § 2254 Petition as a successive, unauthorized 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"). (ECF No. 7, at 7-8.)[2] The relevant statute provides, in pertinent part:

(b)(1) A claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application under section 2254 that was presented in a prior application shall be dismissed. (2) A claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application under section 2254 that was not presented in a prior application shall be dismissed unless-
(A) the applicant shows that the claim relies on a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable; or
(B)(i) the factual predicate for the claim could not have been discovered previously through the exercise of due diligence; and (ii) the facts underlying the claim, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error, no reasonable ...

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