Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Griffin v. Clarke

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

December 20, 2017

TYRONE L. GRIFFIN (#1187551), Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Director, Virginia Department of Corrections Respondent.

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DOUGLAS E. MILLER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner, Tyrone L. Griffin ("Petitioner" or "Griffin"), a Virginia state inmate, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1). On April 1, 2011, the Stafford County Circuit Court sentenced Petitioner to 43 years of incarceration, 25 suspended, following his conviction for aggravated malicious wounding, participation in a criminal street gang, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The charges resulted from an apparently retaliatory shooting from a vehicle Griffin and co-defendants were using. Griffin asserts various violations of his federal rights, including violations of due process, challenges to the voluntariness of his plea and ineffective assistance of counsel. The matter was referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(B) and (C), and Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for a report and recommendation. Because the petition is time-barred and Griffin cannot make the requisite showing to excuse the late filing, the undersigned recommends it be dismissed.

         I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         Petitioner was convicted following his guilty plea[1] on charges of aggravated malicious wounding, participation in a criminal street gang, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon by the Stafford County Circuit Court. He was sentenced April 1, 2011 and final judgment was entered April 7, 2011. (ECF No. 17, at 2). Petitioner appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals which dismissed it on the ground that no transcript had been prepared.[2] The Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed his subsequent appeal on October 19, 2012. Griffin then filed a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus. His state petition alleged (a) trial counsel was ineffective by "luring" the Petitioner into taking a guilty plea by mischaracterizing it as an "Alford" plea, and inaccurately explaining it was not actually a plea of guilty; (b) the trial court erred by failing to provide the Petitioner with a transcript of the jury trial that the Petitioner needed to establish his effective defense or appeal; (c) trial counsel was ineffective for filing the Petitioner's appeal after he discovered that there were no trial transcripts; and (d) that the trial court erred by denying Petitioner's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. By Order entered March 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed Griffin's habeas petition as untimely under Va. Code § 8.01 -654(A)(2), Virginia's state habeas statute of limitations.

         Petitioner filed the current federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pro se, on June 16, 2017. (ECF No. 1, at 19); see Houston v. Lack. 487 U.S. 266, 276 (1988) (holding a document is filed on the date a prisoner delivers it to prison officials to be forwarded to the court clerk). His federal petition raises four claims for relief, characterized as follows by Petitioner:

1. The state proceedings, involving applicable procedures which the petitioner utilized pursuant to court rules, denied him due process to adequately present his claims of constitutional violations challenging the jurisdiction of the underlying criminal convictions;
2. The petitioner's pleas were not knowing, voluntary or intelligently entered and he was denied his right to withdraw the pleas upon learning of new evidence that supported his innocence;
3. Ineffective assistance of counsel:
a. Trial counsel failed to investigate the defense that Griffin was actually innocent of the offenses. Instead, counsel coerced Griffin into entering "Alford" pleas, which maintained that Griffin's innocence, but did not offer any defenses supporting his innocence.
b. Appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to order the transcripts which the appellate court needed to properly consider Griffin's appellate claims.

Pet. (ECFNo. 1).

         Following service of the petition, Respondent timely filed a Rule 5 Answer and Motion to Dismiss Griffin's petition for writ of habeas corpus on August 28, 2017. (ECF Nos. 10-13). Respondent argued, in its motion and brief in support, that Griffin's claims are time-barred and lack merit. Id. Griffin was advised of his right to respond to the motion and on October 10, 2017, he moved the court to extend the time to respond. (ECF No. 20). The court granted the extension (ECF No. 21), but the extended time has now expired and Griffin has not filed any response. After reviewing Griffin's claims, this Report concludes that his federal petition is time-barred and that Griffin has not made the requisite showing to overcome the late filing in order to obtain federal review.

         II. RECOMMENDED FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

         A. Petitioner's Habeas ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.