IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
December 20, 2005
ANTHONY D. SMITH, A/K/A ANTHONY BLACKSHIRE, PETITIONER,
DIEDRA BATTAGLIA, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert U. S. District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Petitioner, currently incarcerated in the Menard Correctional Center, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge the constitutionality of his confinement. He seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and the Court finds that he is, in fact, indigent. Accordingly, the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) is GRANTED.
In 1998, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder in the Circuit Court for Madison County, for which he is currently serving a 60-year sentence. After pursuing various avenues of relief within the state courts, he filed this habeas corpus action in which he presents the following grounds for relief:
(1) trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective numerous instances; (2) appellate counsel was constitutionally ineffective; (3) newly discovered evidence establishes his actual innocense of the crime; and (4) the trial court abused its discretion at sentencing.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent shall, within twenty-three (23) days of receipt of this application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, answer and show cause why the writ should not issue.
Service upon the Illinois Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Bureau, 100 West Randolph, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601 shall constitute sufficient service.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to Local Rule 72.1(a)(2), this cause is referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for further pre-trial proceedings.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this entire matter be REFERRED to a United States Magistrate Judge for disposition, as contemplated by Local Rule 72.2(b)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), should all the parties consent to such a referral.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: December 20, 2005
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