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Bell v. Walls

August 18, 2008

SHAWN E. BELL, PETITIONER,
v.
J.R. WALLS, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge

ORDER

This matter is now before the Court on Petitioner, Shawn Bell's ("Bell"), Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, Respondent's Motion to Dismiss [#9] is GRANTED, and the § 2254 Petition [#1] is DISMISSED.

BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In May 2000, Bell was convicted of home invasion, aggravated battery, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Peoria County. He was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. His conviction and sentence for home invasion and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon were affirmed by the Illinois Appellate Court on February 6, 2002, but his conviction for aggravated battery was vacated. Bell did not file a petition for rehearing, affidavit of intent to file a petition for leave to appeal ("PLA") to the Illinois Supreme Court, or PLA.

On August 2, 2002, Bell filed a post-conviction petition with the Circuit Court under the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act. The petition was denied on November 5, 2002. Bell appealed, and the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the Circuit Court's ruling on March 31, 2004. Again, Bell failed to file a petition for rehearing, affidavit of intent to file a PLA to the Illinois Supreme Court, or PLA.

Bell then filed a second post-conviction petition on November 12, 2004, which proceeded to an evidentiary hearing but was ultimately denied. On May 4, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the ruling of the circuit court. Bell then filed a PLA to the Illinois Supreme Court. His PLA was denied on September 26, 2007.

Bell now brings the present action seeking federal review of his state court proceedings. In his Petition, he raises essentially three arguments: (1) he is actually innocent of the crime of home invasion; (2) he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and (3) his appellate counsel was ineffective. This Order follows.

DISCUSSION

There are statutory time limits which govern whether a district court can entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The present case is covered by 28 U.S.C. § 2244, which states in relevant part:

A 1 year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of -

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;

(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;

(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right was newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review;

(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through ...


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