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United States ex rel Jefferson v. Gaetz

April 20, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. ANTHONY JEFFERSON, PETITIONER,
v.
DONALD GAETZ, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blanche M. Manning United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Petitioner Anthony Jefferson's pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and the respondent's motion to dismiss the petition as time-barred are before the court. For the following reasons, the court finds that Jefferson's petition is untimely and thus grants the respondent's motion to dismiss.

I. Background

Petitioner Anthony Jefferson, prisoner number N84300, is currently in the custody of Warden Donald Gaetz at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois. This case arises from a 1997 confrontation tied to drugs and gangs. Jefferson and his co-defendant, Gary Whitmore, forced their way into Perina Lee's apartment. Ultimately, Jeffrey Jordan died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head, Mark Harden was shot and injured, and Marlon Butler escaped unharmed through a shower of bullets as he fled from the apartment. See People v. Jefferson, No. 1-06-0550, at 4-17 (People's Brief on Post-conviction Appeal).

A. Direct Proceedings

On October 13, 1999, following a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Jefferson was found guilty of first degree murder, two counts of attempt murder, and home invasion. On November 22, 1999 the trial court entered judgment and sentenced Jefferson to a fifty-five-year prison term for first degree murder, and to concurrent twenty-year terms for the remaining counts, for an aggregate sentence of seventy-five years.

Jefferson appealed, and the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed on August 1, 2001. Jefferson filed a petition for leave to appeal ("PLA") with the Illinois Supreme Court on September 17, 2001, which was denied on December 5, 2001. Jefferson did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

B. State Complaint

On February 27, 2001, while his direct appeal was pending, Jefferson filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief with the Circuit Court of Cook County. Jefferson contended that the Cook County Public Defender was abusing its discretion by filing too many briefs pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). The court dismissed the complaint on July 26, 2001. Jefferson did not appeal.

C. State Post-Conviction Petition

On June 11, 2002, Jefferson filed a pro se state post-conviction petition under 725 ILCS § 5/122-1, et seq. The petition included a notarized "notice of filing" attesting that Jefferson "served" the petition on the circuit court and the Cook County State's Attorney on June 4, 2002, presumably by placing them in the mail or by giving them to prison authorities for mailing. The court, like the respondent, will give Jefferson the benefit of the mailbox rule and use the earlier date for statute of limitations purposes. On February 8, 2006, the trial court denied the petition.

The state appellate court affirmed on June 10, 2008. Jefferson filed a PLA that was denied on November 26, 2008. Jefferson did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

D. Federal Habeas Petition

Jefferson deposited his ยง 2254 petition in the prison mail system with prepaid first class postage on October 1, 2009. See Rule 3(d) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (inmates must "set forth the date of deposit [in the ...


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