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United States of America, Ex Rel., Joel Martinez, (R14596 v. Marc Hodge

May 31, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, EX REL., JOEL MARTINEZ, (R14596), PETITIONER,
v.
MARC HODGE, WARDEN, LAWRENCE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On March 16, 2012, pro se Petitioner Joel Martinez filed the present petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Before the Court is Respondent's motion to dismiss Martinez's habeas petition as untimely. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). For the following reasons, the Court grants Respondent's motion to dismiss and declines to certify any issues for appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). The Court therefore dismisses this action in its entirety.*fn1

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On July 28, 2005, Martinez entered into a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of first degree murder in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. (R. 8, Habeas Rule 4 Exs., Ex. A.) That same day, the Circuit Court sentenced him to twenty-five years in prison. (Id.) On September 22, 2005, Martinez filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea. (Exs. M, N.)

On December 13, 2005, Martinez withdrew his motion and did not appeal his conviction or sentence. (Exs. A, M.)

On March 12, 2008, Martinez filed a pro se post-conviction petition pursuant to the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act, 725 ILCS 5/122-1, et seq., alleging that: (1) his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective; (2) he is actually innocent; (3) his sentence was void because the trial court did not admonished him of the mandatory supervised release ("MSR") term; and (4) his confession was involuntary. (Exs. A, N, O.) On May 9, 2008, the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissed Martinez's post-conviction petition. (Exs. N, Q.)

Martinez appealed the Circuit Court's dismissal of his post-conviction petition arguing that: (1) he is actually innocent; (2) his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective; (3) the trial court improperly admonished him regarding his MSR term; and (4) the post-conviction trial court failed to fully review his post-conviction petition. (Exs. A-C.) On October 27, 2010, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of Martinez's post-conviction petition and on May 25, 2011, the Supreme Court of Illinois denied Martinez's petition for leave to appeal ("PLA") his post-conviction petition. (Exs. E, F.)

On July 7, 2011, Martinez filed a pro se motion for leave to file a mandamus complaint in the Circuit Court alleging that 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3 -- the statute under which the Circuit Court sentenced him -- violated the Illinois Constitution's single subject rule. (Exs. G, H.) On September 20, 2011, the Circuit Court denied Martinez's motion. (Ex. H.) Thereafter, on November 8, 2011, Martinez filed a pro se motion for leave to file a late notice of appeal that the Circuit Court denied on November 18, 2011. (Exs. I, J.) On January 18, 2012, Martinez filed a pro se motion for leave to file a late notice of appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court. (Ex. K.)

The Illinois Appellate Court denied Martinez's motion on January 26, 2012. (Id.)

The Court received Martinez's pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus on March 20, 2012. Although Martinez did not date or attached a certificate of mailing to his habeas petition, the first docket entry states that the envelope containing Martinez's habeas petition was postmarked March 16, 2012. (R. 1.) Construing his pro se habeas petition liberally, see Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012), Martinez maintains that: (1) the Circuit Court's failure to grant a post-conviction evidentiary hearing violated his due process rights; (2) the statute under which he was sentenced, namely, 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3, denied him due process and equal protection; and (3) 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3 violates the Illinois Constitution's single subject rule. (R. 1.)

LEGAL STANDARD

"AEDPA establishes a 1-year period of limitation for a state prisoner to file a federal application for a writ of habeas corpus." Wall v. Kholi, ___ U.S. ___, 131 S.Ct. 1278, 1283, 179 L.Ed. 252 (2011) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)); see also Price v Pierce, 617 F.3d 947, 950 (7th Cir. 2010). "This period runs 'from the latest of' four specified dates, including":

(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 ...


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