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Parker v. Korte

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 16, 2016

CHRISTOPHER L. PARKER, #S07242, Petitioner,
v.
JEFF KORTE, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DAVID R. HERNDON DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner Christopher Parker, who is currently incarcerated in Western Illinois Correctional Center, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1), in order to challenge his 2009 conviction and sentence for criminal sexual assault in Jersey County Circuit Court (Doc. 1, pp. 1-20). He was sentenced to five years and three months in the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), followed by mandatory supervised release (“MSR”) for a term of three years to life (id.). Parker claims that he has now served more time than he “a[g]reed to, ” but he remains incarcerated because of a statewide “turnaround policy” that requires parole-eligible inmates with no suitable host site to serve out their MSR term in prison (id. at 7, 9). In connection with this claim, Parker now asks this Court to declare 730 ILCS § 5/5-8-1(d)(4)[1] unconstitutional, terminate his remaining MSR term, and order his release from custody (id. at 8).

         This matter is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the § 2254 Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 provides that upon preliminary consideration by the district court judge, “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner.” After carefully reviewing the § 2254 Petition and exhibits filed by Parker, [2] the Court concludes that he is not entitled to relief, and the instant § 2254 Petition shall be DISMISSED.

         I. Background

         Parker was charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual abuse in Jersey County Circuit Court. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual assault in violation of 720 ILCS § 5/12-13(a)(2) on June 24, 2009 (Doc. 1, pp. 1-19). Parker was sentenced to a term of five years and three months of incarceration, followed by a mandatory supervised release term of three years to life (id. at 1-2, 23). He did not file a timely motion to withdraw this guilty plea or appeal the judgment of conviction (id. at 2).

         However, he filed other post-conviction petitions and motions (id. at 3). On June 29, 2010, for example, Parker filed a post-conviction petition, which the trial court denied on July 13, 2010. See Parker v. Roeckman, No. 13-cv-0206-DRH-CJP (S.D. Ill. 2013) (Doc. 60, pp. 2-3) (summarizing post-conviction proceedings). Parker appealed this decision but voluntarily dismissed the appeal on April 1, 2011 (id. at 3).

         Also in 2010 and 2011, Parker filed a second post-conviction petition, a motion to reconsider the same, a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, and a motion for relief from judgment, each of which was denied. Parker appealed the denial of two of these motions but, again, sought voluntary dismissal of his appeals. In November 2012, he sought leave to file a habeas petition in the Illinois Supreme Court, but this request was also denied (id.).

         Parker instead filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this District on February 18, 2013. See Parker v. Roeckman, No. 13-cv-0206-DRH-CJP (S.D. Ill. 2013) (Doc. 1) (“first § 2254 Petition”). He raised a single claim in the first § 2254 Petition, i.e., Parker's statutorily-imposed MSR term was unconstitutional (“Claim 1”) (Docs. 1, 8, first § 2254 Petition). He was later granted leave to bring a second claim, i.e., Parker's constitutional rights were violated when he was questioned at the age of seventeen outside the presence of a parent, legal guardian, or lawyer (“Claim 2”) (Docs. 24, 29, first § 2254 Petition). He was also granted leave to raise a third claim, i.e., Parker's constitutional rights were violated when he was forced to serve his term of MSR in prison because a suitable host site was unavailable[3] (“Claim 3”) (Docs. 33, 40, first § 2254 Petition).

         This Court granted the Respondent's motion to dismiss the first § 2254 Petition on July 14, 2014 (Docs. 36, 60, first § 2254 Petition). The Court concluded that Claims 1 and 2 were time-barred under § 2244(d)(1)(A) and dismissed both of these claims with prejudice (Doc. 60, pp. 4-9, first § 2254 Petition). The Court concluded that Claim 3 was unexhausted and dismissed the third claim without prejudice (id. at 9-13). The Court declined to issue a certificate of appealability (id. at 13-14).

         Ten days later on July 24, 2014, Parker filed a petition for relief from judgment with the state trial court (see Doc. 7-2, p. 8). In it, Parker claimed that he was not informed at the time of entering a guilty plea “that if [he] could not find a ‘host site' [he] would not have an outdate from IDOC'” (id.). Parker requested permission to withdraw his guilty plea and also asked that the state trial judge recuse himself from the post-judgment proceedings. Both requests were denied one week later (id. at 9). Parker filed a motion to reconsider on August 27, 2014, arguing that he was “not getting the bargain on [his] plea” because he remained incarcerated with no definite release date after serving seven years (id.). His motion was denied the same day.

         Parker filed an appeal, which is now pending. In it, he raises two claims. First, Parker asserts that the trial court's sua sponte dismissal of his petition for relief from judgment less than thirty days after its filing was premature, and the trial court committed reversible error when it denied Parker's motion for substitution of judge (id. at 10-16). Parker's court-appointed appellate counsel filed the opening brief in the appeal on July 22, 2016. Less than one month later, Parker filed his second § 2254 Petition in this District.

         II. Habeas Petition

         In his second § 2254 Petition, Parker again challenges the constitutionality of his MSR term, in light of the “turnaround policy, ” on due process grounds under the Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendments, ineffective assistance of counsel grounds under the Sixth Amendment, and as constituting cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment (Doc. 1, pp. 9, 11, 17). In doing so, Parker attempts to revive Claim 1 (i.e., that his statutorily-imposed MSR term was unconstitutional) and Claim 3 (i.e., that his constitutional rights ...


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