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Cannady v. Watson

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

June 22, 2017

SAM CANNADY, Petitioner,
v.
CAMERON WATSON, Warden, Respondent.

          OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Sam Cannady's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (d/e 1).

         Under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings for the United States District Courts, this Court must promptly examine the Motion. If it appears from the Motion and any attached exhibits that Petitioner is not entitled to relief, the Court must dismiss the Motion and direct the Clerk to notify Petitioner. See Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings. A preliminary review of Petitioner's Motion shows that it must be dismissed because the Motion is untimely and Petitioner is not entitled to relief.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court takes the following information from Petitioner's Motion, the attachments thereto, [1] and the appellate court decision affirming Petitioner's conviction, People v. Cannady, 159 Ill.App.3d 1086 (1987). The Court can take judicial notice of public records. See U.S. ex rel. Santiago v. Hinsley, 297 F.Supp.2d 1065, 1068 n.4 (N.D. Ill. 2003) (involving summary dismissal of a § 2254 motion where the court took judicial notice of public records about the petitioner's prior state court litigation).

         In 1985, a jury found Petitioner guilty of unlawful restraint, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and armed robbery for events that occurred in 1984. In May 1985, the trial court sentenced Petitioner as a habitual criminal to life imprisonment under the Illinois Habitual Criminal Act, Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 33B-1 et seq. (now 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-95). Petitioner qualified as a habitual criminal based on a 1969 conviction for rape and robbery and a 1979 conviction for rape, armed robbery, and deviate sexual assault. Petitioner appealed.

         On appeal, Petitioner argued, among other grounds, that his life imprisonment sentence must be vacated because the provisions of the Habitual Criminal Act under which he was sentenced were unlawfully amended and the statute was unconstitutional. Specifically, Petitioner argued that the 1980 amendment to the Habitual Criminal Act was unconstitutional under the Illinois Constitution because the bill containing the amendment was not read by title on three different days before the House of Representatives and the amendment was not germane to the original bill submitted for passage.

         In August 1987, the appellate court rejected those arguments and found no constitutional violation in the passage of the amendment. Cannady, 159 Ill.App.3d at 1090. Petitioner did not file a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

         In 2001, Petitioner filed a pro se post-conviction petition challenging the constitutionality of his sentence based on Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000). The trial court summarily dismissed the petition, and the appellate court affirmed.

         In 2003, Petitioner filed a successive pro se post-conviction petition challenging the Habitual Criminal Act as unconstitutional. The trial court summarily dismissed the petition as barred by waiver and res judicata. On appeal, appellate counsel filed a Finley brief (Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551 (1987)) stating there were no meritorious claims. The appellate court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction because Petitioner failed to file his notice of appeal in the proper manner.

         In December 2003, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for relief from judgment pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, challenging the constitutionality of the Habitual Criminal Act. The trial court recharacterized the petition as a post-conviction petition and dismissed it.

         In June 2004, Petitioner filed another pro se petition for relief from judgment pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, challenging the constitutionality of the Habitual Criminal Act. The trial court dismissed the petition.

         Petitioner appealed the dismissal of the 2003 and 2004 petitions. The appellate court dismissed the appeal of the 2003 petition because Petitioner failed to properly file a notice of appeal. The appellate court found it had jurisdiction over the appeal of the dismissal of the 2004 petition. The appellate court further found that the trial court failed to give Petitioner notice of the court's recharacterization of his petition. Therefore, the appellate court remanded the case for the trial court to comply with the admonishments required by People v. Shellstrom, 216 Ill.2d 45 (2005).

         On remand, Petitioner amended his petition. The State filed a motion to dismiss, which the trial court granted. Petitioner appealed, and the appellate defender filed a Finley brief stating there was no arguable basis for relief. The appellate court ...


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