United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ERNEST CORNES, No. C86146, Petitioner,
JAMES R. THOMPSON, PHILIP J. ROCK, and WILLIAM A. REDMOND, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, DISTRICT JUDGE.
se Petitioner Ernest Cornes, currently incarcerated at
the Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this habeas corpus
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner pled
guilty in 1953 and 1954 to two charges of armed robbery and
one charge of rape. Cornes v. Thieret, 912 F.2d 467
(7th Cir. 1990). After serving 20 years, Petitioner was
released on parole. Cornes v. Thieret, 912 F.2d 467
(7th Cir. 1990); Cornes v. DeTella, 108 F.3d 1379
(1997). While on parole, Petitioner was charged with rape,
deviate sexual assault, and intimidation. Id.
Following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Williamson
County (No. 77-cf-190), Petitioner was convicted of rape,
deviate sexual assault and intimidation and sentenced to
concurrent terms of imprisonment. People v. Cornes,
80 Ill.App.3d 166 (Ill.App.Ct. 1980). Petitioner is presently
serving a sentence of 60-to-life in connection with those
charges. See Cornes v. Thieret, 912 F.2d 467 (7th
Cir. 1990); Cornes v. Thieret, 972 F.2d 853 (7th
the Petition is difficult to understand, it is evident that
Petitioner is challenging his Williamson County
conviction. Petitioner contends that his conviction is
unconstitutional because the Illinois Class X Felony statute
(enacted by P.A. 80-1099) was an unconstitutional legislative
act, corrupted by fraud and bribery.
Court, however, will not delve any further into
Plaintiff's allegations. The current Petition is
Petitioner's third § 2254 Petition pertaining to
this conviction. In 1985, Petitioner filed a § 2254
petition in the Southern District of Illinois raising several
constitutional challenges, including an equal protection
claim. Cornes v. Thieret, No. 85-cv-3181-GBC. The
petition was dismissed and, on appeal, the Seventh Circuit
affirmed the dismissal of all of the constitutional
challenges. See Cornes v. Thieret, 972 F.2d 853 (7th
Cir. 1992). raising an equal protection claim. Petitioner
filed a second § 2254 petition in the Central District
of Illinois in 1994. Cornes v. DeTella, et al., No.
94-cv-2306-HAB. The district court denied the petition for
failure to raise a federal constitutional issue and the
Seventh Circuit affirmed. See Cornes v. DeTella, 108
F.3d 1379 (7th Cir. 1997).
the instant petition is a “second or successive habeas
corpus application under section 2254.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(b); Lambert v. Davis, 449 F.3d 774, 777
(7th Cir.2006); Harris v. Cotton, 296 F.3d 578, 579
(7th Cir. 2002). In order to file such an application,
Petitioner must first seek and obtain permission to do so
from the federal court of appeals. Id. Because
Petitioner has not obtained this authorization, the Petition
must be dismissed.
to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the
United States District Courts, this Court must “issue
or deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a final
order adverse to the applicant.” A certificate should
be issued only where the petitioner “has made a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
habeas petition is dismissed on procedural grounds without
reaching the underlying constitutional issue, the petitioner
must show that reasonable jurists would “find it
debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the
denial of a constitutional right and that jurists of reason
would find it debatable whether the district court was
correct in its procedural ruling.” Slack v.
McDaniel, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 1604 (2000). Both components
must be established for a COA to issue.
it is clear that this Court is without jurisdiction to
entertain the Petition because it is a second or successive
petition filed without the authorization of the Court of
Appeals. No. reasonable jurist would find the issue
debatable. Accordingly, the Court denies a certificate of
IS HEREBY ORDERED, for the reasons above, the
Petition is DISMISSED without prejudice for
lack of jurisdiction. Dismissal is without prejudice to
bringing a properly authorized successive petition. The Court
DIRECTS the Clerk of the Court to enter
judgment reflecting the same.
IS SO ORDERED.