United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
RICHARD HOLMAN, No. N06132, Petitioner,
TERI KENNEDY, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, District Judge:
currently incarcerated in the Pontiac Correctional Center,
brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254 to challenge the constitutionality of his sentence. In
this action, Petitioner challenges his natural life sentence
stemming from his March 16, 1981 conviction for first-degree
murder. (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 24). Petitioner was convicted of the
murder, that he committed at age 17, after a jury trial in
the Madison County Circuit Court, No. 80-CF-5; (Doc. 1, pp.
22, 24). Petitioner appealed from the judgment of conviction
with the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District in No.
81-177. People v. Holman, 115 Ill.App.3d 60
(Ill.App.Ct. 1983). Petitioner did not raise the issues
brought herein in his appeal. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on appeal on May 24,
1983. Petitioner then petitioned for leave to appeal to the
Illinois Supreme Court, but his petition was denied. (Doc. 1,
p. 3). He did not file a petition for certiorari
with the United States Supreme Court. Id.
filed two post-conviction petitions in 2001 in the Circuit
Court of Madison County Illinois, which were dismissed. (Doc.
1, p. 11). He also filed a petition for relief in 2009
claiming his sentence was void because the judge erroneously
sentenced him to a mandatory natural-life sentence, but this
petition was also denied, and the denial was affirmed on
appeal. See People v. Holman, 2011 IL App (5th)
2010, Petitioner filed a petition for leave to file a
successive post-conviction petition. (Doc. 1, p. 11). In it,
he raised several claims, including actual innocence. (Doc.
1, p. 28). His petition was denied, and on appeal, Petitioner
abandoned his previous claims and instead argued that his
life sentence was unconstitutional under Roper v.
Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), Graham v.
Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), and, particularly,
Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). (Doc. 1, pp.
28-29). The appellate court rejected the Miller
argument because Petitioner had not raised it before the
trial court. (Doc. 1, p. 29); People v. Holman, 2012
IL App. (5th) 100587-U, ¶ 18. Petitioner appealed this
decision. (Doc. 1, p. 29). The Illinois Supreme Court denied
the petition but vacated the appellate court's initial
decision, so it could consider whether the Illinois Supreme
Court decision in People v. Davis, 2014 IL 115595
demanded a different result. (Doc. 1, p. 29); People v.
Holman, No. 115597 (Jan. 28, 2015).
remand, the appellate court reached the merits of
Petitioner's Miller claim, but finding that the
criminal trial court considered youth and its attendant
characteristics before imposing a life sentence on
Petitioner, rejected it and affirmed the order of the trial
court denying the petition for leave to file a successive
post-conviction petition. (Doc. 1, p. 29); 2016 IL App (5th)
100587-B, ¶¶ 35-37, 46, 52, 53. Petitioner once
again brought his claim to the Illinois Supreme Court, which
granted him leave to appeal but affirmed the appellate
court's judgment affirming the trial court's denial
of Petitioner's motion for leave to file a successive
post-conviction petition on September 21, 2017. Petitioner
then filed the current action with this Court on June 4,
petition currently before the Court, Petitioner makes the
following claim for relief: Petitioner's sentencing
hearing, during which he was sentenced to life in prison
without parole for a crime he committed at age 17, did not
pass constitutional muster under Miller v. Alabama,
567 U.S. 460 (2012). Upon preliminary consideration pursuant
to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in United
States District Courts, the Court shall order a response.
Motion for Recruitment of Counsel (Doc. 4) is
REFERRED to United States Magistrate Judge
Clifford J. Proud for a decision.
Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc.
5) will be addressed in a separate order.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent shall, within
thirty (30) days of receipt of this application for Writ of
Habeas Corpus, answer and show cause why the writ should not
upon the Illinois Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Bureau,
100 West Randolph, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601 shall
constitute sufficient service.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to Local Rule
72.1(a)(2), this cause is referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Clifford J. Proud for further pre-trial
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this entire matter be
REFERRED to United States Magistrate Judge
Clifford J. Proud for disposition, as contemplated by Local
Rule 72.2(b)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § ...