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Generally v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 24, 2019

GARNELL GENERALLY, # N-67686, Petitioner,
v.
JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Garnell Generally was convicted by a jury in Madison County, Illinois, of murder, which he committed as a juvenile just three weeks before his 18th birthday. (Doc. 1-1, Doc. 12). On April 4, 1986, the trial judge sentenced Generally to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 5-6; Doc. 12, p. 1-2); People v. Generally, 90 N.E.3d 991, ¶ 7 ( Ill. App. 2017). Generally argues that he is entitled to habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 because in imposing the discretionary life sentence, the trial court did not properly consider the factors set forth in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), made retroactively applicable on collateral review by Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016), and the appellate court unreasonably applied those cases in affirming the denial of leave to file his most recent successive post-conviction petition. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 6-11).

         Generally has exhausted his state court remedies, including several post-conviction challenges. He filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus in this district court on October 16, 2018.[1] (Doc. 1, p. 15). This matter is now before the Court on Respondent's motion to dismiss (Doc. 12), which argues that the petition is time-barred. Generally responded to the motion (Doc. 20).

         Relevant Facts

         In view of the issue raised in Respondent's motion, it is not necessary to delve too deeply into the facts underlying Generally's conviction. Generally and three companions robbed and beat the victim; Generally administered the fatal blows with a car jack. People v. Generally, 525 N.E.2d 106, 112 ( Ill. App. 1988) (affirming conviction and sentence on direct appeal).

         After the appellate court affirmed Generally's conviction, the Illinois Supreme Court denied his petition for leave to appeal (“PLA”) on October 6, 1988. People v. Generally, 530 N.E.2d 255 (table) (Ill. 1988).

         Generally sought post-conviction relief in 1990 and 2001 without success. (Doc. 12, p. 2; Doc. 12-1, p. 1; Doc. 12-2; Doc. 12-3); People v. Generally, 807 N.E.2d 978 (table) (Ill. 2004); People v. Generally, 855 N.E.2d 284 (table) ( Ill. App. 2003); People v. Generally, 656 N.E.2d 811 (table) ( Ill. App. 1993).

         On April 28, 2014, Generally sought leave to bring a successive post-conviction petition to challenge his discretionary life sentence pursuant to Miller v. Alabama. (Doc. 12-4). The trial court denied leave, and on October 18, 2017, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the denial. (Doc. 12-1); People v. Generally, 90 N.E.3d 991 ( Ill. App. 2017) (published opinion issued on December 12, 2017). Generally's PLA was denied on January 18, 2018. People v. Generally, 94 N.E.3d 642 (table) (Ill. 2018). This habeas petition followed.

         Applicable Legal Standards

         28 U.S.C. § 2244 creates a one-year limitation period for filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), a person convicted in state court must file his federal habeas petition within one year of the latest of:

(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 was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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