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Gibson v. Grenier

October 26, 2009

ANTHONY GIBSON, PETITIONER,
v.
CHARLES GRENIER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Block, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Petitioner Anthony Gibson ("Gibson") seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, Gibson's petition is denied.

I.

Gibson was convicted by a jury in the New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, of numerous violent crimes including murder and attempted murder.*fn1 The trial court imposed a mix of consecutive and concurrent sentences of imprisonment that will keep Gibson in jail for the rest of his natural life. The Appellate Division affirmed his conviction and sentence on direct appeal. People v. Gibson, 687 N.Y.S.2d 301, 301 (2d Dep't 1999), lv. to app. den., 93 N.Y.2d 970 (1999).

None of the claims of error in Gibson's petition were raised in his direct appeal; nearly all of his claims were rejected in a post-conviction state court proceeding ("the 440.10 Order"). See Order, People v. Gibson, No. 1528/96 (Sup. Ct. Kings County Aug. 2, 2007) (unpublished), lv. to app. den., No. 2007-08605, 2008 N.Y. Slip Op. 64276 (2d Dep't Feb. 21, 2008). Gibson now claims that: (1) his indictment was defective; (2) the trial testimony of a DNA expert was false; (3) a co-defendant's statement was improperly admitted; (4) two witnesses testified falsely; (5) the prosecutor knowingly used this false evidence; (6) the prosecution suppressed evidence; and (7) his trial counsel was constitutionally deficient for failing to bring out some or all of these issues. The 440.10 Order concluded that each of these issues was either procedurally barred, without merit, or both. Gibson also claims that: (8) the prosecution failed to identify a favorable witness. The record indicates that this claim of error has not been presented in state court. Lastly, Gibson contends that: (9) he is actually innocent.

II.

A. Gibson's Pro Se Status

Gibson brings this petition pro se; his papers are to be construed liberally, and are held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); see also McPherson v. Coombe, 174 F.3d 276, 280 (2d Cir. 1999) (pro se papers are to be read "liberally and interpret[ed] to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.") (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).

B. AEDPA

AEDPA sets out the parameters under which a federal district court may grant a writ of habeas corpus. Where a state court has "adjudicated [a claim] on the merits," that adjudication is entitled to deference under AEDPA. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Such a decision can only be reversed in habeas proceedings if it was: (1) "contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States"; or (2)"based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding." See id.; see also Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 402-11 (2000) (explaining deference required by AEDPA). Before the Court can reach the merits of any of Gibson's claims, however, the District Attorney raises the threshold issue of AEDPA's statute of limitations. Resp. Mem. of Law at 1. AEDPA sets a one-year period of limitation on the filing of habeas corpus petitions for persons in custody pursuant to state court judgments. With respect to Gibson's claims, AEDPA's limitations period began to run on either:

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of d i r e c t review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review; [or]

(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A), (D). Accounting for Gibson's direct appeal, the state court 440.10 proceeding, and his habeas corpus proceedings in this court, the 2244(d)(1)(A) statute of limitations ran during three discrete periods: 1999-2000 (299 days)*fn2 ; 2000-2006 (6 years, 2 months); and 2008 (222 days). These periods, in the aggregate, amount to ...


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