Lee v. Lampert

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-02-2011
  • Case #: 09-35276
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Thomas for the Court; Circuit Judges Schroeder, Pregerson, McKeown, Fletcher, Paez, Berzon, Rawlinson, Clifton, and Smith
  • Full Text Opinion

A credible claim of actual innocence constitutes an equitable exception to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s (1996) limitations period, and a petitioner who makes such a showing may pass through to Schlup gateway.

This case arises out of a de novo review of a petition for habeas corpus. A jury convicted Richard Lee of two counts of first degree sex abuse and two counts of first degree sodomy. Lee filed a federal habeas petition on March 11, 2002, whereas the district court dismissed the petition as untimely. The Ninth Circuit reversed the determination and the petition was reinstated. The amended petition was filed July 25, 2005. In granting Lee’s petition, the district court held that a showing of actual innocence tolls the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s (AEDPA) limitations period and concluded Lee made the requisite showing. The Ninth Circuit held that a petitioner is not barred by the AEDPA statute of limitations from filing an otherwise untimely habeas petition if he makes a credible showing of “actual innocence” under Schlup v. Delo, but because Lee did not present sufficient evidence of actual innocence to permit him to pass through the Schlup gateway and to argue the merits of his time-barred claims. The Court reversed the lower court and remanded with instructions to dismiss Lee’s petition as untimely. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

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