Thompson v. Lea

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 06-07-2012
  • Case #: 09-55753
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Gould for the Court; Circuit Judge Pregerson; Dissent by Circuit Judge Tallman
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, where a state supreme court reopens direct review such that a prisoner’s conviction is “again capable of modification through direct appeal,” the statute of limitations for the prisoner to file a habeas corpus petition does not begin to run until 90 days after termination of the state supreme court review.

“California state prisoner Kenny Warren Thompson appeal[ed] the district court’s denial of his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus petition." The district court found that the petition was time barred. The Ninth Circuit noted that “Thompson’s conviction initially became ‘final’ on July 11, 2006, ninety days after the California Supreme Court denied his petition for review on direct appeal.” However, the Court also noted that “on May 23, 2007, the California Supreme Court granted review of Thompson’s petition for review of the court of appeal’s denial order, and deferred further action in the matter pursuant to California Rule of Court 8.512(d)(2).” The Court reasoned that “[b]y granting review, the California Supreme Court reopened direct review and made Thompson’s conviction ‘again capable of modification through direct appeal.’” The Ninth Circuit held that under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s one-year statute of limitations, Thompson’s habeas corpus petition was timely because his conviction did not become “'final’ for purposes of § 2244(d)(1)(A)” until “ninety days after the California Supreme Court dismissed review on the merits.” REVERSED and REMANDED.

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