Stewart v. Cate

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 11-01-2013
  • Case #: 10-55985
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: District Judge Zipps for the Court; Circuit Judge Ikuta; Dissent by Circuit Judge Berzon
  • Full Text Opinion

A timely filing under 28 USC § 2244 is generally 30-60 days, and under Schlup v. Delo a defendant must show that no reasonable juror would have found him guilty in light of new evidence.

DeArcey Jamal Stewart appealed from the district court’s denial of his 28 USC § 2254 habeas petition. Stewart was convicted for attempted murder and is currently serving two life sentences plus seven years in a state prison. Stewart first filed a post-conviction relief in state court, and then filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus in district court for the Southern District of California which denied the petition for untimeliness. On appeal, Stewart advanced four arguments on which the district court erred in: (1) concluding he was not entitled to statutory tolling under §2244(d); (2) concluding he had not established an actual innocence claim; (3) failing to hold an evidentiary hearing; and (4) concluding he failed to allege a federal claim. The Ninth Circuit held, first that Stewart was not entitled to statutory tolling which allows for a 30-60 day delay between the denial of the State Court of Appeal Petition and the filing of the State Supreme Court Petition because Stewart had a 100 day delay between the filings and failed to show good cause. Next, the panel held that Stewart failed to show actual innocence under the Schlup v. Delo standard which requires the defendant to show that, “in light of new evidence, no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Additionally, the panel found no error in the district court’s denial of an evidentiary hearing because even if the new evidence was credible and the prior evidence was discredited, there was still not cause for the court to “lose confidence in the outcome of the trial.” Finally, because the petition was time-barred the panel did not reach a conclusion as to whether Stewart failed to state a federal claim. AFFIRMED.

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