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Gonzalez v. Thaler

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: November 2, 2011
Case #: 10-895
Court Below: 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (623 F.3d 222)
Full Text Opinion: http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/08/08-10871-CV0.wpd.pdf

Habeas Corpus: Whether the AEDPA’s one-year statute of limitations for an application for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 should be calculated based on “the date on which the judgment became final” as held by the 8th Circuit or “the expiration of the time for seeking such review” as held by the 5th Circuit.

In 2005, Gonzalez was convicted of murder and sentenced to thirty years in prison. Gonzalez appealed his conviction to the State Court of Appeals, which affirmed his conviction. Gonzalez filed for a state writ of habeas corpus in February 2007, but his application was dismissed because his period for discretionary review had expired in August 2006. Gonzalez’s second application was also denied, after which Gonzalez filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the district court under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in January 2008. The magistrate judge calculated Gonzalez's one-year statute of limitations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) beginning from August 2006—the date Gonzalez’s right to petition for discretionary review expired—and dismissed his petition as time-barred. The district court adopted the magistrate’s recommendation and the 5th Circuit Court affirmed.

The AEDPA imposes a 1-year period of limitation to applications for writs of habeas corpus by persons “in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court.” 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1). Gonzalez argues that the magistrate judge should have calculated the one-year period from “the date on which the judgment became final” as held by the 8th Circuit instead of from “the expiration of the time for seeking such review” as held by the 5th Circuit.