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Jackson v. Bryant

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

July 23, 2019

RODNEY DERON JACKSON, Petitioner,
v.
JASON BRYANT, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Petitioner, Rodney Deron Jackson, appearing pro se, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Pet.) [Doc. No. 1] challenging his state court convictions. United States District Judge David L. Russell has referred the matter for proposed findings and recommendations consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C). The Court ordered Petitioner to show cause why his Petition was not untimely, [Doc. No. 7], and Petitioner responded (Petr's Resp.) [Doc. No. 8]. In accordance with Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, it is recommended that the Petition be summarily dismissed.

         I. Petitioner's Claim for Relief and Relevant History

         Petitioner entered guilty pleas to Nos. CF-1987-676, CF-1992-538, and CF-1992-1374 on, “March 23, 1987; July 30, 1992, ” in Oklahoma County District Court. Pet. at 2. Petitioner now challenges those convictions because the “[t]rial [c]ourt did have jurisdiction in that Petitioner and the victim are Indians within the meaning of federal law and the crime occurred in Indian Count[r]y as defined by 18 [U.C.S.] § 1151.” Id. at 6.[1] Petitioner raised this claim for the first time in an application for post-conviction relief in October 2017, see Id. at 3, 7-8, [2] and the state district court denied relief in December 2017. See Id. at 3, 8. Petitioner appealed, and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed that decision in May 2018. See id.[3]

         Petitioner filed the present action on June 25, 2018. Responding to the Court's Order, Petitioner argues he did not know about the State's jurisdictional defect until the Tenth Circuit's ruling in Murphy v. Royal, 875 F.3d 896 (10th Cir. 2017) and claims the decision is “tantamount to extraordinary circumstances.” Petr's Resp. at 2.

         In Murphy, an Oklahoma death-row inmate and member of the Muscogee Creek Nation argued, under the Major Crimes Act, that because the Creek Reservation (where the crime occurred) was “Indian country, ” the state court lacked jurisdiction over his charges. Murphy, 875 F.3d at 907-908 (citation omitted). In an extremely complex decision, the Tenth Circuit held that the Creek Reservation remained Indian country for purposes of the Act and, therefore, the federal government and not the state had the sole authority to prosecute the petitioner. See Id. at 903-04, 914-67.

         II. Screening Requirement

         Rule 4 requires this Court to review habeas petitions promptly and to summarily dismiss a petition “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief[.]” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. The Court is permitted, under this Rule, “to consider, sua sponte, the timeliness of a state prisoner's habeas petition.” Day v. McDonough, 247 U.S. 198, 209 (2006).

         III. Analysis

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) sets forth a one-year statute of limitation for prisoners to challenge their state-court convictions or sentences. It states:

         A [one]-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of __

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made ...

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