Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, March 05, 2007

Gordon: Lawrence resolves habeas untimeliness

In Gordon v. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 06-15783 (March 1, 2007), the Court affirmed the denial of a federal habeas petition on grounds that it was untimely under the AEDPA.
The petitioner had relied "on the hope, now forsaken, that the Supreme Court in reviewing [the Eleventh Circuit’s] Lawrence [v. Florida] decision would provide him with some basis for relief." That hope was forsaken because the Supreme Court affirmed the Eleventh Circuit’s holding. Consequently, the petitioner lost on all his arguments. The statute of limitations is not equitably tolled when the failure to file on time is the fault of capital case counsel specially appointed and supervised by Florida courts. Further, the statute of limitations is not tolled during the time a petition for certiorari is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in state collateral proceedings. The failure of his court-appointed counsel to file more promptly did not constitute an impediment to filing by State action.