Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, February 24, 2011

San Martin: Two week lateness bars death row inmate's petition

In San Martin v. McNeil, No. 09-14311 (Feb. 23, 2011), the Court rejected as untimely the federal habeas petition filed by a Florida inmate sentenced to death for a 1991 murder.

San Martin filed his federal habeas petition two weeks after the one-year deadline of AEPDA. He argued that the limitations period should be equitably tolled, because of a two-week delay in his receipt of the decision of the United States Supreme Court that started the period running. Rejecting this argument, the Court noted that San Martin waited 349 days after receipt of the Supreme Court order before filing his state post-conviction claim. The Court also noted that, to invoke equitable tolling, a petitioner must show diligent attempts to ascertain the status of his case – which San Martin failed to do.