Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Baptiste: Denying renewed SOS application

In In re: Gary Baptiste, No. 16-13959-J (July 13, 2016), the Court denied Baptiste’s second or successive post-Johnson § 2255 motion that claimed that the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) was unconstitutionally vague. The Court noted that it had previously denied Baptiste’s SOS application, and Baptiste was raising “precisely the same claim that he raised in round one.” “It would be odd indeed if Congress had intended to allow federal petitioners to refile precisely the same non-meritorious motions over and over again while denying that right to state prisoners.” Because the Court “previously rejected” Baptiste’s claim on the merits, it was required to dismiss this one. The AEDPA does not permit a prisoner “to file what amounts to a motion for reconsideration under the guise of separate and purportedly ‘new’ application when the new application is the same as the old one.” The law of the case doctrine barred a different result for the new application.