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Wilson v. Knipp

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 12, 2013

PATRICK WILSON, Petitioner,
v.
WILLIAM KNIPP, Warden, Respondent.

ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

RONALD M. WHYTE, District Judge.

Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. The court orders respondent to show cause why a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted.

BACKGROUND

According to the petition, petitioner was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court of sexual penetration by a foreign object, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and kidnapping to commit robbery. On December 15, 2010, petitioner was sentenced to a term of fifty-eight years to life. The California Court of Appeal affirmed in 2011. The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review in 2012. Petitioner filed the underlying petition on May 30, 2013.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

This court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus "in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); Rose v. Hodges , 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975).

A district court shall "award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto." 28 U.S.C. § 2243.

B. Petitioner's Claims

As grounds for federal habeas relief, petitioner alleges that: (1) his right to effective assistance of counsel was violated when his defense counsel permitted the prosecutor to make comments to the jury regarding what the defense did with available DNA evidence; (2) the trial court's comment to the jury that the prosecutor's assessment that the "science has been established" regarding the "product rule" violated petitioner's right to due process; and (3) the prosecutor committed misconduct and thus violated petitioner's right to due process when the prosecutor vouched to the jury that the DNA evidence was impeccable. Liberally construed, the court orders respondent to show cause why the petition should not be granted.

CONCLUSION

1. The clerk shall serve by mail a copy of this order and the petition (docket no. 1) and all attachments thereto upon the respondent and the respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. The clerk shall also serve a copy of this order on the petitioner.

2. Respondent shall file with the court and serve on petitioner, within sixty days of the date this order is filed, an answer conforming in all respects to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, showing cause why a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted. Respondent shall file with the answer and serve on petitioner a copy of all portions of the underlying state criminal record that have been transcribed previously and that are relevant to a determination of the issues presented by the petition.

If petitioner wishes to respond to the answer, he shall do so by filing a traverse with the court and serving it on respondent within thirty days of the date the answer is filed.

3. Respondent may file a motion to dismiss on procedural grounds in lieu of an answer, as set forth in the Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases within sixty days of the date this order is filed. If respondent files such a motion, petitioner shall file with the court and serve on respondent an opposition or statement of non-opposition within twenty-eight days of the date the motion is filed, and respondent shall file with the court and serve on petitioner a reply within fourteen days of the date any opposition is filed.

4. It is petitioner's responsibility to prosecute this case. Petitioner is reminded that all communications with the court must be served on respondent by mailing a true copy of the document to respondent's counsel. Petitioner must keep the court and all parties informed of any change of address by filing a separate paper captioned "Notice of Change of Address." He must comply with the court's orders in a timely fashion. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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