Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ledesma v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 6, 2017

FERMIN LEDESMA, Petitioner,
v.
RONALD DAVIS, Warden of San Quentin State Prison, Respondent.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO HOLD FEDERAL HABEAS PROCEEDINGS IN ABEYANCE AND DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO. 24

          PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner Fermin Ledesma, a condemned prisoner at California's San Quentin State Prison, has filed a request to stay his federal habeas petition pending the completion of exhaustion proceedings in state court. Respondent opposes petitioner's motion and requests that the petition be dismissed. For the reasons outlined below, petitioner's motion is GRANTED. Respondent's request to dismiss the petition is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner has been convicted and sentenced to death twice. Petitioner was initially convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping and robbery in Santa Clara County. Special circumstance allegations of the intentional killing of a witness, felony-murder robbery and felony-murder kidnapping were found true and petitioner was sentenced to death in March 1980. Petitioner filed an appeal and a simultaneous state habeas petition. The California Supreme Court consolidated the proceedings and issued a ruling granting the habeas petition and vacating petitioner's conviction on the grounds that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. People v. Ledesma, 43 Cal.3d 171 (1987).

         On retrial, petitioner was once again convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping and two counts of robbery. The jury found true two special circumstances of intentional killing of a witness and murder in the commission of a robbery. Petitioner was sentenced to death on October 30, 1989. On direct appeal, the California Supreme Court reversed one of the robbery counts as well as the robbery special circumstance, but affirmed the conviction and death sentence. People v. Ledesma, 39 Cal.4th 641 (2006). The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on April 2, 2007. Ledesma v. California, 549 U.S. 1324 (2007).

         On October 31, 2006, petitioner filed a shell state habeas petition. (ECF Doc. No. 15, Ex. D) The shell petition was filed before the California Supreme Court appointed counsel to represent petitioner in his state habeas proceedings. On December 20, 2007, the California Supreme Court appointed Terry J. Amdur as petitioner's state habeas counsel.

         Petitioner filed a request for appointment of federal habeas counsel and stay of execution in this Court on April 17, 2007. This request was granted on May 1, 2007. (ECF Docket No. 3) His case was referred to the Selection Board for recommendation of counsel.

         With the assistance of counsel, Petitioner filed an amended state habeas petition on December 10, 2010. On July 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court denied this petition. An amended order denying the petition was entered on July 31, 2015.

         On December 11, 2015, the Court appointed counsel to represent petitioner in his federal habeas proceedings. Petitioner subsequently filed a request for equitable tolling, which was granted on May 17, 2016. (ECF Doc. No. 17) Petitioner filed a federal habeas petition on December 7, 2016. (ECF Doc. No. 18)

         On December 9, 2016, petitioner filed an exhaustion petition in state court. On that same day, he filed a motion to hold federal proceedings in abeyance pending the completion of state exhaustion proceedings. This motion was denied without prejudice because it was filed prior to the parties' meet-and-confer period on exhaustion as required by Capital Habeas Corpus Local Rule 2254-29(b). Subsequent to the Court's order, the parties met and conferred regarding the exhaustion status of petitioner's claims. The parties now agree as to the exhaustion status of all claims.

         Petitioner renewed his request for a stay on March 5, 2017. (ECF Doc. No. 24) Respondent filed a response on March 13, 2017. (ECF Doc. No. 26) Petitioner filed a reply on March 16, 2017. (ECF Doc. No. 27)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The Supreme Court follows a rule of “total exhaustion, ” requiring that all claims in a habeas petition be exhausted before a federal court may grant the petition. Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 522 (1982). A district court is permitted, however, to stay a mixed petition to allow a petitioner to exhaust his claims in state court without running afoul of the one-year statute limitations period for receiving federal habeas review imposed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 273-75 (2005). A district court may stay a mixed petition if: 1) the petitioner has good cause for his failure ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.