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Stephens v. Warden, Pickaway Correctional Institution

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

August 2, 2018

DARRELL W. STEPHENS, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, PICKAWAY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Barrett, J. Bowman, M.J.

         Petitioner, an inmate in state custody at the Pickaway Correctional Institution, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This matter is before the Court on respondent's motion to dismiss (Doc. 9), petitioner's response in opposition (Doc. 11), and respondent's reply. (Doc. 12).

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         State Trial Court Proceedings

On March 31, 1992, after entering a guilty plea in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, petitioner was convicted of one count each of felonious sexual penetration and rape. (See Doc. 8, Ex. 3, 4). Petitioner was sentenced to be imprisoned in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for a period of five to twenty-five years.

         On November 24, 2004, following a hearing, the trial court issued an entry finding petitioner to be a sexually oriented offender and notifying him of his registration requirements under the version of Ohio Rev. Code § 2950 in effect at the time (“Megan's Law”). (Doc. 8, Ex. 38). On October 12, 2005, the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed petitioner's sexual offender classification. (Doc. 8, Ex. 44). On February 22, 2006, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to accept jurisdiction of petitioner's subsequent appeal. (Doc. 8, Ex. 46).

         First Federal Habeas Corpus Petition Meanwhile, on April 5, 2005, petitioner filed a federal habeas corpus petition in this Court in case number 1:05-cv-243. (See Doc. 8, Ex. 47). Petitioner raised the following three grounds for relief:

         GROUND ONE: The Ohio Parole Authority violated Petitioner's Due Process right(s) by utilizing new parole eligibility guidelines thereby breaching the plea agreement contract. (New Parole Guidelines Enhanced Parole Eligibility.

         Supporting Facts: The Ohio Adult Parole Authority implemented new parole eligibility guidelines that increased the punishment of the Petitioner's bargained for sentence as rendered by the existing state statute(s) and existing parole guidelines that were in effect at the time Petitioner entered into the plea agreement contract through negotiations with the state prosecutor, and the subsequent entry of conviction by the trial court in 1992.

         GROUND TWO: The Ohio Courts abused their discretion in not allowing the Petitioner to withdraw the guilty plea in order to correct a miscarriage of justice.

         Supporting Facts: The Petitioner's plea agreement was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered into when the Ohio Adult Parole Authority implemented a new parole guideline structure that requires that Petitioner serve substantially more prison time “before becoming eligible for parole” than that imposed by law at the time the Petitioner negotiated and accepted the bargained for plea agreement contract and subsequent sentence thereof.

         GROUND THREE: The new parole guidelines implemented by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and used to the detriment of the Petitioner violate Ex Post Facto clause.

         Supporting Facts: The retroactive application of the new parole guidelines create a sufficient risk of increasing the measure of punishment, in that the new guidelines enhanced the petitioner's parole eligibility by that of approximately 11.5 years; well beyond the state statute and then existing old parole guidelines that were in effect at the time Petitioner negotiated and entered into the plea agreement contract with the State of Ohio and subsequent sentence thereof, which is part of the law annexed to the crime.

         (Id. at PageID 711-34). On March 30, 2006, this Court dismissed the habeas petition on the ground that it was time-barred pursuant to 28 ...


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