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Copyright (c) 2001 Washington & Lee University School of Law 
Capital Defense Journal

CASE NOTES: UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: Duncan v. Walker 121 S. Ct. 2120 (2001)

Fall, 2001

14 Cap. Def. J. 79

Author

Mythri A. Jayaraman

Excerpt

I. Facts

In June 1992, a jury found Sherman Walker ("Walker") guilty of first degree robbery in Queens County Supreme Court and he was sentenced to seven to fourteen years in prison. The State Appellate Division affirmed Walker's conviction in June 1995, and the New York Court of Appeals denied him leave to appeal conviction in January 1996. After Walker pursued several state remedies unsuccessfully, his conviction became final in April 1996. On April 10, 1996, Walker filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. This petition was dismissed without prejudice in July 1996 because Walker "had not adequately set forth his claim because it was not apparent that [Walker] had exhausted available state remedies." 1

Almost one year after his first habeas petition was dismissed, Walker filed a second petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. This second petition was dismissed as untimely pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) 2 because Walker had filed it more than one year after the effective date of AEDPA. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed this judgment and reinstated the habeas petition, holding that Walker's first federal habeas petition had tolled the limitation period, and thus the petition was not untimely. 3

II. Holding

The United States Supreme Court rejected the Second Circuit's interpretation of 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(2). 4
 
 
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