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Howard v. Norris

April 5, 2007

TIMOTHY LAMONT HOWARD, PETITIONER,
v.
LARRY NORRIS, DIRECTOR, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Webber Wright United States District Judge

ORDER

Timothy Lamont Howard, an inmate in custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction, is under two sentences of death for the 1997 murders of Brian and Shannon Day and is also serving a thirty-year sentence for the attempted capital murder of Trevor Day, the Days' then seven-month-old child. On March 9, 2007, Howard filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, that exceeds 300 pages in length and includes twenty-three claims for relief, with many of those claims including sub-claims. By Order dated March 26, 2007, this Court granted a motion of respondent Larry Norris for an extension of until and including June 2, 2007, in which to file his response to Howard's petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Soon after granting Norris' motion for an extension of time, this Court discovered that, with a few minor exceptions, Howard's petition cites no authority in support of his claims. Howard does not even cite Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1994), and Eighth Circuit precedent applying Strickland in support of his ineffective assistance of counsel claims. By not knowing the specific cases and/or other authority upon which Howard bases his claims for habeas relief, respondent Norris will be unable to determine whether it is appropriate to make an argument in his response that Howard's reliance upon those cases and/or other authority is improper. Howard, in turn, will not be well-served by the petition as it now stands as full and careful consideration of his claims is hampered by unsupported arguments.*fn1

Accordingly, within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order, the Court directs that Howard file an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus that sets forth current legal and, where applicable, other authority for each of his asserted claims for habeas relief. In his amended petition, Howard is directed to include a table of contents with a listing of the cases and other authority upon which he relies and is directed to include those cases and authority, with appropriate discussion, in the applicable places within the body of the petition.*fn2 Respondent Norris' response to Howard's amended petition for writ of habeas corpus will be due no later than sixty (60) days from the date of entry in this Court of Howard's amended petition.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 5th day of ...


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