United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
Procedure for Filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Mr. Martin may file
written objections with the Clerk of Court within 14 days
after the date of this Recommendation. Objections must be
specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the
objecting, the right to appeal questions of fact may be
jeopardized. And, if no objections are filed, Judge Marshall
can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing
Lawrence Martin, an inmate in the Arkansas Department of
Correction, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on May 3, 2018. (Docket entry #2)
In his petition, Mr. Martin challenges his June, 1995
conviction by a Pulaski County, Arkansas jury of capital
murder and his sentence of life imprisonment without the
possibility of parole. His conviction and sentence were
affirmed in a direct appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Martin v. State, 328 Ark. 420 (1997).
pending petition, Mr. Martin raises the following grounds for
relief: African-Americans were improperly excluded from the
jury; the judge incorrectly instructed the jury on the
elements of the crimes charged; his arrest warrant was based
on a falsified affidavit; his appellate counsel was
ineffective; and an inaccurately transcribed videotaped
deposition was improperly allowed into the record.
Court lacks jurisdiction to consider the merits of Mr.
Martin's petition because he has already challenged his
conviction through several earlier federal habeas petitions.
Mr. Martin first petitioned for habeas relief in September of
2001, raising ten claims of ineffective assistance of trial
and appellate counsel. Martin v. Norris, No.
5:01-CV-331-SMR-JFF (#2). The claims were determined to be
procedurally defaulted, and the petition was dismissed in
November of 2003. (#21, # 23, #24) Both the district court
and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Mr. Martin a
certificate of appealability. (#29); Martin v.
Norris, No. 04-1023 (8th Cir. March 17, 2004). Mr.
Martin unsuccessfully petitioned for rehearing before the
Eighth Circuit (Id. (8th Cir. April 29, 2004)), and
for a writ of certiorari from the United States Supreme
Court. Martin v. Norris, 543 U.S. 843 (2004).
Martin filed a second petition for habeas relief in January
of 2010. In that petition, Mr. Martin alleged that the trial
judge refused to correct a perjured statement; violated his
rights under the Confrontation Clause; allowed contaminated
evidence from the crime scene to be introduced at trial;
incorrectly instructed the jury; and impermissibly allowed
the prosecuting attorney to exclude African-Americans from
the jury. Martin v. Norris, 5:10-CV-16-JMM-BD (#2).
Respondent moved to dismiss the petition arguing that, absent
permission to file a successive habeas petition, the district
court lacked jurisdiction. (#9) This Court agreed and
dismissed the petition. (#14, #15) Thereafter, the Eighth
Circuit denied Mr. Martin's request for authorization to
file a successive habeas petition. Martin v. Hobbs,
No. 10-1888 (8th Cir. Aug. 3, 2010).
of 2014, Mr. Martin again petitioned the Eighth Circuit for
permission to file a successive habeas petition. Martin
v. Hobbs, No. 14-2434 (8th Cir. June 30, 2014). His
petition was denied. Id. (8th Cir. Nov. 26, 2014).
Mr. Martin petitioned for rehearing, but the petition was
denied as untimely filed. Id. (8th Cir. March 16,
Martin's current habeas petition - his third - must be
dismissed because he has not obtained permission from the
Eighth Circuit to pursue a successive petition. Before Mr.
Martin can be eligible to file another federal habeas corpus
petition, he must seek and receive an order from the Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit authorizing this Court to
consider a successive the petition. 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3)(A).Without an order from the court of appeals, the
district court lacks jurisdiction to hear the petition.
Burton v. Stewart, 549 U.S. 147, 152-53, 157
dismissal of a habeas corpus petition - prior to any answer
or other pleading being filed by the respondent - is
appropriate where, as here, the petition itself and court
records show that the petition is a second or successive
petition filed without authorization from the court of
appeals. See Rule 4, Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases. The
pending petition is clearly successive.
Court recommends that Judge Marshall DENY and DISMISS,
without prejudice, Lawrence Martin's petition for writ of
habeas corpus (#2) for lack of jurisdiction, and that he DENY
Mr. Martin's pending motion to proceed in forma
pauperis (#1), as ...