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Goodwin v. Kelley

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

May 25, 2018

CHARLES EDWARD GOODWIN PETITIONER
v.
WENDY KELLEY, Director of the Arkansas Department of Correction RESPONDENT

          SUPPLEMENTAL PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following proposed Supplemental Findings and Recommendation have been sent to United States District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. You may file written objections to all or part of this Supplemental Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.

         DISPOSITION

         On April 11, 2018, United States District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. vacated the March 28, 2018 Order and Judgment in this habeas corpus case. The case was referred to the undersigned to provide a supplemental or amended recommendation. The pertinent events are as follows:

• Charles Edward Goodwin (“Goodwin”) filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus on July 10, 2017. Docket entry no. 2.
• Goodwin also filed a motion for discovery on July 10, 2017. Docket entry no. 4. Goodwin sought the production of “the entire discovery file, ”[1] including the photo array viewed by witness Betty Word, her original statements, crime scene photos, and the entire investigative file. Docket entry no. 4, page 2.
• In an Order dated July 24, 2017, the undersigned denied the motion for discovery without prejudice to renewing the motion at a later date. Docket entry no. 5. The undersigned, citing Rule 6 of Rule Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Court, held Goodwin had not shown entitlement to discovery.
• On September 7, 2017, Goodwin filed a pleading styled “Objection to Order Denying Motion for Discovery File.” Docket entry no. 9. This pleading was filed as a “Response.” In the pleading, Goodwin recited that he sought his state discovery file “in order to ascertain other claims that may be viable for the court's consideration.” He also asserted the file was “crucial to further developing habeas claims and is need for further investigation that could prove exculpatory in nature.” Docket entry no. 4, page 1.
• The undersigned issued Proposed Findings and Recommendation on February 14, 2018, recommending that the petition be dismissed as untimely. Docket entry no. 23. Among other things, the undersigned addressed Goodwin's argument that his tardy petition should be considered because of his actual innocence. As part of this analysis, the undersigned reviewed the trial transcript in full, as well as the decision on direct appeal of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Goodwin v. State, 373 Ark. 53 (2008).
• Goodwin filed an objection to the undersigned Proposed Findings and Recommendation on March 21, 2018. Docket entry no. 26. In this pleading, he alleged he has never received his discovery file despite requesting it on numerous occasions, and the file “contained potentially exculpatory evidence that would assist him in habeas proceedings.” Docket entry no. 26, page 3. He also claimed the “lack of discovery has hampered his ability to file the habeas on time.” Docket entry no. 26, page 4.
• Judge Marshall adopted the undersigned's Proposed Findings and Recommendation by Order of March 28, 2018. Docket entry no. 28. Judgment was entered. Docket entry no. 29.
• Judge Marshall vacated the Order and Judgment on April 11, and referred the case back to the undersigned to address the discovery issue. Docket entry no. 32.

         Specifically, Judge Marshall asked this Court to consider: (1) if Goodwin was entitled to discovery: (2) if so, should new material be provided to Goodwin or reviewed in camera; and (3) if any discovery would affect the suggested disposition of Goodwin's habeas petition. For the reasons set forth below, Goodwin's requests for discovery were without merit and, even if granted, would not have affected the suggested disposition of the case.

         Entitlement ...


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