Court Takes Up Habeas Claims of Texas Inmate

     (CN) – The Supreme Court said Monday that it would review the habeas petition of a Texas man convicted of murder who failed to file his petition within the one-year statute of limitations.

     Rafael Arriaza Gonzalez was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July 2005 for murder. The Texas appeals court affirmed the conviction the following year. In 2007, the court dismissed Gonzalez’s habeas claim because it found he failed to comply with state appellate rules, and the court dismissed his second claim nine months later.
     Two months after that, in February 2008, Gonzalez petitioned the District Court for habeas review, but a magistrate judge rejected the petition as time-barred, concluding that the inmate had one year from the time when Texas rejected his first attempt at writ of habeas corpus in July 2006.
     Gonzalez argued that the clock should have started when the mandate was issued in his case September 2006, but the District Court refused and the 5th Circuit affirmed.
     In agreeing to take up the appeal on Monday, the Supreme Court noted that it would answer whether there was “jurisdiction to issue a certificate of appealability … and to adjudicate petitioner’s appeal,” and whether the courts should run the statute of limitations to “the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review”?

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