June 18, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Notice of Fraudulent Testimony Determined on Date of Testimony, Not Date on Which Affidavit Obtained

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Taylor v. Martin on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill in Oklahoma on May 9, 2009. He appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed his convictions. He did not appeal that affirmance to the U.S. Supreme Court. On September 16, 2011, Taylor applied for post-conviction relief in state court, based on an affidavit that a government witness, Mr. Cheatham, had lied when he testified that Taylor confessed to the murder. The state court denied his motion and Taylor again appealed to the OCCA, which affirmed the denial. On June 19, 2013, Mr. Taylor filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in federal district court. The government moved to dismiss his petition as time-barred, and the district court agreed. Taylor’s case was dismissed with prejudice and he was denied a Certificate of Appealability (COA). Taylor appealed to the Tenth Circuit.

The Tenth Circuit applied 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and found that Taylor’s claims were time-barred. His convictions became final on May 17, 2011, after the OCCA concluded its review and his 90-day period for appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court expired. Given the statutory tolling for his post-conviction proceedings, Taylor would have had until April 5, 2013 to file his petition. Further, the date on which Cheatham’s perjury was discovered was the date of the testimony, not the date on which he submitted an affidavit to that effect.

The Tenth Circuit denied the COA and dismissed the appeal.

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