Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ramirez v. Yates

Good people have bad days. If you have three violent-felony-conviction bad days you may be sentenced to fifty years to life in California. Such is the fate of Anthony Ramirez.

Mr. Rameriez had 365 days, not counting state appeals to file a federal writ of habeas corpus. He used 391 days, and the district court dismissed his complaint. The Ninth Circuit reversed and asked the district court to reconsider two time periods over a four year period and whether his delays during that time were justified.

Judge Ronald White found that the delays were caused because Mr. Ramirez didn't know the status of his legal proceedings in state and federal court and filed many motions in state and federal court instead of filing a federal habeas petition. Unfortunately, "miscalculation" does not entitle a petitioner to equitable tolling of the statute of imitations and Mr. Rameriez's petition was denied.

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