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Hill v. State

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

March 4, 2010

BILLY DALE HILL PETITIONER
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI RESPONDENT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NEAL B. BIGGERS SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the court on the pro se petition of Billy Dale Hill for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State has moved to dismiss the petition as successive and untimely filed. Hill has not responded to the motion, and the deadline to do so has expired; the matter is ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the motion by the State to dismiss will be granted, and the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus will be dismissed as both successive and untimely filed.

         Facts and Procedural Posture

         Billy Dale Hill was convicted of the rape and capital murder of an eighty-seven (87) year old victim in the Circuit Court of Coahoma County, Mississippi, and was originally sentenced to death. Hill v. State, 339 So.2d 1382 (Miss. 1976). However, on appeal, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed and remanded. Id. On remand, Hill pled guilty to both the murder and rape, and the trial court sentenced him to a term of life on each charge. Hill v. State, 388 So.2d 143 (Miss. 1980).

         On October 15, 1980, Hill filed his first habeas corpus petition in this court in Cause No. WC 80-144-LS-O. In that petition, Hill alleged the following grounds for relief (as summarized by the court):

Ground One: Ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to adequately inform Hill of parole eligibility and pressuring him to plead guilty.
Ground Two: The trial court failed to honor the plea agreement, which was for two (2) consecutive life sentences rather than two (2) life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Ground Three: Petitioner was misinformed about the number of years he must serve before becoming parole eligible.

         On February 5, 1982, the Magistrate Judge recommended that habeas corpus relief be denied.

         On February 22, 1982, the District Judge approved and adopted the Magistrate Judge's recommendations and dismissed Hill's petition without evidentiary hearing. Hill then filed a second petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Southern District of Mississippi, Cause No. J90-0157(W), in which he raised the following grounds for relief (as stated by the petitioner):

Ground One: The minutes of the court by which the grand jury was supposedly elected, empaneled and sworn, was not signed by the presiding judge.
Ground Two: The court absent the grand jury being duly sworn, empaneled, lacked jurisdiction to try the petitioner.
Ground Three: Counsel was constitutionally ineffective for not filing a motion to quash the indictment, and for failing to spot this defect.

         On April 10, 1991, the petition was transferred to this Court. On April 30, 1991, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the petition be denied, finding that Hill's second petition was successive - and also denied the petition on the merits. On May 15, 1991, the District Judge approved ...


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