Haqq v. Yelich

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Joseph Bianco

Under an agreement, Haqq pleaded guilty in 1999 to three counts of robbery. Understanding that he would be sentenced as a persistent violent felon, Haqq admitted robbery convictions in 1982 and 1987. He also understood the court would impose sentence of three indeterminate terms of 16 years to life. Two motions to vacate his July 30, 1999, sentence to three concurrent terms of 16 years to life in prison were rejected before Haqq sought 28 USC §2254 habeas relief in April 2012. Haqq argued the court did not inform him he could challenge the 1982 conviction's constitutionality, and that he was sentenced as a persistent violent felon even though that conviction was for attempted burglary. Haqq's conviction became final on Aug. 29, 1999, and his time to seek habeas relief expired on Aug. 29, 2000. Thus his petition was dismissed as untimely under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Further, no grounds warranted equitable tolling. Haqq did not show any extraordinary circumstances preventing proper filing of a timely petition. Even if he did show such circumstances, Haqq did not show he acted with "reasonable diligence" during the decade-long delay between conviction and his first, July 23, 2009, vacatur motion.

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