United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ronald Burns (“Petitioner”), a prisoner currently
confined at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey,
has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons stated below, the
Court will dismiss the § 2254 petition for lack of
jurisdiction and deny a certificate of appealability.
challenges a judgement of conviction entered in the Superior
Court of New Jersey, Burlington County, on March 28, 2002,
after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder,
second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose,
and third-degree hindering apprehension. (See ECF
No. 1 at p. 35). At sentencing on June 14, 2002, Petitioner
was sentenced to life in prison with thirty years of parole
ineligibility on the murder conviction and a five-year
consecutive sentence on the conviction for hindering
apprehension. (See id).
appeal, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division,
ruled that reversal was required in light of an issue raised
sua sponte regarding the testimony of a witness.
See State v. Burns, No. A-6273-01T4, 2006 WL
1275077, at *2 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. May 11, 2006),
rev'd, 192 N.J. 312 (2007). The Supreme Court of
New Jersey granted the State's petition for certification
and, on July 26, 2007, reversed the decision of the Appellate
Division and remanded the case to the superior court for
reinstatement of Petitioner's judgment of conviction.
See State v. Burns, 929 A.2d 1041, 1059 (N.J. 2007).
subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief
(“PCR”) in August 2007. (See ECF No. 1
at p. 5). The PCR court denied the PCR petition on April 27,
2010. (See Id. at p. 6). The Appellate Division
affirmed that denial on June 4, 2012. See State v.
Burns, No. A-1098-10T2, 2012 WL 1969934, at *1 (
N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. June 4, 2012). The New Jersey Supreme
Court denied certification on November 30, 2012. See
State v. Burns, 213 N.J. 396 (2012).
March 22, 2013, Petitioner filed a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this Court. See
Burns v. Warren, No. 13-1929, 2016 WL 1117946, at *10
(D.N.J. Mar. 22, 2016). On March 22, 2016, in a comprehensive
opinion, this Court denied Petitioner's habeas petition
on the merits. See Id. at *1. Petitioner appealed,
and on May 16, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for
the Third Circuit denied a certificate of appealability on
the ground that jurists of reason would not debate this
Court's conclusion regarding Petitioners claims. See
Burns v. Admin. New Jersey State Prison, No. 16-1875,
2017 WL 4574445, at *1 (3d Cir. May 16, 2017). On July 27,
2017, the Third Circuit denied a petition for a panel
rehearing. The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's writ for
certiorari on January 8, 2018. See Burns v. Johnson,
138 S.Ct. 664 (2018).
Petitioner's first habeas petition was pending,
Petitioner filed a motion for a new trial in the Superior
Court of New Jersey, Burlington County, which was denied on
August 5, 2015. See State v. Burns, No. A-446-15T4,
2017 WL 1337501, at *1 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. Apr. 12,
2017). On April 12, 2017, the Appellate Division affirmed the
motion court's decision. See Id. On October 16,
2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification.
See State v. Burns, 174 A.3d 516 (N.J. 2017).
on December 5, 2017, Petitioner filed an application for
permission to file a second or successive habeas corpus
petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244 in the Third
Circuit. By Order dated January 23, 2018, the Third Circuit
denied Petitioner's request, holding that:
The application under 28 U.S.C. § 2244 to file a second
or successive petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is denied.
Burns has not satisfied the requirements for obtaining
authorization to file a second or successive § 2254
petition. He does not rely on “a new rule of
constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral
review by the Supreme Court, that was previously
unavailable.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2) and (3). He
cites Satterfield v. DA Philadelphia, 872
F.3d 152, 162 (3d Cir. 2017), but Satterfield, among
other things, is a case from this Court, not the Supreme
Court. He also discusses Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S.
1 (2012); however, Martinez did not announce a new
rule of constitutional law. See Cox v. Horn, 757
F.3d 113, 124 (3d Cir. 2014); Martinez, 566 U.S. at
11 (noting that the Court's ruling was equitable).
Furthermore, Burns cannot show that the facts underlying his
claims would establish that no reasonable factfinder would
have found him guilty. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2)(B)(ii).
In re: Ronald Burns, C.A. No. 17-3638 (3d Cir. Jan.
23, 2018). On February 21, 2018, Petitioner filed the instant
§ 2254 habeas petition in this Court raising the same
arguments as in his application for permission to file a
second or successive petition. (See ECF No. 1).
April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”),
which governs a district court's adjudication of a second
or successive § 2254 petition. Specifically, Title 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2) requires that a federal court must
dismiss any claim in a second or successive habeas corpus
petition that was not presented in a prior habeas corpus
petition unless the petitioner shows: (A) the claim relies on
a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases
on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was
previously unavailable; or (B)(i) the factual predicate for
the claim could not have been discovered previously through
the exercise of due diligence and (ii) the facts underlying
the claim, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a
whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and
convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error, no
reasonable factfinder would have found the petitioner guilty
of the underlying offense. See 28 U.S.C. §
a second or successive petition may be filed in the district
court, the petitioner must first move in the court of appeals
for an order authorizing the district court to consider the
petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). The court of
appeals may grant the motion and authorize the filing of a
second or successive application only if it determines that
the petition makes a prima facie showing that it satisfies
either § 2244(b)(2)(A) or (B). See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(b)(3)(C). A district court lacks jurisdiction
over a second or successive § 2254 petition, absent
authorization from the court of appeals. See Burton v.
Stewart, 549 U.S. 147, 152 (2007) (“[B]ecause the
2002 petition is a ‘second or successive' petition
that Burton did not seek or obtain authorization to file in
the District Court, the District Court never had ...