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Goodwin v. Steele

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 9, 2014

Paul T. Goodwin, Petitioner - Appellant
v.
Troy Steele, Respondent - Appellee; Paul T. Goodwin, Petitioner
v.
Troy Steele, Respondent

Submitted December 8, 2014

Appeals from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis.

Paul T. Goodwin (14-3739, 14-3743), Petitioner - Appellant, Pro se, Mineral Point, MO.

For Paul T. Goodwin (14-3739, 14-3743), Petitioner - Appellant: Michael J. Gorla, Saint Louis, MO; Jennifer Herndon, Florissant, MO.

For Troy Steele (14-3739, 14-3743), Respondent - Appellee: Stephen David Hawke, Assistant Attorney General, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Jefferson City, MO; Ronald Salvatore Ribaudo, RIBAUDO LAW FIRM, Lake St. Louis, MO.

Before MURPHY, COLLOTON, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 902

PER CURIAM

Paul Goodwin, who is scheduled to be executed on December 10, 2014, has filed an application for a certificate of appealability with respect to his Eighth Amendment claim of intellectual disability. In the alternative, Goodwin has filed a motion for authorization to file a second or successive application. In both of these filings, Goodwin claims that he is intellectually disabled and that the Supreme Court of Missouri issued a decision that was contrary to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Hall v. Florida, 134 S.Ct. 1986, 188 L.Ed.2d 1007 (2014). We deny Goodwin's application for a certificate of appealability and deny his motion for authorization to file a second or successive application. We also deny Goodwin's related motions for stay.

Goodwin was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, and the Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed his conviction and sentence. State v. Goodwin, 43 S.W.3d 805, 809 (Mo. 2001). A state motion court denied Goodwin's request for post-conviction relief, and the Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed. Goodwin v. State, 191 S.W.3d 20, 23 (Mo. 2006). In rejecting Goodwin's argument that he established significantly sub-average intellectual functioning, the court noted that " Goodwin has eight independent intelligence tests spread over twenty years that indicated that Goodwin is not retarded." Id. at 30. Based upon this record, the court concluded that Goodwin's single IQ score within the five-point margin of error for the Wechsler scale of sub-average intellectual functioning was " inadequate to raise a triable issue of fact." Id. at 30-31. Goodwin thereafter filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, raising numerous claims. As Goodwin now admits, he asserted in one of these claims that he was intellectually disabled, rendering his execution unconstitutional under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S.Ct. 2242, 153 L.Ed.2d 335 (2002). The district court denied relief on this claim and declined to issue a certificate of appealability. See Goodwin v. Roper, No. 4:06CV848, 2009 WL 3228696, at *21, 26 (E.D. Mo. Sept. 30, 2009).

Shortly after his date of execution was set, Goodwin filed a motion to recall the mandate in the Supreme Court of Missouri, arguing that its earlier decision conflicts with the Supreme Court's decision in Hall. After the Supreme Court of Missouri overruled this motion, Goodwin raised this claim before the district court in a supplemental petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The district court found that Goodwin's Hall claim is barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1) and also concluded that it fails on the merits. The district court declined to grant a certificate of appealability, prompting Goodwin to file an application for a certificate of appealability and a motion

Page 903

for authorization to file a second or successive application.

We state our conclusions briefly because of the exigency of time. We first conclude that jurists of reason would not find debatable the correctness of the district court's conclusion that Goodwin's claim is barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1). See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 478, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000). This provision provides that " [a] claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application under section 2254 that was presented in a prior application shall be dismissed." § 2244(b)(1). Goodwin concedes in his application that " [i]n his original habeas proceeding, [he] raised the claim that he is mentally retarded and ineligible for execution under [sic] Adkins." In particular, in Ground " I" of his initial habeas application, Goodwin asserted that " [t]he Eighth Amendment precludes the execution of the mentally retarded" and that " clear and convincing evidence exists that [Goodwin] is mentally retarded." Goodwin seeks to distinguish this claim from his current claim, arguing only that the latter claim is premised on Hall, not Atkins, and asserting that this difference matters. This argument runs headlong into our decision in Thompson v. Nixon, 272 F.3d 1098 (8th Cir. 2001). There, the petitioner filed a motion to recall the mandate and claimed that a recent Supreme Court decision allowed him to bypass the limit on second or successive applications set forth in § 2244(b)(1). Id. at 1099. We rejected this reading of ยง 2244(b)(1), concluding that the Supreme Court decision relied upon by the petitioner " simply provides a new argument (the merits of ...


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