In re Rosado

AEDPA slays another habeas petition. In 1995, Rosado was almost eighteen and a half years old when he shot and killed someone. Seven months later, he pleaded guilty in Pennsylvania state court to first-degree murder and was sentenced to mandatory life without parole. After Rosado filed his first round of habeas petitions, the United States Supreme Court decided Miller. The case held that the Eighth Amendment barred mandatory life without parole sentences for individuals under eighteen when they committed their crimes. Four years later, the Court held that Miller’s rule applied retroactively. In 2018, Rosado sought permission to file a second federal habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Though AEDPA (the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996) normally bars second or successive petitions, there are two narrow exceptions. Rosado claimed that he fell within § 2244(b)(2)(A) because his petition relied on Miller’s new, retroactive rule. The Third Circuit denied leave to file the second habeas petition. First, the Court held that Rosado’s petition was facially untimely because he filed his habeas petition six-and-one-half years after Miller, and equitable tolling was not warranted. The Court then ruled that, even if the petition was timely, it did not “rely” on Miller. The Court held that “if a new rule sets out an express limit and a prisoner’s claim falls beyond that limit, he cannot rely on that rule. Miller set a limit at eighteen years old. Rosado was older than that when he killed the victim. So his claim did not rely on Miller.”

Rosado