Oral argument: Nov. 29, 2010
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Sept. 23, 2009)
CRIMINAL LAW, HABEAS CORPUS, ANTI-TERRORISM AND EFFECTIVE DEATH PENALTY ACT
In December 1993, Khalil Kholi was convicted of sexual assault in the first degree and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Three years later, Kholi filed a motion to reduce his sentence, seeking discretionary leniency in state court. In 2007, Kholi filed a habeas corpus petition in federal court. The federal district court denied Kholi's petition on the grounds that it was not timely filed under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA”). The First Circuit reversed, holding that a discretionary post-conviction motion to reduce a sentence constitutes collateral review under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) and tolls AEDPA's one-year limitation period. Petitioner A.T. Wall appealed, arguing that a discretionary sentence-reduction motion does not constitute collateral review because it does not challenge the validity of a conviction or sentence. Kholi counters that collateral review includes motions seeking equitable, discretionary relief, and argues that his motion seeking a discretionary reduction of an imposed sentence tolls AEDPA's statute of limitations. The Supreme Court's decision will affect the finality of state court judgments, as well as the state court remedies a prisoner can pursue before filing a petition for federal habeas corpus relief.