United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Hornsby U.S. Magistrate Judge
accordance with the standing order of this court, this matter
was referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for review,
report, and recommendation.
the court is a civil rights complaint filed in forma
pauperis by pro se plaintiff Demario Thomas
(“Plaintiff”), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
This complaint was received and filed in this court on
September 22, 2017. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at
the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. He
claims his civil rights were violated by prison officials
during his criminal trial proceedings. He names District
Attorney James C. Stewart, Dale G. Cox, Dhu Thompson, Holly
McGinnes, and the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office
claims that in 2014, he was convicted by a jury of second
degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard
labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of
sentence. He claims he was racially discriminated against in
his criminal trial proceedings. Plaintiff claims District
Attorney James C. Stewart is aware that Blacks have been
systematically excluded from the grand jury and petit jury
venire pools in Caddo Parish. He also claims District
Attorney Stewart is aware of the Blackstrikes which led to
his conviction. He claims Judge Brady O'Callaghan and
Assistant District Attorney Dhu Thompson knew of the policy
to discriminate because certain jurors will automatically
return with a guilty verdict. Plaintiff claims Assistant
District Attorney Dhu Thompson used psychological methods to
persuade the jury to convict him.
claims he was targeted by the Caddo Parish District
Attorney's Office. He claims he is African-American and
the jury for his trial was predominately white. He claims he
was discriminated against and manipulated. Plaintiff claims
he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life
claims the jury coordinator selects the jury. He also claims
the Clerk of Court codes the race and gender of each
perspective juror. Plaintiff claims there was a Confederate
flag memorial outside the courthouse during the time of his
claims circumstantial evidence was admitted during his trial.
He claims the District Attorney's Office also excluded
Catholics, artists, and school teachers from the jury
selection process. Plaintiff claims the Louisiana Code of
Criminal Procedure aids the District Attorney in racially
discriminating in the jury selection procedure.
Plaintiff seeks to have his conviction and sentence
overturned and to be released from incarceration, monetary
compensation, attorney fees, costs, declaratory and
injunctive relief, and any other proper relief.
claims he was wrongly convicted and sentenced because of the
actions of Defendants. Plaintiff is seeking monetary damages
and injunctive and declaratory relief for an allegedly
unconstitutional conviction and sentence. The United States
Supreme Court held that in order to recover monetary
compensation for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or
sentence or for "harm caused by actions whose
unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence
invalid," a prisoner must show that the conviction or
sentence has been "reversed on direct appeal, expunged
by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal
authorized to make such determination, or called into
question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas." Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,
486-87, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 2372 (1994). Courts have also
extended the holding in Heck to claims seeking
injunctive or declaratory relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 648, 117
S.Ct. 1584, 1589, 137 L.Ed.2d 906 (1997); Clark v.
Stalder, 154 F.3d 186, 190-91 (5th Cir.
1998). Heck involved a civil rights claim brought by
a state prisoner. The Court dismissed the Section 1983 suit
until plaintiff could demonstrate that his conviction or
sentence had been invalidated.
claim comes within the parameters of the Heck
teachings, it is not cognizable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
so long as the validity of the conviction or sentence has not
been called into question as defined therein, which requires
dismissal of claims not meeting its ...