United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court, having considered the petitions, the record, the
applicable law, the Report and Recommendation of the United
States Magistrate Judge, and the objections thereto by
petitioner, Jason Jarrell Spikes, which are hereby
OVERRULED for the following reasons,
approves the Report and Recommendation of the United States
Magistrate Judge and adopts it as its own opinion.
has filed two sets of objections, Rec. Docs. 52 and 53, both
of which are largely incomprehensible. To the extent that the
objections relate to the claims addressed in the Report and
Recommendation, they primarily quote large passages from that
Report and Recommendation and then simply reurge the same
arguments already addressed and correctly rejected in detail
the Court additionally notes that petitioner peppers his
objections with legal jargon unrelated to the claims he
asserted in these proceedings. To the extent that he intends
those references as additional claims, they are not properly
before the Court. Because petitioner's original claims
were not concisely stated in his rambling petitions, he was
required to supplement his filings with a pleading clearly
identifying each claim he was asserting. He filed such a
supplement, listing only seven claims. See Rec. Doc.
51, p. 8. He has not requested, much less been granted, leave
to assert any additional claims.
even if the Court were to construe the references as
additional claims and allowed him to assert them herein, they
would not warrant relief. As an initial matter, as correctly
explained in the Report and Recommendation, petitioner has
never “fairly presented” any claims to
the Louisiana Supreme Court, and, therefore, any new claims,
whatever they may be, would necessarily be unexhausted.
See Rec. Doc. 51, pp. 2-4. “[A]bsent the
applicability of an exception to the exhaustion requirement,
a federal court lacks the authority to grant habeas relief on
an unexhausted claim.” Mercadel v. Cain, 179
F.3d 271, 277 (5th Cir. 1999). Moreover, in any event,
petitioner's cursory references, to the extent that they
can be deciphered, fail to state meritorious claims.
example, petitioner references the concept of
“selective prosecution.” See, e.g., Rec.
Doc. 52, p. 1. However, to prevail on a selective prosecution
claim, an individual must make two showings:
First, he must make a prima facie showing that he
has been singled out for prosecution although others
similarly situated who have committed the same acts have not
been prosecuted. Second, having made the first showing, he
must then demonstrate that the government's selective
prosecution of him has been constitutionally invidious.
United States v. Jennings, 724 F.2d 436, 445 (5th
Cir. 1984) (citations omitted); accord United
States v. Weber, 162 F.3d 308, 333-34 (5th Cir.
1998). Here, petitioner has not made even the first required
also makes numerous references to the “Brady
Rule” throughout his objections. See, e.g.,
Rec. Doc. 52, p. 2; Rec. Doc. 53, p. 6. With respect to a
claim that the state withheld evidence in violation of
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and its
progeny, the United States Supreme Court has held:
A Brady violation occurs when the government fails
to disclose evidence materially favorable to the accused.
This Court has held that the Brady duty extends to
impeachment evidence as well as exculpatory evidence, and
Brady suppression occurs when the government fails
to turn over even evidence that is known only to police
investigators and not to the prosecutor.
Youngblood v. West Virginia, 547 U.S. 867, 869-70
(2006) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).
Therefore, to prevail on a Brady claim, a petitioner
“must show that (1) the state withheld evidence, (2)
the evidence was favorable to the accused, and (3) the
evidence is material to guilt or punishment.”
DiLosa v. Cain, 279 F.3d 259, 262-63 (5th Cir.
2002). Here, any Brady claim falters at the very
first prong of the analysis, because petitioner has never
presented any evidence to corroborate his bald allegations
that evidence was in fact withheld from the defense. See,
e.g., Higgins v. Cain, Civ. Action No. 09-2632,
2010 WL 890998, at *5 (E.D. La. Mar. 8, 2010) (“Where
… a petitioner presents no evidence whatsoever
… in support of a contention that Brady
material was in fact withheld from the defense, his claim
fails at the initial prong of the Brady
inquiry.”), aff'd, 434 Fed.Appx. 405 (5th
also repeatedly alleges that his ability to seek
post-conviction relief has been thwarted by roadblocks he has
encountered in attempting to secure access to various
records. However, a conclusory claim of that nature does not
warrant habeas relief. See, e.g., Castillo v.
McCain, Civ. Action No. 15-2376, 2017 WL 1232444, at
*11-12 (E.D. La. Feb. 9, 2017), adopted, 2017 WL
1211610 (E.D. La. Apr. 3, 2017), certificate of
appealability denied, No. 17-30360 (5th Cir. Feb. 27,
IT IS ORDERED that the federal applications
for habeas corpus relief filed by Jason Jarrell ...