from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Mississippi
SMITH, WIENER, and ELROD, Circuit Judges.
JENNIFER WALKER ELROD, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Eugene Osborne appeals the dismissal of his federal habeas
petition. Because the district court did not err in its
determination that the petition was time-barred, we AFFIRM.
2004, Osborne was tried in Mississippi state court for the
murder of his girlfriend's five-year-old son. During the
trial, Dr. Steven Hayne testified as a forensic pathologist
on behalf of the State, using autopsy data and a plaster cast
of the child's face to explain that a large hand,
probably a male's, had suffocated the child. Osborne was
convicted and sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was
affirmed on direct review. Osborne v. State, 942
So.2d 193 (Miss. Ct. App. 2006), cert. denied, 942
So.2d 164 (Miss. 2006).
years following Osborne's conviction, Dr. Hayne became
the subject of public criticism for his work as an expert
witness. Multiple newspaper and magazine articles published
from 2006 to 2008 detailed Dr. Hayne's lack of
qualifications, the large number of autopsies he performed,
his potentially unethical business relationship with the
State, and his scientifically questionable testimony. In
2007, a justice on the Supreme Court of Mississippi expressed
concerns about Dr. Hayne's qualifications in a published
opinion. See Edmonds v. State, 955 So.2d 787, 802-03
(Miss. 2007) (Diaz, J., concurring). In 2008, the Innocence
Project wrote a letter to the Mississippi State Board of
Medical Licensure, complaining that Dr. Hayne was unqualified
and had provided false autopsy reports and testimony in a
variety of cases. Around that time, the Innocence Project
also issued multiple press releases discussing Dr.
Hayne's business relationship with the State, his lack of
qualifications, and other alleged misconduct.
response to the 2008 letter, Dr. Hayne filed a defamation
lawsuit against the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project
conducted extensive discovery, culminating in a deposition of
Dr. Hayne in which more evidence came to light supporting the
earlier allegations that were made in the media coverage, the
Innocence Project's letter, and the other publicly
available documents. According to Osborne, the deposition
transcript was confidential until May 25, 2012, when it
became available to the public.
filed a state habeas application on November 14, 2012,
challenging his murder conviction based on the information
that was in Dr. Hayne's deposition. The Supreme Court of
Mississippi denied relief on May 29, 2013, in part because
Osborne's application was time-barred. Osborne filed a
motion for reconsideration, which the Supreme Court of
Mississippi denied on June 21, 2013.
then filed a federal habeas petition in the Southern District
of Mississippi on December 17, 2013. His federal petition
raised three claims: (1) that the State violated Napue v.
Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959), by relying on false
evidence provided by Dr. Hayne; (2) that the State violated
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by
withholding material evidence regarding Dr. Hayne; and (3)
that Osborne was denied his Sixth Amendment right to
confrontation. The State filed a motion to dismiss,
contending that Osborne had not alleged a constitutional
violation and that his petition was time-barred. The district
court agreed that the factual predicate for the claim could
have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence
more than a year before he filed his petition, and the
petition was therefore dismissed as untimely. Osborne
appealed, and this court granted him a certificate of
appealability on the issue of whether "the factual
predicate for his claims could not have been discovered
earlier through the exercise of due diligence."
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(AEDPA)imposes a one-year limitations period on
federal habeas petitions filed by state prisoners. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1). Relevant here, that limitations period
begins running from the later of "the date on which the
[state court] judgment became final by the conclusion of
direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such
review" or "the date on which the factual predicate
of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered
through the exercise of due diligence." Id.
§§ 2244(d)(1)(A), (D). The one-year period is
tolled for "[t]he time during which a properly filed
application for State post-conviction or other collateral
review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is
pending." Id. § 2244(d)(2).
review the dismissal of a habeas petition as time-barred
under AEDPA de novo. Starns v. Andrews, ...