By Darren Chaker
In Wall v. Kholi, 131 S. Ct. 1278, found that for AEDPA purposes, a state-court motion to reduce a sentence is an application for collateral review which tolls the AEDPA deadline. Respondent was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to several consecutive life terms by the Rhode Island court, with the conviction becoming final on direct review in 1996.
In addition to direct review, he filed two state motions, the first to reduce the sentence and the second for state post-conviction relief. Both were denied. He then filed a federal habeas petition. Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), a properly filed application for state post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim tolls AEDPA's one-year limitation period for filing.
The Supreme Court held that collateral review means judicial review of a judgment in a proceeding that is not part of direct review. Because respondent's motion to reduce his sentence under the Rhode Island law is not part of the direct review process, the motion tolled the AEDPA filing limitation, such that his federal habeas petition was timely.