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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

JERRY L. CARY, SR., Petitioner – Appellant, v. EDDIE PEARSON, Warden, Respondent - Appellee.

No. 15-7951

Decided: May 31, 2016

Before TRAXLER, Chief Judge, and NIEMEYER and FLOYD, Circuit Judges. Jerry L. Cary, Sr., Appellant Pro Se.

Jerry L. Cary, Sr., seeks to appeal the district court's order denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petition. The order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A) (2012). A certificate of appealability will not issue absent “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) (2012). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find that the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). When the district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must demonstrate both that the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable, and that the petition states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484-85.

We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Cary has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny Cary's motion for a certificate of appealability, deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and dismiss the appeal. We grant Cary's motion to amend his informal brief and deny his motions for appointment of counsel and release pending appeal. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.