DALE SPARROW v. DIRECTOR VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

DALE L. SPARROW, Petitioner – Appellant, v. DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent - Appellee.

No. 16-6037

Decided: July 08, 2016

Before GREGORY and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and DAVIS, Senior Circuit Judge. Dale L. Sparrow, Appellant Pro Se. Susan Elizabeth Baumgartner, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.

Dale L. Sparrow 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. See 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 Sparrow has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability and dismiss the 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.

DISMISSED

PER CURIAM: