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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Alexander HARRIS, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Harold CLARKE, Director of the VA Dept of Corrections, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 20-6950

Decided: January 21, 2021

Before AGEE, WYNN, and DIAZ, Circuit Judges. Alexander Harris, Appellant Pro Se.

Alexander Harris, a Virginia inmate, seeks to appeal the district court's order accepting the recommendation of the magistrate judge and dismissing as untimely Harris’ 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition. See Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 148 & n.9, 132 S.Ct. 641, 181 L.Ed.2d 619 (2012) (explaining that § 2254 petitions are subject to one-year statute of limitations, running from latest of four commencement dates enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)). The order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A). 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). When, as here, 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. Gonzalez, 565 U.S. at 140-41, 132 S.Ct. 641 (citing Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000)).

We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Harris has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability, deny Harris’ motion for the appointment of counsel, 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Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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