Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 10 (2003)

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Cite as: 537 U. S. 522 (2003)

Opinion of the Court

should be made by reference to state-law rules that may differ from the general federal rule and vary from State to State. Cf. Artuz v. Bennett, 531 U. S. 4, 8 (2000) (an application for state postconviction relief is "properly filed" for purposes of 28 U. S. C. 2244(d)(2) "when its delivery and acceptance are in compliance with the applicable [state] laws and rules governing filings"). The words "by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review" make it clear that finality for the purpose of 2244(d)(1)(A) is to be determined by reference to a uniform federal rule. Section 2255, however, governs only petitions by federal prisoners; within the federal system there is no comparable risk of varying rules to guard against.

Amicus also submits that 28 U. S. C. 2263 "reinforces" the Seventh Circuit's understanding of 2255. DeBruin Brief 20; accord, Torres, 211 F. 3d, at 840. Chapter 154 of Title 28 governs certain habeas petitions filed by death-sentenced state prisoners. Section 2263(a) prescribes a 180-day limitation period for such petitions running from "final State court affirmance of the conviction and sentence on direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review." That period is tolled, however, "from the date that a petition for certiorari is filed in the Supreme Court until the date of final disposition of the petition if a State prisoner files the petition to secure review by the Supreme Court of the affirmance of a capital sentence on direct review by the court of last resort of the State or other final State court decision on direct review." 2263(b)(1).

We do not find in 2263 cause to alter our reading of 2255. First, amicus' reliance on 2263 encounters essentially the same problem as does his reliance on 2244(d)(1)(A): Section 2255, ¶ 6(1), refers to neither of the two events that 2263(a) identifies as possible starting points for the limitation period—"affirmance of the conviction and sentence on direct review" and "the expiration of the time for seeking such review." Thus, reasoning by negative implication from 2263


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