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Glover v. Russell

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

December 30, 2016

DONNELL GLOVER, Petitioner,
v.
TERRY RUSSELL, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 [Doc. No. 1] on October 25, 2013. On January 22, 2014, Defendant filed his Response To Order To Show Cause Why a Writ of Habeas Corpus Should Not be Granted [ Doc. No. 8].

         Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, this Court has determined that there are no issues asserted that give rise to an evidentiary hearing and therefore one is not warranted, as will be discussed in further detail. For the reasons explained below, the Response to the Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should not be Granted is well taken and the petition will be denied.

         Procedural Background

         Petitioner was charged in State court with tampering in the first degree as a persistent offender. Petitioner proceeded to trial and was found guilty by a jury. Petitioner was sentenced to nine years consecutive to a sentence imposed in an earlier case. Petitioner filed a motion for new trial and challenged the sufficiency of the evidence, the admission of a police list of stolen cars, and the admission of his statements to the police. In his direct appeal he alleged that the trial court plainly erred in overruling a Batson objection and denying a motion to dismiss based on an alleged Brady/discovery violation.

         In his amended post-conviction motion, Petitioner alleged his trial counsel to be ineffective in: failing to preserve the Batson claim for appellate review; failing to obtain a police report referenced in the discovery provided to counsel, and, subsequently failing to call Ricky Duvall as a witness; and failing to preserve the discovery violation for appeal. On the appeal of the post-conviction motion ruling he only alleged that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to preserve the Batson claim for appeal. The Petitioner is currently within the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections.

         Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“AEDPA”) applies to all petitions for habeas relief filed by state prisoners after the statute's effective date of April 24, 1996. When reviewing a claim that has been decided on the merits by a state court, AEDPA limits the scope of judicial review in a habeas proceeding as follows:

An application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim -
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

         In construing AEDPA, the United States Supreme Court, in Williams v. Taylor, held that:

Under the ‘contrary to' clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the U.S. Supreme Court] on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than [the U.S. Supreme Court] has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts. Under the ‘unreasonable application' clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ if the state court identifies the correct governing legal principle from [the U.S. Supreme Court's] decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.

529 U.S. 362, 412-13 (2000). Furthermore, the Williams Court held that “a federal habeas court may not issue the writ simply because that court concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant state court decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously or incorrectly.” 529 U.S. at 409.

         A state court decision must be left undisturbed unless the decision was contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, or the decision was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in state court. Colvin v. Taylor, 324 F.3d 583, 586-87 (8th Cir. 2003).

         A decision is contrary to United States Supreme Court precedent if it decides a case based on a different rule of law than the rule dictated by United States Supreme Court precedent, or it decides a case differently than the United States Supreme Court did on materially indistinguishable facts. Id. A decision may only be overturned, as an unreasonable application of clearly established United States Supreme Court precedent, if the decision is both wrong and an objectively unreasonable interpretation or application of United States Supreme Court precedent. Id. A federal habeas court may not disturb an objectively reasonable state court decision on a question of federal law even if the decision is, in the federal court's view, wrong under Eighth Circuit precedent, and even if the habeas court would have decided the case differently on a clean slate. Id. State court factual determinations are presumed to be correct and this presumption can only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(1).

         Default and Failure to Properly Exhaust

         A petitioner must first properly exhaust state remedies before presenting a claim in a federal habeas petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). In order to exhaust state remedies, an offender must fairly present the “substance” of the claim to the state courts. Anderson v. Harless,459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982). The claim which is asserted in federal court must assert the same factual and legal basis as the state court claim. Flieger v. Delo,16 F.3d 878, 885 (8th Cir. 1996); see also King v. Kemna, 266 F.3d 816, 821 (8th Cir. banc 2001). To exhaust a claim, the offender must raise the claim on direct appeal or in state post-conviction proceedings, including on post-conviction appeal. Flieger, 16 F.3d at ...


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