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Reed v. Ramey

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

January 7, 2020

CARNELL REED, Petitioner,
v.
EILEEN RAMEY, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STEPHEN R CLARK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Carnell Reed's pro se Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody [1].

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Circuit Court of St. Louis County convicted Reed of one count of forcible sodomy and two counts of forcible rape after a bench trial and, on October 28, 2013, sentenced Reed to three concurrent terms of life imprisonment. Reed appealed, and the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction on April 28, 2015. Doc. 6-3. Reed did not seek rehearing or transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court. Reed filed a motion for post-conviction relief in the circuit court on June 22, 2015. Doc. 6-8. The circuit court denied Reed's motion, he appealed, and the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the denial on May 23, 2017. Doc. 6-6. Reed did not request rehearing or transfer. The Court of Appeals issued its mandate on June 16, 2017. Doc. 6-7. On May 21, 2018, Reed filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Doc. 1.

         II. STANDARD

         “A state prisoner who believes that he is incarcerated in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.” Osborne v. Purkett, 411 F.3d 911, 914 (8th Cir. 2005). In order for a federal court to grant an application for a writ of habeas corpus brought by a person in custody by order of a state court, the petitioner must show that the state court decision:

(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)(1)-(2). A determination of a factual issue made by a state court is presumed to be correct unless the petitioner successfully rebuts the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence. Id. at § 2254(e)(1).

         A state court's decision is “contrary to” clearly established Supreme Court precedent “if the state court either ‘applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in [Supreme Court] cases' or ‘confronts a set of facts that are materially indistinguishable from a decision of [the] Court and nevertheless arrives at a result different from [the] precedent.'” Penry v. Johnson, 532 U.S. 782, 792 (2001) (citing Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-406 (2000)). An unreasonable application of clearly established Supreme Court precedent exists where the state court identifies the correct governing legal principle but unreasonably applies that principle to the facts of the case. Ryan v. Clark, 387 F.3d 785, 790 (8th Cir. 2004). Finally, a state court decision may be considered an unreasonable determination of the facts “only if it is shown that the state court's presumptively correct factual findings do not enjoy support in the record.” Id.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Reed asserts four grounds for relief in his petition for writ of habeas corpus.[1] The first and second grounds challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting Reed's conviction. Reed's third asserted ground for relief alleges that at least one of his victim's testimony was motivated by “peer pressure.” Finally, Reed alleges that forensic evidence in his case was easily tampered with.

         A. Timeliness

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1):

A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation ...

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