United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
Gregory A. Presnell United States District Judge
initiated this action for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1). This cause is before the Court
on remand from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal's
opinion affirming in part and reversing in part the
Court's December 3, 2014 Order. (Doc. 22). Respondents
filed a supplemental response in compliance with the
Court's instructions. (Doc. 25). Although Petitioner was
given an opportunity to file a reply, he did not do so.
alleges appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to
argue that his attempted robbery convictions violate the
Double Jeopardy Clause. For the following reasons, the Court
concludes that Petitioner is entitled to relief on his claim.
was charged by Indictment with one count of first degree
murder with a firearm (count one), two counts of attempted
robbery with a firearm (counts two and three), one count of
fleeing and attempting to elude with wanton disregard for
safety (count four), and one count of grand theft of a motor
vehicle (count five) (Doc. 9 at 32-34). Petitioner initially
was found incompetent to proceed to trial and was committed
to the Department of Children and Families (Doc. 9-4 at 17,
19-20). In 2008, the trial court determined Petitioner was
competent to stand trial. Id. at 54. After a jury
trial, Petitioner was convicted as charged (Doc. 9-5 at
51-55). The jury made a special finding that Petitioner
actually possessed and discharged a firearm, which resulted
in the death of the victim. Id. at 56-58. The trial
court sentenced Petitioner to three terms of life
imprisonment with a three-year minimum mandatory term for
counts one, two, and three, to a fifteen-year term of
imprisonment for count four, and to a five-year term of
imprisonment for count five. Id. at 78-83.
Petitioner appealed, and the Fifth District Court of Appeal
(“Fifth DCA”) affirmed per curiam (Doc.
9-7 at 44).
filed a motion to correct illegal sentence pursuant to Rule
3.800(a) of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the
trial court denied the motion. Id. at 49-59.
Petitioner appealed, and the Fifth DCA reversed and remanded
for resentencing on counts two and three. Id. at
128-31. Petitioner was resentenced to a twenty-year minimum
mandatory sentence for count two and to a term of life
imprisonment for count three (Doc. 9-8 at 172-76).
his Rule 3.800 motion was pending, Petitioner also filed a
Rule 3.850 motion for post-conviction relief (Doc. 9-7 at
37-51). The trial court summarily denied the motion.
Id. at 162-70. Petitioner appealed, and the
appellate court affirmed per curiam (Doc. 9-8 at
48). Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for writ of
habeas corpus with the Fifth District Court of Appeal
alleging four claims of ineffective assistance of appellate
counsel. Id. at 52-85. The Fifth DCA denied the
petition without discussion. Id. at 161.
Standard of Review Under the Antiterrorism Effective Death
Penalty Act (“AEDPA”)
to the AEDPA, federal habeas relief may not be granted with
respect to a claim adjudicated on the merits in state court
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;
(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). The phrase “clearly
established Federal law, ” encompasses only the
holdings of the United States Supreme Court “as of the
time of the relevant state-court decision.”
Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412 (2000).
2254(d)(1) provides two separate bases for reviewing state
court decisions; the ‘contrary to' and
‘unreasonable application' clauses articulate
independent considerations a federal court must
consider.” Maharaj v. Sec'y for Dep't of
Corr., 432 F.3d 1292, 1308 (11th Cir. 2005). The meaning
of the clauses was ...