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Reed v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division

August 25, 2017

ERNEST REED, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          MARCIA MORALES HDWARD, JUDGE

         I. Status

         Petitioner Ernest Reed, an inmate of the Florida penal system, initiated this action on September 29, 2014, by filing a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Petition; Doc. 1) under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and Memorandum of Law (Memorandum; Doc. 21-1). In the Petition, Reed challenges a 2007 state court (Duval County, Florida) judgment of conviction for sexual battery. Respondents have submitted a memorandum in opposition to the Petition. See Respondents' Answer to Petition for Habeas Corpus (Response; Doc. 28) with exhibits (Resp. Ex.). On September 3, 2015, the Court entered an Order to Show Cause and Notice to Petitioner (Doc. 15), admonishing Reed regarding his obligations and giving Reed a time frame in which to submit a reply. Reed submitted a brief in reply. See Reply to Respondents' Answer (Reply; Doc. 31). This case is ripe for review.

         II. Procedural History

         On November 9, 2006, the State of Florida charged Reed with three counts of capital sexual battery under Florida Statutes section 794.011(2)(a) and three counts of custodial sexual battery under Florida Statutes section 794.011(8)(b). See Resp. Ex. 1 at 22-23, Amended Information. Reed proceeded to trial in June 2007, see Resp. Exs. 3, 4, Transcripts of the Jury Trial (Tr.), at the conclusion of which, on June 27, 2007, a jury found him guilty of sexual battery (count four), guilty of battery, a lesser-included offense (counts five and six), see Tr. at 253; Resp. Ex. 1 at 101-03, Verdicts; and not guilty of sexual battery (counts one, two, and three), see Tr. at 252-53; Resp. Ex. 1 at 98-100, Verdicts. On August 2, 2007, the court sentenced Reed to a term of imprisonment of twenty-five years for count four, and a term of one year in the county jail with credit for 365 days as to counts five and six. Resp. Exs. 1 at 114-20, Judgment; 2 at 320-21.

         On direct appeal, Reed, with the benefit of counsel, filed an initial brief, arguing that the trial court erred when it: restricted the cross-examination of the child victim (RMA) and her mother (Tisha) (ground one); permitted Tisha and RMA's friend (Phonicia) to introduce RMA's prior consistent hearsay statements to bolster her credibility (ground two); and restricted the cross- examination of Detective Leavens relating to the failure to conduct a sexual assault examination (ground three). Resp. Ex. 6. The State filed an answer brief. See Resp. Ex. 7. On March 18, 2009, the appellate court affirmed Reed's conviction per curiam, see Reed v. State, 4 So.3d 1227 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009); Resp. Ex. 8, and the mandate issued on April 3, 2009, see Resp. Ex. 8. The court also denied his motions for rehearing on May 21, 2009, and June 22, 2009. See Resp. Exs. 9, 10.

         On November 20, 2009, pursuant to the mailbox rule, Reed filed a pro se motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 (Rule 3.850 motion). See Resp. Ex. 11 at 1-73. The court struck ground four of the Rule 3.850 motion as facially insufficient with leave to amend, see id. at 74-76, and Reed amended ground four on August 30, 2010, see id. at 77-81. In his request for post-conviction relief, Reed asserted that counsel was ineffective because she failed to: object when the trial court ruled that the only lesser-included offense for the three counts of custodial sexual battery was misdemeanor battery, and failed to instruct the jury that attempted custodial sexual battery was a lesser-included offense (ground one); investigate and call two exculpatory witnesses: Nell Hughes and a high school physical education teacher (ground four); object to numerous trial errors and preserve them for appellate review (ground five); renew objections to numerous trial errors and preserve them for appellate review (ground six); impeach the State's witnesses by confronting them with inconsistent statements made in their depositions (ground seven); investigate facts about a key state witness (ground eight); and properly draft a motion in limine regarding the lingerie the victim was wearing at the time of the offense (ground nine). Reed contended that the compact diskette (CD) containing the controlled telephone conversations was false evidence in violation of Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), because the CD was placed in the evidence property room before the phone calls were made (ground 2(a)), and counsel was ineffective because she failed to object to the CD's authenticity (ground 2(b)) and the CD's chain of custody (ground 2(c)). He also asserted that counsel was ineffective because she improperly advised him as to his rights to testify and call witnesses (ground three), and that the cumulative effect of errors one through nine denied him a fair trial (ground ten). The court held evidentiary proceedings on Reed's Rule 3.850 on September 27, 2011, and December 14, 2011. See Resp. Ex. 14 at 453-506, 512-63 (EH Tr.). The court denied the motion on May 16, 2012, see Resp. Ex. 12 at 163-213, and later denied Reed's motions for rehearing on August 8, 2012, see id. at 214-51, 252-91; Resp. Ex. 13 at 292-377. On appeal, Reed filed a pro se brief, arguing that the trial court erred when it denied him post-conviction relief based on a Giglio violation. See Resp. Ex. 15. The State filed an answer brief, see Resp. Ex. 17; Reed filed a reply brief, see Resp. Ex. 18, an amended reply brief, see Resp. Ex. 19, and supplemental authority, see Resp. Ex. 20. On June 20, 2014, the appellate court affirmed the court's denial of post-conviction relief per curiam, see Reed v. State, 145 So.3d 836 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014); Resp. Ex. 21, and later denied Reed's motion for rehearing, see Resp. Ex. 22. The mandate issued on August 27, 2014. See Resp. Ex. 21.

         After Reed filed his federal Petition in this Court on September 25, 2014, pursuant to the mailbox rule, he filed a second pro se Rule 3.850 motion on December 4, 2014, see Resp. Ex. 23 at 1-42, followed by a motion to amend on April 6, 2015, see id. at 47-49. He filed an amended post-conviction motion on April 29, 2015. See id. at 50-86. On June 4, 2015, the court dismissed Reed's April 29th post-conviction motion with prejudice as untimely and successive, see id. at 87-126, and denied his motion for rehearing, see id. at 129-34; Resp. Ex. 24 at 18-19. On October 22, 2015, the appellate court affirmed the court's dismissal per curiam, see Reed v. State, 211 So.3d 1033 (1st DCA 2015); Resp. Ex. 28, and ultimately denied Reed's motion for rehearing, see Resp. Ex. 29. The mandate issued on December 21, 2015, see Resp. Ex. 28.

         Reed filed a third pro se Rule 3.850 motion on December 16, 2015, see Resp. Ex. 30 at 1-59, and an addendum, see Resp. Ex. 31 at 1-43. The court dismissed the motion with prejudice on June 17, 2016, see Resp. Ex. 30 at 63-80, and later denied his motion for rehearing, see id. at 83-90, 91-134. On January 31, 2017, the appellate court affirmed the court's dismissal per curiam, see http://jweb.flcourts.org, Ernest Reed v. State of Florida, 1D16-3489, and the mandate issued on February 28, 2017, see id.

         III. One-Year Limitations Period

         The Petition appears to be timely filed within the one-year limitations period. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d); Response at 8-12.

         IV. Evidentiary Hearing

         In a habeas corpus proceeding, the burden is on the petitioner to establish the need for a federal evidentiary hearing. See Chavez v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 647 F.3d 1057, 1060 (11th Cir. 2011). "In deciding whether to grant an evidentiary hearing, a federal court must consider whether such a hearing could enable an applicant to prove the petition's factual allegations, which, if true, would entitle the applicant to federal habeas relief." Schriro v. Landrigan, 550 U.S. 465, 474 (2007); Jones v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 834 F.3d 1299, 1318-19 (11th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 2245 (2017). "It follows that if the record refutes the applicant's factual allegations or otherwise precludes habeas relief, a district court is not required to hold an evidentiary hearing." Schriro, 550 U.S. at 474. The pertinent facts of this case are fully developed in the record before the Court. Because this Court can "adequately assess [Reed's] claim[s] without further factual development, " Turner v. Crosby, 339 F.3d 1247, 1275 (11th Cir. 2003), an evidentiary hearing will not be conducted.

         V. Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) governs a state prisoner's federal petition for habeas corpus. See Ledford v. Warden, Ga. Diagnostic & Classification Prison, 818 F.3d 600, 642 (11th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 1432 (2017). "'The purpose of AEDPA is to ensure that federal habeas relief functions as a guard against extreme malfunctions in the state criminal justice systems, and not as a means of error correction.'" Id. (quoting Greene v. Fisher, 565 U.S. 34, 38 (2011) (quotation marks omitted)). As such, federal habeas review of final state court decisions is "'greatly circumscribed' and 'highly deferential.'" Id. (quoting Hill v. Humphrey, 662 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2011) (quotation marks omitted)).

         The first task of the federal habeas court is to identify the last state court decision, if any, that adjudicated the claim on the merits. See Wilson v. Warden, Ga. Diagnostic Prison, 834 F.3d 1227, 1235 (11th Cir. 2016) (en banc), cert. granted, 137 S.Ct. 1203 (2017); Marshall v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 828 F.3d 1277, 1285 (11th Cir. 2016). Regardless of whether the last state court provided a reasoned opinion, "it may be presumed that the state court adjudicated the claim on the merits in the absence of any indication or state-law procedural principles to the contrary." Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 99 (2011) (citation omitted); see also Johnson v. Williams, 568 U.S. 289, __, 133 S.Ct. 1088, 1096 (2013).[1] Thus, the state court need not issue an opinion explaining its rationale in order for the state court's decision to qualify as an adjudication on the merits. See Richter, 562 U.S. at If the claim was "adjudicated on the merits" in state court, § 2254(d) bars relitigation of the claim unless the state court's decision (1) "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) "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); Richter, 562 U.S. at 97-98. As the Eleventh Circuit has explained:

First, § 2254(d)(1) provides for federal review for claims of state courts' erroneous legal conclusions. As explained by the Supreme Court in Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000), § 2254(d)(1) consists of two distinct clauses: a "contrary to" clause and an "unreasonable application" clause. The "contrary to" clause allows for relief only "if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the Supreme] Court on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than [the Supreme] Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts." Id. at 413, 120 S.Ct. at 1523 (plurality opinion). The "unreasonable application" clause allows for relief only "if the state court identifies the correct governing legal principle from [the Supreme] Court's decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's case." Id.
Second, § 2254(d)(2) provides for federal review for claims of state courts' erroneous factual determinations. Section 2254(d)(2) allows federal courts to grant relief only if the state court's denial of the petitioner's claim "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)(2). The Supreme Court has not yet defined § 2254(d)(2)'s "precise relationship" to § 2254(e)(1), which imposes a burden on the petitioner to rebut the state court's factual findings "by clear and convincing evidence." See Burt v. Titlow, 571 U.S. __, __, 134 S.Ct. 10, 15, 187 L.Ed.2d 348 (2013); accord Brumfield v. Cain, 576 U.S. __, __, 135 S.Ct. 2269, 2282, 192 L.Ed.2d 356 (2015). Whatever that "precise relationship" may be, "'a state-court factual determination is not unreasonable merely because the federal habeas court would have reached a different conclusion in the first instance.'"[2] Titlow, 571 U.S. at __, 134 S.Ct. at 15 (quoting Wood v. Allen, 558 U.S. 290, 301, 130 S.Ct. 841, 849, 175 L.Ed.2d 738 (2010)).

Tharpe v. Warden, 834 F.3d 1323, 1337 (11th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 2298 (2017); see also Daniel v. Comm'r, Ala. Dep't of Corr., 822 F.3d 1248, 1259 (11th Cir. 2016). Also, deferential review under § 2254(d) generally is limited to the record that was before the state court that adjudicated the claim on the merits. See Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 182 (2011) (stating the language in § 2254(d)(1)'s "requires an examination of the state-court decision at the time it was made"); Landers v. Warden, Att'y Gen. of Ala., 776 F.3d 1288, 1295 (11th Cir. 2015) (regarding § 2254(d)(2)).

         Where the state court's adjudication on the merits is "'unaccompanied by an explanation, ' a petitioner's burden under section 2254(d) is to 'show[] there was no reasonable basis for the state court to deny relief.'" Wilson, 834 F.3d at 1235 (quoting Richter, 562 U.S. at 98). Thus, "a habeas court must determine what arguments or theories supported or, as here, could have supported, the state court's decision; and then it must ask whether it is possible fairminded jurists could disagree that those arguments or theories are inconsistent with the holding in a prior decision of [the] Court." Richter, 562 U.S. at 102; see also Wilson, 834 F.3d at 1235. To determine which theories could have supported the state appellate court's decision, the federal habeas court may look to a state trial court's previous opinion as one example of a reasonable application of law or determination of fact. Wilson, 834 F.3d at 1239; see also Butts v. GDCP Warden, 850 F.3d 1201, 1204 (11th Cir. 2017).[3] However, in Wilson, the en banc Eleventh Circuit stated that the federal habeas court is not limited to assessing the reasoning of the lower court. 834 F.3d at 1239. As such,

even when the opinion of a lower state court contains flawed reasoning, [AEDPA] requires that [the federal court] give the last state court to adjudicate the prisoner's claim on the merits "the benefit of the doubt, " Renico, [4] 559 U.S. at 773, 130 S.Ct. 1855 (quoting Visciotti, [5] 537 U.S. at 24, 123 S.Ct. 357), and presume that it "follow[ed] the law, " Donald, [6] 135 S.Ct. at 1376 (quoting Visciotti, 537 U.S. at 24, 123 S.Ct. 357).

Id. at 1238.

         Thus, "AEDPA erects a formidable barrier to federal habeas relief for prisoners whose claims have been adjudicated in state court." Burt v. Titlow, 134 S.Ct. 10, 16 (2013). "Federal courts may grant habeas relief only when a state court blundered in a manner so 'well understood and comprehended in existing law' and 'was so lacking in justification' that 'there is no possibility fairminded jurists could disagree.'" Tharpe, 834 F.3d at 1338 (quoting Richter, 562 U.S. at 102-03). "This standard is 'meant to be' a difficult one to meet." Rimmer v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., No. 15-14257, 2017 WL 3140882, *11 (July 25, 2017) (quoting Richter, 562 U.S. at 102). Thus, to the extent that Reed's claims were adjudicated on the merits in the state courts, they must be evaluated under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

         VI. Exhaustion/Procedural Default

         There are prerequisites to federal habeas review. Before bringing a § 2254 habeas action in federal court, a petitioner must exhaust all state court remedies that are available for challenging his state conviction. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A). To exhaust state remedies, the petitioner must "fairly present[]" every issue raised in his federal petition to the state's highest court, either on direct appeal or on collateral review. Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S. 346, 351 (1989) (emphasis omitted). Thus, to properly exhaust a claim, "state prisoners must give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's established appellate review process." O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999).

         In addressing exhaustion, the United States Supreme Court explained:

Before seeking a federal writ of habeas corpus, a state prisoner must exhaust available state remedies, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), thereby giving the State the "'"opportunity to pass upon and correct" alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights.'" Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365, 115 S.Ct. 887, 130 L.Ed.2d 865 (1995) (per curiam) (quoting Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 92 S.Ct. 509, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971)). To provide the State with the necessary "opportunity, " the prisoner must "fairly present" his claim in each appropriate state court (including a state supreme court with powers of discretionary review), thereby alerting that court to the federal nature of the claim. Duncan, supra, at 365-366, 115 S.Ct. 887; O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845, 119 S.Ct. 1728, 144 L.Ed.2d 1 (1999).

Baldwin v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 29 (2004).

         A state prisoner's failure to properly exhaust available state remedies results in a procedural default which raises a potential bar to federal habeas review. The United States Supreme Court has explained the doctrine of procedural default as follows:

Federal habeas courts reviewing the constitutionality of a state prisoner's conviction and sentence are guided by rules designed to ensure that state-court judgments are accorded the finality and respect necessary to preserve the integrity of legal proceedings within our system of federalism. These rules include the doctrine of procedural default, under which a federal court will not review the merits of claims, including constitutional claims, that a state court declined to hear because the prisoner failed to abide by a state procedural rule. See, e.g., Coleman, [7] supra, at 747-748, 111 S.Ct. 2546; Sykes, [8] supra, at 84-85, 97 S.Ct. 2497. A state court's invocation of a procedural rule to deny a prisoner's claims precludes federal review of the claims if, among other requisites, the state procedural rule is a nonfederal ground adequate to support the judgment and the rule is firmly established and consistently followed. See, e.g., Walker v. Martin, 562 U.S. __, __, 131 S.Ct. 1120, 1127-1128, 179 L.Ed.2d 62 (2011); Beard v. Kindler, 558 U.S. __, __, 130 S.Ct. 612, 617-618, 175 L.Ed.2d 417 (2009). The doctrine barring procedurally defaulted claims from being heard is not without exceptions. A prisoner may obtain federal review of a defaulted claim by showing cause for the default and prejudice from a violation of federal law. See Coleman, 501 U.S., at 750, 111 S.Ct. 2546.

Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S.Ct. 1309, 1316 (2012). Thus, procedural defaults may be excused under certain circumstances.

         Notwithstanding that a claim has been procedurally defaulted, a federal court may still consider the claim if a state habeas petitioner can show either (1) cause for and actual prejudice from the default; or (2) a fundamental miscarriage of justice. Ward v. Hall, 592 F.3d 1144, 1157 (11th Cir. 2010); In Re Davis, 565 F.3d 810, 821 (11th Cir. 2009). In order for a petitioner to establish cause,

the procedural default "must result from some objective factor external to the defense that prevented [him] from raising the claim and which cannot be fairly attributable to his own conduct." McCoy v. Newsome, 953 F.2d 1252, 1258 (11th Cir. 1992) (quoting Carrier, 477 U.S. at 488, 106 S.Ct. 2639).[9] Under the prejudice prong, [a petitioner] must show that "the errors at trial actually and substantially disadvantaged his defense so that he was denied fundamental fairness." Id. at 1261 (quoting Carrier, 477 U.S. at 494, 106 S.Ct. 2639).

Wright v. Hopper, 169 F.3d 695, 706 (11th Cir. 1999).

         In Martinez, the Supreme Court modified the general rule in Coleman[10] to expand the "cause" that may excuse a procedural default. 132 S.Ct. at 1315.

Allowing a federal habeas court to hear a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel when an attorney's errors (or the absence of an attorney) caused a procedural default in an initial-review collateral proceeding acknowledges, as an equitable matter, that the initial-review collateral proceeding, if undertaken without counsel or with ineffective counsel, may not have been sufficient to ensure that proper consideration was given to a substantial claim. From this it follows that, when a State requires a prisoner to raise an ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim in a collateral proceeding, a prisoner may establish cause for a default of an ineffective-assistance claim in two circumstances. The first is where the state courts did not appoint counsel in the initial-review collateral proceeding for a claim of ineffective assistance at trial. The second is where appointed counsel in the initial-review collateral proceeding, where the claim should have been raised, was ineffective under the standards of Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). To overcome the default, a prisoner must also demonstrate that the underlying ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim is a substantial one, which is to say that the prisoner must demonstrate that the claim has some merit. Cf. Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 123 S.Ct. 1029, 154 L.Ed.2d 931 (2003) (describing standards for certificates of appealability to issue).

Id. at 1318-19.

         In the absence of a showing of cause and prejudice, a petitioner may receive consideration on the merits of a procedurally defaulted claim if he can establish that a fundamental miscarriage of justice, the continued incarceration of one who is actually innocent, otherwise would result. The Eleventh Circuit has explained:

[I]f a petitioner cannot show cause and prejudice, there remains yet another avenue for him to receive consideration on the merits of his procedurally defaulted claim. "[I]n an extraordinary case, where a constitutional violation has probably resulted in the conviction of one who is actually innocent, a federal habeas court may grant the writ even in the absence of a showing of cause for the procedural default." Carrier, 477 U.S. at 496, 106 S.Ct. at 2649. "This exception is exceedingly narrow in scope, " however, and requires proof of actual innocence, not just legal innocence. Johnson v. Alabama, 256 F.3d 1156, 1171 (11th Cir. 2001).

Ward, 592 F.3d at 1157. "To meet this standard, a petitioner must 'show that it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have convicted him' of the underlying offense." Johnson v. Alabama, 256 F.3d 1156, 1171 (11th Cir. 2001) (quoting Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 327 (1995)). Additionally, "'[t]o be credible, ' a claim of actual innocence must be based on reliable evidence not presented at trial." Calderon v. Thompson, 523 U.S. 538, 559 (1998) (quoting Schlup, 513 U.S. at 324). With the rarity of such evidence, in most cases, allegations of actual innocence are ultimately summarily rejected. Schlup, 513 U.S. at 324.

         VII. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

         "The Sixth Amendment guarantees criminal defendants the effective assistance of counsel. That right is denied when a defense attorney's performance falls below an objective standard of reasonableness and thereby prejudices the defense." Yarborough v. Gentry, 540 U.S. 1, 5 (2003) (per curiam) (citing Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 521 (2003), and Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)).

To establish deficient performance, a person challenging a conviction must show that "counsel's representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness." [Strickland, ] 466 U.S. at 688, 104 S.Ct. 2052. A court considering a claim of ineffective assistance must apply a "strong presumption" that counsel's representation was within the "wide range" of reasonable professional assistance. Id., at 689, 104 S.Ct. 2052. The challenger's burden is to show "that counsel made errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the 'counsel' guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment." Id., at 687, 104 S.Ct. 2052.
With respect to prejudice, a challenger must demonstrate "a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome." Id., at 694, 104 S.Ct. 2052. It is not enough "to show that the errors had some conceivable effect on the outcome of the proceeding." Id., at 693, 104 S.Ct. 2052. Counsel's errors must be "so serious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable." Id., at 687, 104 S.Ct. 2052.

Richter, 562 U.S. at 104. The Eleventh Circuit has recognized "the absence of any iron-clad rule requiring a court to tackle one prong of the Strickland test before the other." Ward, 592 F.3d at 1163.

         Since both prongs of the two-part Strickland test must be satisfied to show a Sixth Amendment violation, "a court need not address the performance prong if the petitioner cannot meet the prejudice prong, and vice-versa." Id. (citing Holladay v. Haley, 209 F.3d 1243, 1248 (11th Cir. 2000)). As stated in Strickland: "If it is easier to dispose of an ineffectiveness claim on the ground of lack of sufficient ...


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