United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
ANTOON II, STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the Court on Petitioner Luther Woods* Second
Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ('"Second
Amended Petition, " Doc. 10) pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. Respondents filed a Response to the Second
Amended Petition ("Response, " Doc. 24) in
accordance with this Court's instructions. Petitioner
filed a Reply to the Response ("Reply, " Doc. 31).
asserts seven grounds for relief. For the following reasons,
the Second Amended Petition is denied.
was charged with robbery with a firearm (Count One),
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Count Two), and
grand theft (Count Three). (Doc. 26-7 at 34-36). A jury found
Petitioner guilty of Counts One and Three. (Doc. 26-6 at 35).
The State nol prossed Count Two. (Id. at
67). The trial court sentenced Petitioner to a twenty-five
year term of imprisonment for Count One and to a concurrent
five-year term of imprisonment for Count Three. (Doc. 26-9 at
46-48). Petitioner appealed, and the Fifth District Court of
Appeal of Florida ("Fifth DCA") affirmed per
curiam. (Doc. 26-10 at 58).
filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule
3.850 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, which he
amended after the state court struck several claims with
leave to amend. (Id. at 62-78; Doc. 26-11 at 2-8).
The state court denied the amended motion. (Id. at
12-18). Petitioner appealed, and the Fifth DC A affirmed per
curiam. (Doc. 26-12 at 6).
filed a state habeas petition. (Id. at 18-43). The
Fifth DCA summarily denied the petition. (Doc. 26-13 at 2).
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 Supreme Court of the United States "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
i of Con:, 432 F.3d 1292, 1308 (11th
Cir. 2005). The meaning of the clauses was discussed by the
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Parker v. Head.
244 F.3d 831, 835 (11th Cir. 2001):
Under the "contrary to" clause, a federal court may
grant the writ if the state court arrives at a conclusion
opposite to that reached by [the United States Supreme Court]
on a question of law or if the state court
decides a case differently than [the United States 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
United States Supreme Court's] decisions but unreasonably
applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's
the federal court concludes that the state court applied
federal law incorrectly, habeas relief is appropriate only if
that application was "objectively unreasonable."
under § 2254(d)(2), a federal court may grant a writ of
habeas corpus if the state court's decision "was
based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light
of the evidence presented in the State court
proceeding." A determination of a factual issue made by
a state court, however, shall be presumed correct, and the
habeas petitioner shall have the burden of rebutting the
presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence.
See Parker, 244 F.3d at 835-36; 28 U.S.C. §
Standard For Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel
Supreme Court of the United States in Strickland v.
Washington,466 U.S. 668 (1984), established a two-part
test for determining whether a convicted person is entitled
to relief on the ground that his counsel rendered ineffective
assistance: (1) whether counsel's performance was
deficient and "fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness"; and (2) whether the deficient
performance prejudiced the defense.Id. at 687-88. A
court must adhere to a strong presumption that counsel's
conduct falls within the wide range of reasonable
professional assistance. Id. at 689-90. "Thus,
a court deciding an actual ineffectiveness claim must judge
the reasonableness of counsel's ...