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Sanchez v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections

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

September 19, 2017

CARMELO ANDINO SANCHEZ, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

          ORDER

          CHARLENE EDWARDS HONEYWELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS CAUSE comes before the Court on a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by a Florida state prisoner, Carmelo Andino Sanchez (“Petitioner”), (Dkt. 1), with a supporting memorandum of law (Dkt. 8). Respondent, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections, filed a response in opposition to the petition (Dkt. 10), which is accompanied by the appendix record of Petitioner's state court proceedings (Dkt. 11).[1] Petitioner filed a reply to the response (Dkt. 14). Having carefully considered the parties' submissions, the Court finds that the petition for writ of habeas corpus is due to be denied.

         Procedural History

         On April 16, 2009, Petitioner pleaded no contest in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Hillsborough County, Florida, to home invasion robbery, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of cocaine, and obstructing an officer without violence. (Exhibit (“Ex.”) 4B, C, E, F). In a separate case, he also pleaded to armed burglary with assault or battery, and two counts of armed robbery. (Id.). He faced life imprisonment on the burglary charge and 30 years in prison on the home invasion robbery charges alone. (Ex. 4L). The judgments and sentences were filed on July 6, 2009. (Ex. 4C, F). Then, Petitioner was resentenced on Sept. 14, 2009, after a mitigation motion. (Ex. 4D, F). On that date, he received a sentence of 20 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation. (Id.). Petitioner did not file a direct appeal. (Ex. 4A, p.2).

         On June 3, 2010, Petitioner filed a motion to correct illegal sentence, pursuant to Rule 3.800(a), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, and then filed two supplemental motions. (Exs. 2, 3, 5, 6). He raised four grounds for relief: 1) the use and consideration of a BB gun as a weapon resulted in an illegal sentence; 2) the offenses were incorrectly scored; 3) the offenses violate section 921.002, Florida Statutes, and Apprendi[2] and Blakely[3]; and 4) ineffective assistance due to failure to present mitigating circumstances at sentencing, including medical evidence of Defendant's health ailments. (Ex. 6A, 4A).

         The trial court initially dismissed Petitioner's fourth ground with leave to amend. (Ex. 6). Petitioner then filed an amended claim. (Ex. 7). On April 2, 2012, the trial court ordered the State to respond to all claims (Ex.8), and on July 11, 2012, the State did so (Ex. 4G). On June 25, 2013, the trial court issued its final order summarily denying all of the claims without an evidentiary hearing. (Ex. 4A).

         Petitioner filed a notice of appeal. (Ex. 9). On appeal, he filed an initial brief (Ex.14) and the State did not file an answer brief, as it was a summary appeal. (Ex. 12). On March 28, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed with a per curiam opinion. (Ex. 11). The mandate was issued April 24, 2014. (Ex. 10).

         The AEDPA Standard of Review

         Petitioner timely filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus. (See Dkt. 10, p. 3, ¶ 3). The petition is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) effective April 24, 1996. See Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 336 (1997). Section 104 of the AEDPA amended 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by adding the following provision:

(d) An application for a 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.

         Section 2254, as amended by the AEDPA, establishes a highly deferential standard for reviewing state court judgments. Parker v. Secretary, Dep't of Corr., 331 F.3d 764 (11th Cir. 2003) (citing Robinson v. Moore, 300 F.3d 1320, 1342 (11th Cir. 2002)). Petitioner filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus after the enactment of the AEDPA and, thus, section 104 applies to his petition.

         Review under section 2254(d)(1) is limited to the record that was before the state court that adjudicated the claim on the merits. Section 2254(d)(1) refers, in the past tense, to a state-court adjudication that “resulted in” a decision that was contrary to, or “involved” an unreasonable application of, established law. This language requires an examination of the state court decision at the time it was made. It follows that the record under review is limited to the record in existence at that same time, i.e., the record before the state court. Cullen v. Pinholster, 131 S.Ct. 1388, 1398-1401 (2011). In addition, section 2254(e)(1) “provides for a highly deferential standard of review for factual determinations made by a state court.” Robinson, 300 F.3d at 1342. The federal court will presume the correctness of state court findings of fact, unless the petitioner is able to rebut that presumption by clear and convincing evidence. See 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254(e)(1). Having carefully ...


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