United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
ANTOON II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus (//Petition/, Doc. 1) filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Thereafter, Respondents
filed a Response to the Petition ("Response, " Doc.
12) in accordance with this Court's instructions.
Petitioner filed a Reply to the Response ("Reply, "
alleges eleven claims for relief in the Petition. Upon due
consideration of the pleadings and the state court record,
the Court concludes that the Petition must be denied.
along with six co-defendants, was charged by indictment with
racketeering (Count One), conspiracy to commit racketeering
(Count Two), conspiracy to traffic in 400 grams or more but
less than 150 kilograms of cocaine (Count Three), and
conspiracy to traffic in 25 pounds or more but less than 2000
pounds of cannabis (Count Four) (Doc. 12-1 at 141-61). After
a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted as charged of Counts
One and Two and was acquitted of Count Three (Doc. 12-2 at
201-03). The State filed a nolle prosequi with regard to
Count Four. Id. at 205. The trial court sentenced
Petitioner to fifteen-year terms of imprisonment for Counts
One and Two to be followed by ten-year terms of probation
(Doc. 12-3 at 78-82). Petitioner appealed, and the Fifth
District Court of Appeal ("Fifth DCA") affirmed
per curiam (Doc. 12-8 at 198).
filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule
3.850 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure in which he
alleged four claims. Id. at 225-252. The trial court
summarily denied the motion (Doc. 12-9 at 237-43). Petitioner
appealed, and the Fifth DCA affirmed per curiam
(Doc. 12-10 at 141).
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'yfor Dep't 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
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 case.
the federal court concludes that the state court applied
federal law incorrectly, habeas relief is appropriate only if
that application was "objectively unreasonable."
Id. Whether a state court's decision was an
unreasonable application of law must be assessed in light of
the record before the state court. Holland v.
]ackson, 542 U.S. 649, 652 (2004) (per
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 ...