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. Respondents filed a Response to Petition
("Response, " Doc. 15) in accordance with this
Court's instructions. Petitioner filed a Reply (Doc. 16)
and an Amended Reply. (Doc. 18). Petitioner alleges four
claims for relief. For the reasons set forth herein, the
Petition is due to be denied.
was charged by amended information with robbery with a deadly
weapon (Count One) and grand theft (Count Two). (Doc. 15-1 at
7). After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted as charged.
(Id. at 497-98). The trial court sentenced
Petitioner to a term of life imprisonment for Count One as a
prison releasee reoffender and to a concurrent five-year
sentence for Count Two. (Id. at 518-19). Petitioner
appealed, and the Fifth District Court of Appeal ("Fifth
DCA") affirmed per curiam. (Id. at 768).
filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule
3.850 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(Id. at 583-600). The trial court summarily denied
the motion. (Id. at 603-10). The Fifth DCA affirmed
per curiam. (Id. at 610). Petitioner subsequently
filed a second Rule 3.850 motion, which the trial court
denied as successive. (Id. at 779-86; 790-91). The
Fifth DCA affirmed per curiam. (Id. at 873).
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 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 application7 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.
Jackson, 542 U.S. 649, 652 (2004) (per
curiam); cf. Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 697 n. 4
(2002) (declining to consider evidence not presented to state
court in determining whether its decision was contrary to
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
United States Supreme Court 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 challenged conduct on the
facts of the particular case, viewed as of the time of
counsel's conduct." Id. at 690; Gates
v. Zant, 863 F.2d 1492, 1497 (11th Cir. 1989).
observed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the test