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Maybee v. Ocwieja

April 6, 2010

JACKIE MAYBEE, PETITIONER,
v.
JOHN OCWIEJA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Thomas L. Ludington

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY AND LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON APPEAL

Petitioner Jackie Maybee, who is incarcerated at the Cooper Street Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan, filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on May 19, 2008. On January 25, 2007, after entering a plea of no contest in Oakland County Circuit Court, Petitioner was sentenced as a habitual offender to fifty months to thirty years imprisonment for unarmed robbery and 133 days' imprisonment for aggravated assault. On July 10, 2007, Petitioner filed a motion for resentencing on the ground that the guidelines had been incorrectly scored. The trial court denied the motion.

Petitioner then filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals, raising the following claims:

I. The trial court and probation erred in scoring defendant's guidelines and relied on inaccurate information in sentencing defendant; defendant is therefore entitled to resentencing.

II. The court's imposition of a sentence based on facts that were not admitted by defendant violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and is contrary to Blakely v. Washington, U.S. v. Booker, and Apprendi.

III. The trial court abused its sentencing discretion when it enhanced the maximum penalty from 15 years to 30 years under the habitual offender enhancement; the enhanced maximum penalty is disproportionate to seriousness of the circumstances of this offense.

The Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal. People v. Maybee, No. 279664 (Mich. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2007). Petitioner raised the same claims in an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, and leave was denied. People v. Maybee, 743 N.W.2d 39 (table) (Mich. Jan. 8, 2008). Petitioner then filed the pending petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleges the same grounds for relief as those presented in state court.

Section 2254(d) of Title 28 U.S.C., imposes the following standard of review for habeas cases:

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 proceedings.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Additionally, this Court must presume the correctness of state court factual determinations. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).

A decision of a state court is "contrary to" clearly established federal law 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. Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000). An "unreasonable application occurs" when "a state-court decision unreasonably applies the law of [the Supreme Court] to the facts of a prisoner's case." Id. at 409. A federal habeas court may not "issue the writ simply because that court concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant state-court decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously or incorrectly. Rather, that application must also be unreasonable." Id. at 410-11.

Where a claim is fairly presented in state court, but the state court, although denying the claim, fails to address it, a federal court on habeas review must conduct an independent review of the state court's decision. Harris v. Stovall, 212 F.3d 940 (6th Cir. 2000). This independent review requires the federal court to "review the record and applicable law to determine whether the state court decision is contrary to federal law, unreasonably applies clearly established law, or is based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented." Id. at 943. However, the independent review "is not a full, de novo review ...


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