United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
GEORGE CARAM STEEH, District Judge.
Melissa Memmer, ("petitioner"), confined at the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, seeks the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In her pro se application, petitioner challenges her conviction for first-degree murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.316. For the reasons stated below, the petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.
Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial in the Macomb County Circuit Court. This Court recites verbatim the relevant facts relied upon by the Michigan Court of Appeals, which are presumed correct on habeas review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). See Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 413 (6th Cir. 2009):
Defendant was previously convicted in 2004 of first-degree child abuse, MCL 750.136b(2), and assault with intent to commit murder, MCL 750.83, stemming from an incident that occurred on May 7, 2003, between her and the victim, who was two years of age at the time. After the victim died on December 26, 2009,  defendant was charged with first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder, resulting in the instant conviction and appeal.
People v. Memmer, No. 307488, 2013 WL 981079, * 1 (Mich.Ct.App. February 28, 2013).
Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on appeal. Id.; Iv. den. 494 Mich. 885, 834 N.W.2d 495 (2013).
Petitioner seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following ground:
The trial court reversibly erred in denying the defense request to instruct the jury as to the primary defense theory that the cause of death was grossly erroneous or grossly unskillful medical treatment, thereby violating Ms. Memmer's constitutional right to present her defense to the jury.
II. Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 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 proceeding.
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." Id. at 410-11. "[A] state court's determination that a claim lacks merit precludes federal habeas relief so long as fairminded jurists could disagree' on the correctness of the state court's decision." Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 101 (2011)(citing Yarborough v. Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652, 664 (2004)). In order to obtain habeas ...