United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
HOLMES BELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a habeas corpus petition brought by a state prisoner under
the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. The matter was referred to Magistrate Judge
Timothy Greeley, who issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) on August 8, 2016, recommending that
this Court deny the petition. (ECF No. 8.) The matter is
before the Court on Petitioner's objections to the
R&R. (ECF No. 11.)
Court is required to make a de novo review upon the record of
those portions of the R&R to which specific objections
have been made, and may accept, reject, or modify any or all
of the magistrate judge's findings or recommendations. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); see also
Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995)
(“[A] general objection to a magistrate's report,
which fails to specify the issues of contention, does not
satisfy the requirement that an objection be filed. The
objections must be clear enough to enable the district court
to discern those issues that are dispositive and
filed two objections. First, he objects to the Magistrate
Judge's conclusion that the Michigan Court of
Appeals' decision that the trial court properly applied
the Michigan rape-shield statute was not contrary to, and did
not involve an unreasonable application of, clearly
established federal law. Second, he objects to the Magistrate
Judge's conclusion that the Michigan Court of
Appeals' decision that counsel was not ineffective for
failing to investigate and present evidence of
Petitioner's impotence and color of pubic hair was not
contrary to, and did not involve an unreasonable application
of, clearly established federal law.
petitioner's claim has been adjudicated on the merits in
state court, § 2254(d) provides that a habeas petition
shall not be granted unless the adjudication:
(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 facts in light of the evidence presented in
the state-court proceeding.
28 U.S.C. § 2554(d)(1)-(2). Under the contrary-to
clause, “a federal habeas court may grant the writ 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,
412-13 (2000). To justify habeas relief, a federal court must
find a violation of law clearly established by holdings of
the Supreme Court, as opposed to its dicta, at the time of
the relevant state-court decision. Id. at 412.
Moreover, a federal court may not find a state adjudication
unreasonable “simply because that court concludes in
its independent judgment that the relevant state-court
decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously
or incorrectly.” Id. Rather, the application
must also be “unreasonable.” Id. Under
the unreasonable-applicable clause, “a federal habeas
court may grant the writ if the state court identifies the
correct governing legal principle from [the Supreme]
Court's decisions but unreasonably applies that principle
to the facts of the prisoner's case.” Id.
Court defers to state-court decisions when the state court
addressed the merits of Petitioner's claim. Harris v.
Stovall, 212 F.3d 940, 943 (6th Cir. 2000). The state
court's factual findings are presumed to be correct but
may be rebutted by Petitioner with clear and convincing
evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).
Michigan's Rape Shield Act
of specific instances of a victim's past sexual conduct
with others is generally legally irrelevant and inadmissible
under Mich. Comp. Laws 750.520j. Wimbley v.
Sherry, No. 2:06-CV-265, 2009 WL 3644808, at *3 (W.D.
Mich. Oct. 30, 2009) (Bell, J.) (citing People v.
Arenda, 330 N.W.2d 814 (1982)). Inquiries into sexual
history, even when minimally relevant, carry a danger of
unfairly prejudicing and misleading the jury. Id.
Michigan's rape-shield statute provides:
Evidence of specific instances of the victim's sexual
conduct, opinion evidence of the victim's sexual conduct,
and reputation evidence of the victim's sexual conduct
shall not be admitted under sections 520b to 520g unless and
only to the extent that the judge finds that the following
proposed evidence is material to a fact at issue in the case
and that its inflammatory or prejudicial nature does not
outweigh its probative value: (a) evidence of victim's
past sexual conduct with the ...