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Winston v. Berghuis

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

November 22, 2016

BARUCH WINSTON, Petitioner,
v.
MARY BERGHUIS, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III United States District Judge

         Baruch Winston, confined at the West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, seeks habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges his plea-based conviction and sentence for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520(b)(1)(a). For the following reasons, the Court will deny the petition.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 12, 2009, Winston pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct ("CSC I") with a child under the age of 13. The parties entered into a sentence agreement pursuant to which Winston would be sentenced to 14 to 40 years imprisonment in exchange for the dismissal of a weapons charge and seven CSC charges, which may have carried a mandatory minimum prison term of 25 years. The trial court informed Winston of the rights he would be giving up by pleading guilty. Winston indicated he understood the rights he would be relinquishing and acknowledged that he had not been threatened or coerced into pleading guilty. In making out a factual basis for the plea, Winston informed the court that he had fellatio with a minor under the age of 13.

         On January 27, 2009, the court sentenced Winston to 14 to 40 years in prison. The conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. See ECF Nos. 20-7, 20-8. Winston's post-conviction motion for relief from judgment was denied. See ECF No. 20-5. The Michigan appellate courts denied Winston leave to appeal. See ECF Nos. 20-9, 20-10. Winston now seeks the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:

I. Defendant's invalid sentence must be corrected as it was an abuse of discretion and disproportionate.
II. Due process requires resentencing where the court enhanced Winston's sentence based on facts neither admitted by Winston nor proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. CONST AM VI, XIV.
III. Petitioner was not given the lesser included offense of the charge.
IV. Petitioner [sic] guideline scoring was inaccurate.
V. The weapons seized in this case were the produc[t] of an illegal search and seizure.
VI. Petitioner [sic] due process rights were violated where he was arrest [sic] for investigation, thereby making his arrest illegal[.]
VII. Defendant's attorney was ineffective in violation of his 6th Amendment rights, where counsel failed to investigate charges, failed to file motions requested and induced Defendant into an illusory plea offer.
VIII. Petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights were violated where the weapons seized could not have been seized because police did not obtain a search warrant.
IX. Petitioner's appellate attorney was ineffective in violation of his 6th Amendment rights, for failure to raise issues presented and failure to assist petitioner with Standard #4 supplemental at the appeal level.
X. The circuit court judge abused her discretion by allowing the petitioner to plead to a crime he could not have committed by the information used at sentencing.

Petition 1-9, ECF No. 12.

         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 ...


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