United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Cleveland Harris, (“petitioner”), confined at the
Chippewa Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan, seeks
the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. In his pro se application, petitioner
challenges his conviction for possession of a firearm during
the commission of a felony (felony-firearm), M.C.L.A.
750.227b, and felon in possession of a firearm, M.C.L.A.
750.224f. For the reasons stated below, the petition for a
writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.
was convicted following a jury trial in the Third Circuit
Court of Michigan-Criminal Division for the County of Wayne.
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.
Officers Gray and his partner, Charon Johnson, responded to a
run involving a person described as wearing an orange shirt
and brown pants, pointing a black handgun with a brown handle
at two young girls. After the officers saw defendant, who
matched the description, across the street sitting on a
porch, they removed defendant from the porch and patted him
down on the front lawn of the house. The officers also
detained and patted down Michael Glenn, who had emerged from
inside the house after defendant was detained. Neither man
had a weapon on his person. Officer Gray then went up onto
the porch of the house, and could clearly see through the
open front door. He saw a black handgun with a wooden handle
sitting on a table in the front room, two shotguns leaning
against a chair, and three spent shotgun shells all within
five feet of the front door.
People v. Harris, No. 308191, 2013 WL 951248, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2013).
conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v. Harris,
2013 WL 951248; lv. den. 832 N.W.2d 220 (Mich.
filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment
pursuant to M.C.R. 6.500, et. seq., which the trial
court denied. People v. Harris, No. 10-006497-01-FH,
(Third Circuit Court-Criminal Division, March 18, 2014).
Petitioner did not appeal the court's decision.
petition, petitioner seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the
following grounds: (1) the search of the house and seizure of
the firearms were violations of the Defendant's rights
under the United States and Michigan Constitutions, (2) the
giving of the Miranda rights was not effective, the
waiver was not given knowingly and intelligently and the
statement should have been suppressed under the United States
and Michigan Constitutions, and (3) the use of a conviction
of a felon in possession of a firearm as a predicate to
felony firearm is a violation of a defendant's rights
against double jeopardy under the United States and Michigan
Standard of Review
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:
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;
(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.
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)). Therefore, in order to obtain habeas relief in
federal court, a state prisoner is required to show that the
state court's rejection of his claim “was so
lacking in justification that there was an error well
understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any
possibility for fairminded disagreement.”
Harrington, 562 U.S. at 103. A habeas petitioner
should be denied relief as long as it is within the
“realm of possibility” that fairminded jurists
could find the state court decision to be reasonable. See
Woods v. Etherton, 136 S.Ct. 1149, 1152 (2016).