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Martin v. Haas

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

February 15, 2017

JEROME MARTIN, Petitioner,
v.
RANDALL HAAS, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          SEAN F. COX, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Jerome Martin, presently incarcerated at the Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven, Michigan, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his pro se application, petitioner challenges his sentence for four counts of assault with intent to commit murder, Mich. Comp. Laws, § 750.83; two counts of armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws, § 750.529; and one count of felony-firearm, Mich. Comp. Laws, § 750.227b. For the reasons stated below, the petition for writ of habeas corpus is SUMMARILY DENIED WITH PREJUDICE.

         I. Background

         Petitioner was convicted of the above charges following a jury trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court. On March 3, 1993, petitioner was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for the assault with intent to commit murder convictions, 40 to 60 years on the armed robbery convictions, and 2 years on the felony-firearm conviction.

         Direct review of petitioner's conviction ended in the Michigan courts on July 28, 1995, when the Michigan Supreme Court denied petitioner leave to appeal following the affirmance of his conviction on his direct appeal by the Michigan Court of Appeals. People v. Martin, 449 Mich. 905, 536 N.W.2d 782 (1995).

         Petitioner filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment, which was denied. People v. Martin, No. 92-008242-01-FC (Third Cir.Ct. Dec. 18, 2015); reconsideration den. No. 92-008242-01-FC (Third Cir.Ct. Jan. 27, 2016). The Michigan appellate courts denied petitioner leave to appeal. People v. Martin, No. 331675 (Mich.Ct.App. May 10, 2016); lv. Den. ___ Mich. ___; 887 N.W.2d 399 (2016).

         Petitioner seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following ground:

Mr. Martin is entitled to a resentencing due to the retroactive change in law pursuant to People v. Lockridge because it has undermined a prior decision decided against the petitioner.

         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)). 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 ...


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