United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO GRANT A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
SEAN F. COX, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Boykins, (“petitioner”), presently confined at
the Saginaw Correctional Facility in Saginaw, Michigan, filed
a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction for
armed robbery, M.C.L.A. 750.529, kidnapping, M.C.L.A.
750.349, carrying a concealed weapon, M.C.L.A. 750.227, felon
in possession of a firearm, M.C.L.A. 750.224f, possession of
a firearm in the commission of a felony, M.C.L.A. 750.227b,
and being a fourth felony habitual offender, M.C.L.A. 769.12.
For the reasons that follow, the petition for writ of habeas
corpus is DENIED.
was convicted following a jury trial in the Wayne County
victim, Nathan Brown, testified that around noon on September
14, 2007, he was out shopping in the City of Detroit. The
victim purchased some liquor, leaving him with about eighty
seven dollars. The victim left the store and went to the bus
stop. Before reaching the bus stop, the victim saw petitioner
sitting in a car. Petitioner signaled the victim to come over
to him. As the victim approached the car, he saw that
petitioner had a gun. Petitioner ordered the victim to get
inside the vehicle. The victim complied. Petitioner did a
U-turn, drove a couple of blocks, and then pulled over.
Petitioner then demanded money from the victim. After the
victim handed him the money, petitioner grabbed the
victim's watch and ring. Petitioner also seized the brown
paper bag containing the victim's recent store purchases.
(Tr. 2/14/08, pp. 56-61).
victim exited the car, he kicked out a cell phone bill that
had been lying in the vehicle, along with another envelope
with a picture. The picture was part of a Michigan Department
of Corrections [MDOC] Offender Tracking Information System
[OTIS] printout with petitioner's picture on it that had
been in the car. The victim waited until petitioner was some
distance off, before picking up the phone bill and picture.
The victim testified that he called the police and that it
took them about an hour to respond to the call. The victim
gave the phone bill and the picture that was in the envelope
to the police. (Id., pp. 7-9, 62-65).
February 14, 2008, Officer Lestine Jackson of the Detroit
Police Department went to the address on the cell phone bill
and noticed a white car in the driveway that matched the
description of the car that the victim said his assailant had
been driving. The next day, the same officers who went to
petitioner's address saw petitioner walking on Grand
River. Officer Jackson recognized petitioner based on his
picture from OTIS. Officer Jackson had her partner turn
around. The two officers confronted and arrested petitioner.
(Id., pp. 90-93).
conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v.
Boykins, No. 285476 (Mich.Ct.App. October 27, 2009);
lv. den. 486 Mich. 905, 780 N.W.2d 833 (2010).
then filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment
with the Wayne County Circuit Court, which was denied.
People v. Boykins, No. 07-021072-FC (Wayne County
Circuit Court, Nov. 10, 2011). The Michigan appellate courts
denied petitioner leave to appeal. People v.
Boykins, No. 310158 (Mich.Ct. App. Oct. 24, 2012);
lv. den. 494 Mich. 855, 830 N.W.2d 403 (2013).
then filed motions to compel discovery and for a bill of
particulars, which were denied. People v. Boykins,
No. 07-021072-FC (Wayne County Circuit Court, Nov. 29, 2012).
The Michigan appellate courts denied petitioner leave to
appeal. People v. Boykins, No. 316419 (Mich.Ct.App.
Nov. 27, 2013); leave den. 497 Mich. 902, 856 N.W.2d
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, which was held in
abeyance so that petitioner could return to the state courts
and exhaust additional claims. Boykins v. McKee, No.
2:13-CV-12768, 2013 WL 4776065 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 6, 2013).
filed a second post-conviction motion for relief from
judgment with the Wayne County Circuit Court, which was
denied. People v. Boykins, No. 07-021072-FC (Wayne
County Circuit Court, May 20, 2015). The Michigan appellate
courts denied petitioner leave to appeal. People v.
Boykins, No. 328556 (Mich.Ct. App. Nov. 25, 2015);
lv. den. 500 Mich. 880, 886 N.W.2d 424 (2016).
February 8, 2017, this Court granted the motion to lift the
stay and to amend the petition. (ECF # 23). Petitioner seeks
habeas relief. Petitioner's original and amended
petitions are often rambling and incoherent, but it appears
that petitioner seeks habeas relief on the following grounds:
(1) prosecutorial misconduct, (2) ineffective assistance of
trial counsel, (3) ineffective assistance of appellate
counsel, and (4) newly discovered evidence of actual
innocence that had been suppressed.
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:
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;
(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).