United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE HABEAS CORPUS PETITION
, DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY, AND GRANTING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner Deshawn Madden (“Petitioner”) filed a
pro se application for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254. The pleading challenges
Petitioner's plea-based convictions for carjacking, armed
robbery, and assault with intent to commit murder. The sole
ground for relief alleges that the state trial court abused
its discretion and violated Petitioner's constitutional
rights when the court denied Petitioner's request to
withdraw his guilty plea. The State argues in an answer to
the petition that Petitioner's claim does not warrant
habeas relief because the state court reasonably concluded
that the claim lacked merit. The Court agrees and denies the
convictions arose from two unrelated cases. In case number
14-9563, the Wayne County prosecutor charged Petitioner with
carjacking, unarmed robbery, and receiving and concealing a
stolen motor vehicle. In case number 15-0123, the prosecutor
charged Petitioner with armed robbery, assault with intent to
commit murder, and assault by strangulation. On March 9,
2015, Petitioner pleaded guilty in Wayne County Circuit Court
to carjacking, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529a, armed
robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529, and assault with
intent to commit murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.83. In
exchange for Petitioner's plea, the prosecutor dismissed
the other three charges. The parties also agreed to
concurrent sentences of sixteen to thirty years in prison.
sentencing, Petitioner moved to withdraw his plea on the
basis that his co-defendant, who had agreed to testify
against him in the armed robbery case, had informed him by
letter that she lied about everything in his case. Petitioner
also stated that he had felt forced to say things at his plea
proceeding. On March 23, 2015, the trial court denied
Petitioner's motion and then sentenced Petitioner to
three concurrent terms of sixteen to thirty years in prison.
applied for leave to appeal on the basis that the trial court
abused its discretion and violated his constitutional rights
by not allowing him to withdraw his guilty plea prior to
sentencing. The Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to
appeal “for lack of merit in the grounds
presented.” People v. Madden, No. 329438
(Mich. Ct. App. Nov. 5, 2015). Petitioner raised the same
claim in the Michigan Supreme Court, which denied leave to
appeal on May 2, 2016, because it was not persuaded to review
the issue. See People v. Madden, 499 Mich. 917; 877
N.W.2d 881 (2016). On May 12, 2017, Petitioner filed his
habeas corpus petition.
Standard of Review
federal court's statutory authority for granting habeas
corpus relief to state prisoners is 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as
amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
of 1996 (AEDPA). Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86,
97 (2011). Pursuant to § 2254, the Court may not grant a
state prisoner's application for the writ of habeas
corpus unless the state court's adjudication of the
prisoner's claims on the merits
(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.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
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. Rather, that
application must also be unreasonable.” Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 411 (2000). “AEDPA thus
imposes a ‘highly deferential standard for evaluating
state-court rulings, ' Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S.
320, 333, n. 7 (1997), and ‘demands that state-court
decisions be given the benefit of the doubt, '
Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U.S. 19, 24 (2002)
(per curiam).” Renico v. Lett, 559
U.S. 766, 773 (2010).
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.” Richter, 562 U.S. at
101 (quoting Yarborough v. Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652,
664 (2004)). To obtain a writ of habeas corpus from a federal
court, a state prisoner must show that the state court's
ruling on his or her claim “was so lacking in
justification that there was an error well understood and
comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for
fairminded disagreement.” Id. at 103.
the Court presumes that a state court's determination of
a factual issue is correct unless the petitioner rebuts the
presumption of correctness with clear and convincing
evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Holland v.
Rivard, 800 F.3d 224, 242 (6th Cir. 2015), cert.
denied, 136 S.Ct. 1384 (2016). In addition, the Court
must limit its review under § 2254(d)(1) to the record
that was ...