United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND DENYING
§ 2254 HABEAS PETITION
L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
2011, a jury in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, convicted
Petitioner Lonnie Haney of three counts of first-degree
sexual assault. Haney filed a petition for habeas relief
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The magistrate judge has
reviewed the petition and issued a report recommending the
petition be denied. (ECF No. 29.) Haney filed objections.
(ECF No. 33.)
being served with a report and recommendation (R&R)
issued by a magistrate judge, a party has fourteen days to
file written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b). A district court judge reviews de novo the portions of
the R&R to which objections have been filed. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Only those objections
that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the
statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th
Cir. 1986) (per curiam). Here, Haney was granted additional
time and his objections are timely.
magistrate judge identified and summarized thirteen claims
raised in Haney's petition. The magistrate judge analyzes
each claim by summarizing it, setting forth the relevant law,
and applying the facts to the law. For each claim, the
magistrate judge concludes that Haney has not demonstrated a
reason to set aside the conviction.
objection, Haney addresses only two of his claims: (1) claim
3 concerning a plea offer and (2) claim 7 concerning
exculpatory evidence. The Court has reviewed these two claims
Claim 3 - Plea Offer
magistrate judge concluded that the Michigan Court of Appeals
applied the correct standard and that the state trial
court's factual determinations were not unreasonable. In
his objection, Haney argues that, as established in the
record, the amount of time during which the plea was
communicated and explained was sufficiently short that the
state trial court's relevant factual determinations could
not be reasonable. Haney reiterates and relies on the
arguments previously made by counsel.
objection is OVERRULED. First, the cases which Haney cites in
his objection are easily distinguishable. The defendant in
Gonzalez v. Phillips, 195 F.Supp.2d 893 (E.D. Mich.
2001) spoke limited English. The court concluded trial
counsel was ineffective for failing to request an
interpreter, which resulted in a lack of a meaningful
attorney-client relationship and also violated the
defendant's due process rights. In contrast, Haney's
primary language is English and his alleged confusion did not
implicate either his attorney-client relationship or
implicate his due process rights. In Drope v.
Missouri, 420 U.S. 162, 171 (1975), the Supreme Court
noted that the law has "long accepted" that a
person who lacks the capacity to understand the nature and
object of the proceedings against him, who cannot
meaningfully consult with counsel, and who cannot assist in
the preparation of his defense may not be subjected to trial.
But, Haney has not alleged that his mental condition meets
the Court has conducted a de novo review of the manner in
which the Michigan Court of Appeals resolved this claim. The
magistrate judge accurately identified the facts in the
record and correctly summarized the relevant law. Haney's
objection arises from the manner in which state courts
applied the facts to the law. As did the magistrate judge,
this Court finds that the Michigan Court of Appeals
identified and relied on the correct standard and that the
state trial court's resolution of the issue was entirely
magistrate judge concluded that Haney failed to identify the
exculpatory evidence that was allegedly withheld. In his
objection, Haney explicitly identifies the recording of his
alleged confession. Haney contends he never confessed and, if
the recording or a transcript would have been disclosed, the
interrogating officer's testimony at trial would be
exposed as a lie.
objection is OVERRULED. Haney raised the exculpatory evidence
argument in his first 6.500 motion for relief from judgment.
(ECF No. 17-9 Br. filed 7-23-2013 at 12-15 PageID.1047-50.)
The brief contains an ambiguous assertion that the attorneys
for the prosecution and defense were aware that no video or
audio evidence existed to prove that Haney confessed.
(Id. PageID.1048.) In an "addendum," below
the signature line on the last page of the brief, Haney
asserts that the "real importance" of the video is
that it would show that he did not confess. The state court
judge denied this ...