United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
J. MICHELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Rice was convicted in state court of three counts of assault
with intent to murder, four counts of felonious assault, and
possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He
filed this case under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 seeking a writ of
habeas corpus. His petition raises six claims for relief.
Court finds that none are meritorious. So the petition will
Michigan Court of Appeals recited the following underlying
This case arises from two separate incidents that occurred in
Detroit on May 20, 2012. Defendant's convictions of
felonious assault stem from allegations that he used a gun to
threaten Lakeith Alexander, Darrell Webb, Shaquille Sherman,
and Darius Townsend in the parking lot of J & S Party
Store at about 10:30 a.m. Defendant's convictions of
assault with intent to murder arise from allegations that
less than 30 minutes after the altercation at the party
store, he fired several rounds at Alexander, Webb, and
Townsend while they were sitting in a burgundy Grand Prix
parked on Grandville Street.
People v. Rice, No. 313754, 2014 WL 2880374, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. June 24, 2014).
his convictions, Rice filed an appeal in the Michigan Court
of Appeals and raised the following claims:
I. The prosecution engaged in prosecutorial misconduct during
closing arguments by suggesting facts not in evidence, which
violated defendant's due process rights and resulted in a
miscarriage of justice.
II. Rice's Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance
of counsel was violated by trial counsel's failure to
object to the prosecutorial misconduct in its closing
III. The trial court abused its discretion when it ruled the
prosecution exercised due diligence in its attempts to secure
victim Shaquille Sherman's presence at trial and failed
to give the standard missing witness instruction.
IV. The in-court identification of Rice should have been
stricken because it was the product of a tainted photographic
V. Police and prosecutorial misconduct deprived Rice of a
fair trial and due process of law, constituting manifest
VI. There was insufficient evidence to convict Rice.
Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Rice's convictions.
Rice, 2014 WL 2880374, at *6.
then filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan
Supreme Court, raising the same claims. The Michigan Supreme
Court summarily denied the application. People v.
Rice, 858 N.W.2d 433 (Mich. 2015).
habeas petition in this court also raises the same claims.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) (and 28
U.S.C. § 2254 in particular) “confirm[s] that
state courts are the principal forum for asserting
constitutional challenges to state convictions.”
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 103 (2011);
see also Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 182
(2011). Thus, if a claim was “adjudicated on the merits
in State court proceedings, ” this Court cannot grant
habeas corpus relief on the basis of that claim “unless
the adjudication of the claim . . . resulted in a
decision” (1) “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) “that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented
in the State court proceeding.” See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d). But if the state courts did not adjudicate a
claim “on the merits, ” this “‘AEDPA
deference' does not apply and [this Court] will review
the claim de novo.” Bies v. Sheldon,
775 F.3d 386, 395 (6th Cir. 2014).
state-court decision is “contrary to” clearly
established Supreme Court precedent if it “applies a
rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in [Supreme
Court] cases” or if it “confronts a set of facts
that are materially indistinguishable from a decision of
th[e] [Supreme] Court and nevertheless arrives at a result
different from [Supreme Court] precedent.” Early v.
Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002) (quoting Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000)).
‘unreasonable application' prong of [§
2254(d)] permits a federal habeas court to ‘grant the
writ if the state court identifies the correct governing
legal principle from [the Supreme] Court but unreasonably
applies that principle to the facts' of petitioner's