United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR RELEASE
CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner Monte Aaron Arnold has filed a habeas corpus
petition which challenges his state convictions for assault
with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.84, third-degree fleeing and eluding,
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.602a(3)(a), resisting and
obstructing a police officer, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.81d(1), and uttering and publishing forged documents,
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.249. The trial court sentenced
Petitioner as a fourth habitual offender to prison for 9 to
20 years on the assault conviction, 4-1/2 to 10 years for the
fleeing-and-eluding conviction, 3-1/2 to 10 years for the
resisting-and-obstruction conviction, and 4 to 14 years for
the uttering-and-publishing conviction. The Michigan Court of
Appeals affirmed Petitioner's convictions, see
People v. Arnold, No. 322146, 2015 WL 5570273 (Mich.
Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2015) (unpublished), and on May 2, 2016,
the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal because it
was not persuaded to review the issues. See People v.
Arnold, 499 Mich. 916; 877 N.W.2d 727 (2016).
filed his habeas corpus petition through counsel on April 27,
2017. He raises two claims regarding the sufficiency and
weight of the evidence supporting his assault conviction. He
also contends that he is entitled to an evidentiary hearing.
The State argues in an answer to the petition that the state
courts reasonably rejected petitioner's first claim, that
petitioner's second claim is not cognizable on habeas
review and was reasonably decided by the state court, and
that petitioner is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing.
before the Court is petitioner's motion for release from
custody pending a decision on his habeas claims. Petitioner
contends that he is a non-violent offender with great
community and familial support. He alleges that he will have
financial support from his family upon his release and that
he will seek gainful employment.
also asserts that he is not likely to flee or to pose a
danger to anyone if he were allowed to reside in the
community pending the outcome of his petition. He apparently
was released on his own recognizance during state-court
proceedings, and he alleges that he fully complied with the
state court's directives concerning bail. Petitioner
maintains that he has raised substantial questions of law in
his petition, and he has submitted several letters from
family members and pastors, who seek his release so that he
can return to his family, his church, and society. The State
did not file an answer to petitioner's motion, but it
urges the Court to deny all requests for relief. See
Answer in Opp'n to Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus at 28,
32 (ECF No. 5, pp. 31, 35, PageID. 219, 223).
Aronson v. May, 85 S.Ct. 3 (1964), the Supreme Court
addressed a petitioner's request for release on bail
pending a decision on his appeal from the denial of a
petition for the writ of habeas corpus. In denying the
petitioner's request, Justice Douglas wrote:
This applicant is incarcerated because he has been tried,
convicted, and sentenced by a court of law. He now attacks
his conviction in a collateral proceeding. It is obvious that
a greater showing of special reasons for admission to bail
pending review should be required in this kind of case than
would be required in a case where applicant had sought to
attack by writ of habeas corpus an incarceration not
resulting from a judicial determination of guilt. In this
kind of case it is therefore necessary to inquire whether, in
addition to there being substantial questions presented by
the appeal, there is some circumstance making this
application exceptional and deserving of special treatment in
the interests of justice.
Id. at 5 (internal citation omitted).
the Court were to assume that petitioner's
sufficiency-of-the-evidence claim raises a substantial
question of law, “two layers of deference apply [to a
sufficiency-of-the-evidence claim], one to the jury verdict,
and one to the state appellate court”). Tanner v.
Yukins, 867 F.3d 661, 672 (6th Cir. 2017),
cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 1283 (2018).
Additionally, the Court is not persuaded that
petitioner's case is exceptional and deserving of special
treatment. Although he obviously has the support of family
and some church members, he is a fourth habitual offender,
and he has not alleged anything about his progress in prison.
Further, records maintained by the Michigan Department of
Corrections indicate that petitioner will not be eligible for
release on parole until November 21, 2022.
has not satisfied the requirements for release set forth in
Aronson. Accordingly, his motion for release from
custody pending resolution of his habeas petition is denied.