United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
L. Maloney United States District Judge.
14, 2016, Petitioner Dennis Hahn filed a petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 seeking relief from a state conviction for
first-degree felony murder. (ECF No. 1.) The State of
Michigan filed its response on January 20, 2017. (ECF No. 7.)
The magistrate judge issued an R & R on January 18, 2019,
recommending that the petition be denied. (ECF No. 14.) The
matter is now before the Court for de novo review of
Petitioner's objections to the R & R. (ECF No. 15.)
takes no issue with the facts as summarized by the magistrate
judge. Since he lodges objections only to legal conclusions,
the Court ADOPTS the magistrate judge's
summary of the facts contained in the R & R. (ECF No.
respect to a dispositive motion, a magistrate judge issues a
report and recommendation, rather than an order. After 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) (holding the district court need not provide de
novo review where the objections are frivolous, conclusive or
too general because the burden is on the parties to
“pinpoint those portions of the magistrate's report
that the district court must specifically consider”).
The district court judge may accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
asserted four grounds for relief in his § 2254 petition:
(1) His right to Due Process was violated when he was visibly
shackled in front of the jury on the first day of trial; (2)
His right to Confrontation under the Sixth Amendment was
violated by the admission of a lab results made by a
non-testifying witness; and (3 & 4) he received
ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel based
on their failure to raise the foregoing issues.
first argues that his right to due process was violated when
he was visibly shackled in front of the jury on the first day
of his jury trial in violation of Deck v. Missouri,
544 U.S. 622, 630-32 (2005). However, the magistrate judge
concluded that this claim failed because although Hahn was
shackled, the state trial court conducted an evidentiary
hearing and made a factual finding that “there is
virtually no possibility that, ah, any of the jurors would
have observed Mr. Hahn shackled on the first day of
trial.” (ECF No. 14 at PageID.2177, quoting ECF No.
8-15 at PageID.1506-07.) The magistrate judge then concluded
that because Deck's holding is limited to cases
where a defendant is ordered to wear shackles that would be
seen by the jury, Petitioner's due process claim fails.
(PageID.2178 (collecting authority for the proposition that
“shackles must be visible to the jury before they can
be considered a due process violation.”).)
his objections, Hahn merely persists in his claim that he
was visibly shackled in front of the jury. However,
he has not presented any evidence to challenge the state
court's finding in this respect. Under AEDPA, a
determination of a factual issue made by a state court is
entitled to a presumption of correctness which can only be
rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. See 28
U.SC. § 2254(e)(1). Hahn has failed to meet that burden
here, so his objection will be OVERRULED.
bulk of Hahn's Petition stems from an alleged violation
of the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause, relating
to the admission of a blood test of the victim, Joel
died at his mobile home on September 12, 2009. Firefighters
responded to the scene because the mobile home was on fire.
Inside, they discovered McFarlane lying prone, having
suffered a shotgun blast ...