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Baldwin v. Reese

Supreme Court of the United States

December 8, 2003, Argued ; March 2, 2004, Decided

No. 02-964

Opinion

 [*29]   [**1349]  Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court.

LEdHN[1A][] [1A] LEdHN[2A][] [2A] LEdHN[3][] [3] HN1[] Before seeking a federal writ of habeas corpus, a state prisoner must exhaust available state remedies, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1) [28 USCS § 2254(b)(1)], thereby giving the State the "'opportunity to pass upon and correct' alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights."  Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365, 130 L. Ed. 2d 865, 115 S. Ct. 887 (1995) (per curiam) (quoting  Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 30 L. Ed. 2d 438, 92 S. Ct. 509 (1971) [****6]   (citation omitted)). To provide the State with the necessary "opportunity," the prisoner must "fairly present" his claim in each appropriate state court (including a state supreme court with powers of discretionary review), thereby alerting that court to the federal nature of the claim.  Duncan, supra, at 365-366, 130 L. Ed. 2d 865, 115 S. Ct. 887;  O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845, 144 L. Ed. 2d 1, 119 S. Ct. 1728 (1999). This case focuses upon the requirement of "fair presentation."

Michael Reese, the respondent, appealed his state court kidnaping and attempted sodomy convictions and sentences through Oregon's state court system. He then brought collateral relief proceedings in the state courts (where he was represented by appointed counsel). After the lower  [***70]  courts denied him collateral relief, Reese filed a petition for discretionary review in the Oregon Supreme Court.

The petition made several different legal claims. In relevant part, the petition asserted that Reese had received "ineffective assistance of both trial court and appellate court counsel." App. 47. The petition added that "his imprisonment [****7]   [*30]  is in violation of [Oregon state law]." Id., at 48. It said that his trial counsel's conduct violated several provisions of the Federal Constitution. Ibid. But it did not say that his [**1350]  separate appellate "ineffective assistance" claim violated federal law. The Oregon Supreme Court denied review.

Reese ultimately sought a federal writ of habeas corpus, raising, among other claims, a federal constitutional claim that his appellate counsel did not effectively represent him during one of his direct state court appeals. The Federal District Court held that Reese had not "fairly presented" his federal "ineffective assistance of appellate counsel" claim to the higher state courts because his brief in the state appeals court had not indicated that he was complaining about a violation of federal law.

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541 U.S. 27 *; 124 S. Ct. 1347 **; 158 L. Ed. 2d 64 ***; 2004 U.S. LEXIS 1835 ****; 72 U.S.L.W. 4227; 17 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 179

GEORGE H. BALDWIN, Petitioner v. MICHAEL REESE

Prior History:  [****1]  ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

 Reese v. Baldwin, 282 F.3d 1184, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 3773 (9th Cir. Or., 2002)

Disposition: Reversed.

state court, discretionary, ineffective assistance, lower court, appellate court, federal claim, alert, appellate counsel, federal law

Criminal Law & Procedure, Procedural Defenses, Exhaustion of Remedies, Prerequisites, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Commencement of Criminal Proceedings, Initial Appearances, Governments, Courts, Rule Application & Interpretation