Law School Case Brief
Maxon v. Bell - No. 1:07-cv-363, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143872 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 25, 2010)
An application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person who is incarcerated pursuant to a state conviction cannot be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the adjudication: "(1) resulted in a decision 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) resulted in a decision that was based upon an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding.
This is a habeas corpus petition brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On April 5, 2001, a Lapeer County jury convicted Petitioner of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC I), Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520b, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC II), Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520c(1)(a). The state prosecution arose from the complaint of Petitioner's then-13-year-old stepdaughter that Petitioner had repeatedly sexually assaulted her over the course of a year. At the conclusion of trial, on April 5, 2000, the jury found Petitioner guilty of all counts. The court of appeals petitioner’s appeal. Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. The Court denied leave to appeal. Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus.
Based on the evidence presented was petitioner entitled to the writ of habeas corpus?
A federal habeas court may not find a state adjudication to be unreasonable "simply because that court concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant state-court decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously or incorrectly." Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 411, 120 S. Ct. 1495, 146 L. Ed. 2d 389 (2000). Rather, the issue is whether the state court's application of clearly established federal law is "objectively unreasonable." The he Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, PUB. L. 104-132, 110 STAT. 1214 (AEDPA) requires heightened respect for state factual findings. A determination of a factual issue made by a state court is presumed to be correct, and the petitioner has the burden of rebutting the presumption by clear and convincing evidence. This presumption of correctness is accorded to findings of state appellate courts, as well as the trial court. Applying the foregoing standards under the AEDPA, the petitioner is not entitled to relief.
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