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Williams v. White

United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Paducah Division

March 23, 2015

JEREMY WILLIAMS, PETITIONER
v.
RANDY WHITE, WARDEN, RESPONDENT

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Greg N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court.

This matter is before the Court on Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss (DN 15), Magistrate Judge King’s Report and Recommendation (DN 24) as to Petitioner Jeremy Williams’s Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (DN 1), and Petitioner’s Objection to the Report and Recommendation (DN 29). For the following reasons, the Court: GRANTS the Motion to Dismiss, ADOPTS Magistrate Judge King’s Report and Recommendation (DN 24) and DENIES Petitioner’s Petition for habeas relief (DN 1).

I. BACKGROUND

In 2005, the Hardin County Circuit Court adjudged Petitioner guilty of first-degree sexual abuse (a violation of KRS 510.110) and of being a second-degree persistent felony offender. (DN 24 at 1). He was sentenced to five years of incarceration to run consecutively with a separate term of incarceration of five years. (DN 24 at 1). Petitioner unsuccessfully appealed his conviction to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and filed motions for post-conviction relief in the state courts and in this District, culminating in a denial of post-conviction relief by the Sixth Circuit. (DN 24 at 1-2).

Following his release, Petitioner signed a statement acknowledging that he was being placed on three years’ conditional release pursuant to KRS 532.043. (DN 24 at 2). He then violated the terms of that release and was re-incarcerated. (DN 24 at 2). Petitioner again filed writs of habeas corpus, first in state court (which was ultimately denied by the Kentucky Court of Appeals), and now in this District. (DN 24 at 2). On December 10, 2014, Magistrate Judge King issued a Report and Recommendation recommending dismissal of Petitioner’s petition. (DN 24). On December 24, 2014, Petitioner filed his objections. (DN 29). Petitioner’s petition is thus ripe for review.

II. JURISDICTION

This Court has jurisdiction to “entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub L. No. 104–132, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996), (“AEDPA”) applies to all habeas corpus petitions filed after April 24, 1996, and requires “heightened respect” for legal and factual determinations made by state courts. See Herbert v. Billy, 160 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th Cir. 1998). Section 2254(d), as amended by AEDPA, provides:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim-
(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 on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

This is a “difficult to meet . . . and highly deferential standard . . . .” Cullen v. Pinholster, 131 S.Ct. 1388, 1399 (2011) (internal quotation marks omitted). All findings of fact by the state court are presumed to be correct and can be rebutted only by “clear and convincing evidence.” Mitchell v. Mason, 325 F.3d 732, 737-38 (6th Cir. 2003); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). Legal conclusions made by state courts are also given substantial deference under AEDPA. The Supreme Court has recently reiterated that “a federal habeas court may overturn a state court’s application of federal law only if it is so erroneous that there is no possibility fairminded jurists could disagree that the state court’s decision ...


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