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Bartley v. Beckstrom

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, Pikeville

December 10, 2018

DONALD TERRY BARTLEY, Petitioner,
v.
GARY BECKSTROM, Warden, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          Josheph M. Hood, Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins. [DE 29]. Kentucky state prisoner Donald Terry Bartley, proceeding pro se, filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. [DE 16]. A magistrate judge conducted a preliminary review of Bartley's claims and recommended that Bartley's motion be denied with prejudice upon initial review. [DE 29]. Bartley objected to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. [DE 31].

         Having considered the matter de novo, the Court adopts Magistrate Judge Atkin's recommendation as its own because Bartley did not automatically become entitled to parole after serving twenty-five years of imprisonment. Additionally, Bartley has failed to demonstrate that he is entitled to parole based on the terms of a plea agreement. As such, Bartley's habeas claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) is DENIED WITH PREJUDICE.

         I. Procedural and Factual Background

         Bartley states that he “objects to the Magistrate Judge's R&R in its entirety as to the characterization of the sentence and the issues presented.” [DE 31 at 1, Page ID # 447]. Still, Bartley does not object to the factual and procedural background outlined in Magistrate Judge Atkin's recommendation. In fact, Bartley appears to only object to the Magistrate Judge's legal findings and conclusions in Parts III(A) and III(B) of the Report and Recommendation [DE 29]. [See DE 31]. As such, the Court adopts the accurate procedural and factual recitation in Judge Atkin's Report and Recommendation as its own. [DE 29 at 1-4, Page ID # 402-05].

         II. Standard of Review

         28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) states:

         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 . . . 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.

         As amended by AEDPA, Section 2254 “sets several limits on the power of a federal court to grant an application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a state prisoner.” Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 181 (2011). First, Section 2254(a) states that a federal court may “entertain an application for a writ on habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” Section 2254(b) and (c) provide that, subject to certain exceptions, a habeas petitioner must exhaust state remedies.

         The petitioner carries the burden of proof. Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U.S. 19, 25 (2002) (per curiam). The Section 2254 standard is “difficult to meet, ” Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102 (2011), and is a “highly deferential standard for evaluating state-court rulings, which demands that state-court decisions be given the benefit of the doubt.” Woodford, 537 U.S. at 24 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Finally, “review under § 2254(d)(1) is limited to the record that was before the state court that adjudicated the claim on the merits.” Cullen, 563 U.S. at 181.

         A habeas petitioner may object to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). If the petitioner objects, “The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). “Only those specific objections to the magistrate's report made to the district court will be preserved for appellate review.” Carson v. Hudson, 421 Fed.Appx. 560, 563 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Souter v. Jones, 395 F.3d 577, 585-86 (6th Cir. 2005)).

         III. ...


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