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U.S. v. DEROBERTIS
August 5, 1983
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. HENRY L. WINTERS, PETITIONER,
RICHARD DEROBERTIS, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Henry Winters ("Winters") has filed a Verified Amended Petition (the
"Amended Petition")*fn1 for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Section 2254"). Winters and respondents have also
now filed cross motions for summary judgment. For the reasons stated in
this memorandum opinion and order (1) decision on both summary judgment
motions is deferred and (2) Winters' Amended Petition is dismissed
Following a jury trial Winters was convicted of murder and sentenced to
prison for a 40 to 60 year term. Winters' conviction was affirmed on
appeal, People v. Winters, 97 Ill. App.3d 288, 52 Ill.Dec. 763,
422 N.E.2d 972 (1st Dist. 1981). Leave to appeal was denied by the
Illinois Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court denied
certiorari, 455 U.S. 923, 102 S.Ct. 1282, 71 L.Ed.2d 464 (1982).
Before the Illinois Appellate Court Winters' appointed counsel raised
evidentiary grounds, arguing Winters was denied a fair trial by the
admission of eight objects into evidence without proper foundations. 97
Ill.App.3d at 289, 52 Ill.Dec. at 764, 422 N.E.2d at 973. Though the
Appellate Court ruled five of those objects were erroneously admitted into
evidence, it held "a new trial is not required because there was other
convincing and overwhelming evidence upon which to convict the
defendant." 97 Ill.App.3d at 296, 52 Ill.Dec. at 302, 422 N.E.2d at 978.
1. whether the jury was prejudiced by certain
prosecutorial comments about (a) an unidentified
translucent substance taken from the murder victim's
body cavities and (b) certain unproduced items
allegedly found on Winters after his arrest;*fn3
2. whether Winters was denied effective assistance
of trial counsel; and
3. whether the totality of the evidence was
sufficient to support Winters' conviction beyond a
None of those additional issues was specifically addressed in the
Appellate Court's opinion.
In his pro se petition (and supporting brief) for leave to appeal to
the Illinois Supreme Court, Winters raised at least five relevant
1. whether there was adequate foundation for the
three objects the Appellate Court found had properly
been admitted into evidence;
2. whether Winters was proved guilty beyond a
3. whether he had ineffective assistance of trial
4. whether he was prejudiced by prosecutorial
closing-argument comments on (a) his failure to
testify and (b) ...
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