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UNITED STATES EX REL. WILLIAMS v. O'LEARY

March 28, 1989

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. JOHN WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
MICHAEL O'LEARY, Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHADUR

 MILTON I. SHADUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 John Williams ("Williams") originally filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus (the "Petition") under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254 ("Section 2254") against Stateville Correctional Center Warden Michael O'Leary ("O'Leary"). *fn1" Initially O'Leary moved to deny the Petition for failure to exhaust state court remedies (see Section 2254(b)), but this Court denied that motion orally and ordered O'Leary to answer.

 Now O'Leary has filed an Answer and the parties have submitted memoranda in support of their respective positions. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, Williams' Petition is denied and this action is dismissed.

 Procedural Background

 Williams was tried, convicted and sentenced in the Circuit Court of Cook County to a 28-year term for aggravated criminal sexual assault and abuse. Throughout the proceedings -- at the preliminary hearing, at arraignment, during the jury trial and at sentencing -- he represented himself. After Williams' pro se motion for a new trial was denied, the trial judge appointed the State Appellate Defender's office to represent him on appeal.

 On February 9, 1988 *fn2" Appellate Defender Jeffrey Walker ("Walker") filed a brief with the Illinois Appellate Court on Williams' behalf. Less than a week earlier (on February 3) Walker had written Williams enclosing the brief and stating (Williams Mem. Ex. A):

 
If you wish to file a pro se supplemental brief on your own behalf covering other issues or you wish to try to persuade me to file one concerning other issues, there will be plenty of time to do so because the State will not answer your brief for at least six months. I look forward to hearing from you.

 Walker's extensive brief -- 75 pages in all -- addressed three issues from the new trial motion, plus nine new issues. Those did not cover all the matters sought to be advanced by Williams, who had about a dozen issues of his own that he wished to point out to the Appellate Court (Pet. 6A-6D).

 As matters developed, Williams had no opportunity to make any changes in the brief. Walker did agree to visit Williams in March to discuss the possibility of filing additional materials, but that visit never transpired. Williams, not surprisingly in light of Walker's letter, then attempted to argue his additional issues by filing a pro se supplemental brief. When the State objected, the Appellate Court denied leave to file (People v. Williams, No. 86-3550 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. May 24, 1988) (unpublished order)).

 Nonplussed, Williams then attempted to fire his lawyer -- the Appellate Defender's Office -- in a five-page June 7 letter (Pet. App. 26-31). Toward the same end he has filed a series of motions with the Appellate Court: to rehear his motion to file the supplemental brief (id. 32-36), to object to Walker's brief (id. 42-46) and -- later in 1988 -- to force Walker and his office to withdraw and to "appoint counsel from the Illinois Bar Association" in their stead (id. 49-54). All were denied. Before that last motion Williams sought to obtain an Illinois Supreme Court order directing the Appellate Court to permit the filing of his pro se supplemental brief, and that too was denied (id. 74-B). After the Appellate Court turned down Williams' final motion to appoint substitute counsel (that order was entered November 9), he filed the Petition with this Court on December 1.

 Williams' Claims

 Before this Court, Williams' able appointed counsel asserts on his behalf that the Illinois Appellate Court's refusal to accept his supplemental brief violated:

 
1. his Sixth Amendment *fn3" right ...

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