about the complainant's background that would have challenged her credibility.
In order for Williams' habeas corpus claim to be considered by this court, the claim must be cognizable under federal habeas review. To be entitled to federal habeas relief, Williams must establish that he is being held in violation of the United States Constitution or the laws or treaties of the United States Constitution. Haas v. Abrahamson, 910 F.2d 384, 389 (7th Cir. 1990). Williams fails to state a constitutional violation in his habeas petition.
A. Appellate Court Error
Williams' first argument, that the Illinois Appellate Court erred when it affirmed the dismissal of his post-conviction petition, is not cognizable under federal habeas review. To be considered by this court, a habeas petition must be limited to the review of a state court conviction in violation of federal law. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 730, 115 L. Ed. 2d 640, 111 S. Ct. 2546 (1991). A state violating its own laws does not elevate state law into constitutional law. Reed v. Clark, 984 F.2d 209, 210 (7th Cir. 1993). It is not the province of a federal habeas court to reexamine state court determinations of state law questions. Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 68, 116 L. Ed. 2d 385, 112 S. Ct. 475 (1991). "A federal court may not issue the writ on the basis of a perceived error of state law. " Pulley v. Harris, 465 U.S. 37, 41, 79 L. Ed. 2d 29, 104 S. Ct. 871 (1984). See also, e.g., Gilmore V. Taylor, 508 U.S. 333, 113 S. Ct. 2112, 2117-19, 124 L. Ed. 2d 306 (1993); Smith v. Phillips, 455 U.S. 209, 221, 71 L. Ed. 2d 78, 102 S. Ct. 940 (1982).
Williams' argument involves whether the affirmance by the appellate court of the dismissal of his post-conviction petition was proper under state law. Whether a post-conviction petition makes the requisite showing of a deprivation of a constitutional right is a question involving the application and interpretation of state law. Id. In Williams' case, the Appellate Court's finding that neither the submitted affidavit nor the petition provides any basis to grant post-conviction relief where both refer to collateral matters is a question of state law. Therefore, Williams' attempt to state a federal habeas violation based on a denial of his post-conviction petition does not raise a constitutional argument and the claim is not cognizable by this court.
B. Right to Present Witnesses
Williams' second argument, that he was denied his constitutional right to present witnesses in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, has two prongs. First, Williams claims that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his co-defendant, Carl Smith ("Smith"), should have been allowed to testify, but was prevented from doing so because Williams' attorney did not properly present his case. Second, Williams asserts that the trial court erred when it disallowed cross-examination of the victim regarding misidentification of Smith as a collateral matter.
1. Procedural Default
Regarding both of Williams' assertions, respondent argues that Williams has procedurally defaulted the claims. The court agrees. The Court set forth the procedural default analysis in United States ex rel. Eugene Fonza v. Welborn, No. 93 C 7208, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17657, 1994 WL 695502, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 7, 1994):
Before a federal court may reach the merits of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, it must ascertain whether the petitioner has satisfied two procedural requirements. Jones v. Washington, 15 F.3d 671, 674 (7th Cir. 1994). Failure to satisfy either requirement results in procedural default. McFarland v. Scott, 129 L. Ed. 2d 666, 114 S. Ct. 2568, 2572 (1994). The first procedural requirement is that of exhaustion. 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2254(b); Harris v. Champion, 15 F.3d 1538, 1554 (10th Cir. 1994) (stating that exhaustion is the threshold question in every habeas case). Out of a concern for federal-state comity, the federal courts require petitioners to give state courts an opportunity to consider petitioners' constitutional claims first. Jones, 15 F.3d at 674; Verdin v. O'Leary, 972 F.2d 1467, 1473 (7th Cir. 1992). It is incumbent on the petitioner to exhaust all possible state remedies before he may entertain a petition for habeas corpus relief. Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S. 346, 109 S. Ct. 1056, 103 L. Ed. 2d 380 (1989); Jones, 15 F.3d at 674. The second procedural requirement is that of waiver, providing that before a federal court will consider the issues raised in the petition, the petitioner must have first raised those issues during the course of the state court proceedings. Wainwright v. Sykes, 433 U.S. 72, 53 L. Ed. 2d 594, 97 S. Ct. 2497 (1977); Jones, 15 F.3d at 674. The substance of a federal claim must first be presented to the state courts. Id. "[A] convicted state prisoner who fails to seek leave to present to the highest state court the constitutional objections that form the basis of his federal habeas petition waives his objections unless he can show cause for his default and prejudice from the alleged constitutional infirmities." Nutall v. Greer, 764 F.2d 462, 465 (7th Cir. 1985). "The failure to present constitutional claims before the highest state court will result in a procedural default of those claims unless the petitioner can show cause and prejudice." Mason V. Gramley, 9 F.3d 1345, 1348 (7th Cir. 1993). Moreover, in Mason, the Seventh Circuit expressly held that a petitioner must raise all federal constitutional claims, not only to the Illinois Appellate Court when that court was the last to render an opinion, but also to the Illinois Supreme Court in the petition for leave to appeal. Id.; United States ex rel. Hartfield v. Gramley, 853 F. Supp. 289, 292 (N.D. Ill. 1994). Failure to raise certain issues in the petition for leave to appeal results in procedural default. Mason, 9 F.3d at 1348.