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UNITED STATES EX REL. WADE v. COOPER

May 29, 1997

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. AARON WADE, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH COOPER, Warden, and JAMES E. RYAN, Attorney General of the State of Illinois,1 Respondents.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 This matter is before the Court on Aaron Wade's petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The petition is denied.

 I. BACKGROUND

 In September of 1993, Petitioner Aaron Wade and his brother Alvin Wade were found guilty following a bench trial of the 1986 murder (in the first degree) of Neal Wallace. Wade was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

 His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. He petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for leave to appeal, but the court denied his petition. Wade neglected to pursue any collateral attacks on his conviction through the state system.

 He now attacks his conviction in the federal courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

 II. HABEAS CORPUS

 A federal court may grant habeas relief if the petitioner demonstrates that "he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). *fn2" Supplementing that general standard, however, is the corollary that habeas relief may not be granted unless the state court's 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). Section 2254(d)(1)'s reference to clearly established federal law "as determined by the Supreme Court" means that the court "must look exclusively to Supreme Court caselaw in reviewing a petitioner's claim." Sweeney v. Parke, 113 F.3d 716, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 10732, No. 96-1680, WL 242245 *2 (7th Cir. May 12, 1997) (emphasis added).

 Before a federal court reviews a habeas petition, however, the petitioner must (1) exhaust all remedies available in state courts; and (2) fairly present any federal claims in state court first, or risk procedural default. McGowan v. Miller, 109 F.3d 1168, 1172 (7th Cir. 1997).

 With those general standards in mind, the court will address Wade's arguments.

 III. DISCUSSION

 Wade offers four arguments in support of his attack on the state-court murder conviction. Each argument will be addressed in turn. *fn3"

 A. Confrontation Clause4

 Wade and his brother shot Wallace several times in the head, neck, and shoulder. The shooting occurred outside at a gas station "mini-mart" complex. The manager of the complex -- Robert Williams -- heard the gunshots. He ran outside and saw Wallace on the ground. Williams asked Wallace who shot him. Wallace replied: "the Wade boys did it to me." Wallace's statement was admitted at trial under ...


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