the merits de novo. Rather, we analyze whether the state court's
decision reasonably applied Supreme Court precedent to the facts
of King's case. A state court has reasonably applied Supreme
Court caselaw if its application is "at least minimally
consistent with the facts and circumstances of the case."
Spreitzer v. Peters, 114 F.3d 1435, 1442 (7th Cir. 1997).
Under this limited analysis, the state court's decision must
stand "if it is one of several equally plausible outcomes."
Hall v. Washington, 106 F.3d 742, 748-49 (7th Cir. 1997).
Having set forth the applicable standards for federal habeas
corpus review of claims on the merits, we now address King's
insufficient evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel
B. Insufficient Evidence
King contends that the evidence presented at trial was
insufficient to establish her guilt for the crime of attempted
first degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt. In challenging
the sufficiency of the evidence, King maintains that she only
shot Thomas in the knee, and "if [King] attempted to murder
Thomas, she would have been shot in a vital spot on her body,
not her knee." (R. 1, Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus at 6.) This
Court may only grant habeas relief on an insufficient evidence
claim if the prisoner can show that no rational trier of fact,
"viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
prosecution . . . could have found the essential elements of the
crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Jackson v. Virginia,
443 U.S. 307, 319, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979). We may not
reweigh the evidence or reevaluate the credibility of the
witnesses. United States v. Mejia, 909 F.2d 242, 245 (7th Cir.
In this case, there was sufficient evidence in the record to
convict King of attempted first degree murder. Thomas testified
that King shot her in the knee, and then pointed the gun at her
head and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire. Thomas'
son also testified that King shot Thomas in the leg and pulled
the trigger again, but the gun did not fire. In affirming King's
conviction, the appellate court noted that the trial court
relied specifically on the consistent testimony of Thomas and
her son in finding King guilty of attempted first degree murder.
(R. 13, Answer to Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Ex. D, People
v. King, No. 1-96-1753 at 3, 5-6.) Viewing the evidence in the
light most favorable to the prosecution, we can only conclude
that a rational trier of fact could have found the elements of
attempted first degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
Therefore, we deny King's petition seeking habeas relief on this
C. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Finally, King asserts that counsel failed to cross-examine the
State's key witnesses in order to show inconsistencies in the
testimony of Thomas and her son. The seminal case for assessing
claims of ineffective assistance of counsel is Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674
(1984). To state a valid claim under Strickland, King must
establish that: (1) her counsel's performance was objectively
unreasonable; and (2) but for her counsel's deficient
representation, the outcome would have been different. Id. at
687-88, 104 S.Ct. 2052. "Both components are necessary; the lack
of either is fatal." Eddmonds v. Peters, 93 F.3d 1307, 1313
(7th Cir. 1996). Moreover, there is a strong presumption that a
criminal defendant's counsel rendered assistance falling within
an objective standard of reasonableness. Mason v. Godinez,
47 F.3d 852, 855 (7th Cir. 1995).
In the case at bar, King claims that she was deprived of a
fair trial because counsel failed to question the
credibility of Thomas and her son's testimony. We disagree. As
noted above, Thomas and her son were consistent regarding the
main facts of the case: (1) that King shot Thomas in the leg;
and (2) that King pulled the trigger again but the gun did not
fire. This factual agreement forms the basis for King's
convictions for armed violence and attempted first degree
murder. King does not point to any information suggesting that
counsel's alleged failure to cross-examine the State's key
witnesses would have shaken this factual agreement or otherwise
undercut the credibility of Thomas and her son. As such, King
has failed to state a valid ineffective assistance of counsel
claim under Strickland. Therefore, because the appellate
court's determination of King's response to the Finley motion
was not the product of an unreasonable application of Supreme
Court caselaw, we reject King's petition with respect to her
ineffective assistance of counsel claim.
For the reasons set forth above, we deny King's petition for a
writ of habeas corpus. (R. 1-1.) The Clerk of the Court is
instructed to enter judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil