Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

U.S. EX RE. GILYANA v. STERNES

December 21, 2001

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. ESKHIRIA GILYANA, PETITIONER,
V.
JERRY L. STERNES, WARDEN, DIXON CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ruben Castillo, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Eskhiria Guyana petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, attacking his state court solicitation of murder for hire conviction. Guyana raises eleven issues in his petition, including multiple trial court error and ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Respondent argues that Guyana's habeas corpus petition is untimely, pursuant to § 2244, in that Guyana filed his post-conviction petition more than six months after the denial of his direct petition for leave to appeal. Respondent asserts that, because the state courts determined that Gilyana's post-conviction petition was untimely without addressing the merits of the petition, the statute of limitations for filing his habeas corpus petition began to run on January 2, 1997. As Gilyana did not file his habeas corpus petition until July 2, 2000, after the statute of limitations had expired by more than two and a half years, Respondent contends that this Court must dismiss Gilyana's petition. After a thorough review of Guyana's petition and a careful reading of the state court record, we dismiss his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, with prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). (R. 1-1.)

RELEVANT FACTS

When considering a habeas corpus petition, the Court presumes that the factual determinations of the state court are correct. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). Accordingly, we adopt the facts as set forth by the Illinois Appellate Court in People v. Gilyana, No. 1-95-0569 (Ill. App. Ct. Mar. 21, 1996), and People v. Gilyana, No. 1-98-2075 (Ill. App. Ct. Mar. 10, 2000).

Guyana was charged with the Class X felonies of solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire. On November 22, 1994, following a bench trial before Judge William J. Hibbler, Gilyana was found guilty of solicitation of murder for hire. On January 10, 1995, Gilyana was sentenced to a prison term of twenty years, the minimum term for solicitation of murder for hire.

The evidence presented at trial established that Gilyana and Thomas "Rico" Younadam were brothers-in-law and held different opinions about the political situation in their native Iraq. In May 1993, Gilyana solicited and offered to pay $2,000 to Travis Harris to kill Younadam. Chicago police made court-authorized tape recordings of the conversations between Gilyana and Harris, and the tape recordings were introduced into evidence at trial. During one conversation, for example, after Harris falsely told Gilyana that he had killed Younadam, Guyana laughed.

Gilyana appealed his conviction to the Illinois Appellate Court and raised the following issues: (1) the trial court erred in denying Gilyana's motion to suppress evidence obtained by an improperly granted application for a consensual overhear because the application was insufficient in that it failed to show reasonable cause that a crime was about to be committed and was based on uncorroborated hearsay; and (2) the trial court erred in denying Guyana's request for a Franks v. Delaware hearing where it was shown through sworn testimony at trial that the informant provided false information for the application. On March 21, 1996, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Gilyana's conviction. Gilyana filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, raising the same issues as above. On October 2, 1996, the Illinois Supreme Court denied Gilyana's petition for leave to appeal.

On April 21, 1997, Gilyana filed a petition for post-conviction relief and raised the following issues: (1) he was denied due process when the trial court failed to sua sponte ascertain whether he was taking psychotropic medicine under medical direction that would require a fitness hearing; (2) his due process rights were violated at sentencing when the pre-sentence investigation report stated that he was taking psychotropic medicine, and the court failed to hold a fitness hearing; (3) he was denied due process and the effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel, who had full knowledge of Gilyana's psychiatric treatment and his taking psychotropic medicine, failed to request a fitness hearing; (4) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to interview witnesses, substitute the judge and inform him of the State's plea offer. On April 29, 1998, the trial court dismissed Guyana's post-conviction petition as untimely.

On April 24, 2000, Gilyana filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court and raised the following issues: (1) his post-conviction petition showed that the delay was not due to his culpable negligence; and (2) both the trial and appellate courts erred in denying him an evidentiary hearing to determine such and to allow him to overcome the prejudicial effects of procedural default in violation of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. On July 5, 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court denied Gilyana's petition for leave to appeal.

Currently before the Court is Gilyana's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, filed on July 2, 2001. In his petition, Gilyana raises the following claims for relief: (1) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when appellate counsel failed to supply him with a copy of his appellate record with enough time to file a timely post-conviction petition; (2) the trial court erred in dismissing his post-conviction petition because the Illinois Supreme Court issued its mandate on October 24, 1996, which gave Gilyana until April 21, 1997 to file his post-conviction petition and not until October 2, 1996, as the court erroneously believed; (3) the trial court erroneously denied him a fitness hearing although he was taking various psychotropic medications from December 6, 1993 until the time of his conviction; (4) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to request a fitness hearing; (5) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel denied him his right to trial by jury by convincing him that he would receive a minimum sentence of thirty years if he was convicted; (6) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to honor his request for a substitution of judges; (7) he was denied effective assistance of counsel and due process of law when trial counsel failed to advise him that the prosecutor made a plea offer; (8) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to interview the State's witnesses prior to trial; (9) the trial court erred by denying his supplemental motion to suppress the evidence obtained pursuant to the judicial overhear order; (10) the trial court erred by denying an evidentiary hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware; and (11) he was denied effective assistance of counsel when appellate counsel only raised two of the claims that are raised in Gilyana's instant petition. On September 14, 2001, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Gilyana's habeas petition as untimely. For the following reasons, Gilyana's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed.

ANALYSIS

I. Statute of Limitations

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") applies to this case because Gilyana filed his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition after April 24, 1996. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 336 (1997). Under the AEDPA, a state prisoner who wants collateral relief from a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.