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LUCZAK v. SCHOMING

March 24, 2003

THEODORE LUCZAK, PETITIONER,
v.
JAMES M. SCHOMIG, WARDEN, PONTIAC CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ronald A. Guzman. United States Judge.

Before this court is Theodore Luczak's ("Luczak") petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the following reasons, this court denies the petition.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

When considering a habeas corpus petition we presume that the factual determinations of the state court as true. 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (e)(1). Thus, we adopt the facts as set forth by the Illinois Appellate Court. People v. Luczak, 306 Ill. App.3d 319, 714 N.E.2d 995, 239 Ill. Dec. 698 (1st Dist. 1999).

Following a jury trial defendant was convicted on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Prior to trial, the State moved to introduce evidence of defendant's (hereinafter referred to as "defendant" or "Luczak") prior crime, arguing that evidence of the other crime established defendant's criminal intent at the time of the charged crime and Luczak's modus operandi. Over objection, the trial court granted the motion, and stated that the evidence of the other crime demonstrated defendant's modus operandi and criminal intent.

Prior to trial, Luczak motioned to quash his arrest and suppress his oral confession. The motion to quash his arrest was denied based upon the determination that the police officers had probable cause to arrest Luczak in the doorway of his residence. Luczak had also been identified in a line up by the victim and her sister. The motion to suppress the oral confession was also denied. The trial judge concluded that Luczak had failed to present "clear and convincing" evidence that he did not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights, and that the state did establish a prima facie case that the defendant knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights.

During trial, Luczak motioned for permission to represent himself without the help of a licensed attorney. After the trial judge inquired to Luczak's ability to represent himself, pursuant to Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 95 S.Ct. 2525, 45 L.Ed.2d 562 (1975), the trial judge ruled that Luczak was able and fit to represent himself during the remainder of the trial.

Also during trial, Luczak asked the trial judge to enter an order allowing him more time in the Law Library located in the Cook County Jail. Given that Luczak was being held in custody at that time, thus the trial judge denied Luczak's request stating that this request was for the prison officials to decide, and not the court.

After the jury instructions were given, the jury foreperson requested a copy of the supplemental police report for review in the jury deliberation room. The trial judge denied such a request based upon the Illinois Rules of Criminal Procedure § 803 governing hearsay. After deliberation, the jury announced that the state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Luczak was guilty of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On July 7, 1997 Luczak, represented by an appointed public defender of Cook County, filed his Direct Appeal in the First District of the State of Illinois. Luczak raised one issue on direct appeal; that the trial court erred in admitting the evidence of his prior conviction of aggravated criminal sexual assault. The First District Appellate Court affirmed Luczak's conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault on June 14, 1999 in a published opinion. People v. Luczak, 306 Ill. App.3d 319, 714 N.E.2d 995 (1st Dist. 1999). The appellate court held that there were significant similarities between the two crimes and the evidence was entered to prove a modus operendi, intent, identity, or motive, which was in accordance with Illinois's law regarding admissibility of other crimes.

On July 13, 1999, Luczak filed a pro se petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court Luczak raised four issues: (1) that the trial court and the appellate court erred in granting the State's motion to enter evidence of a prior conviction for an aggravated criminal sexual assault; (2) that the trial court erred when the jury was instructed to consider the evidence of Luczak's prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault for the limited purpose of establishing Luczak's identity and intent; (3) that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of an alleged oral confession; and (4) that the trial court abused it's discretion for allowing a conversation between the judge and a juror outside the presence of Luczak. On October 6, 1999, the Illinois State Supreme Court denied Luczak's petition pursuant to Illinois State Supreme Court Rule 23. People v. Luczak, unpublished order dated October 6, 1999.

Luczak then filed a pro se petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on November 23, 1999. Luczak raised one issue; that his sixth and fourteenth amendments were violated because the trial court erred by admitting evidence of a prior conviction for aggravated sexual criminal assault. The United States Supreme Court denied his petition on February 22, 2000. People v. Luczak, 528 U.S. 1164, 120 S.Ct. 1182, 145 L.Ed.2d 1088 (2000).

On March 27, 2000, Luczak filed a pro se post conviction petition. Luczak raised eight issues: (1) that his appellate counsel was ineffective because his counsel failed to review the total disclosure of the record and failed to raise all meritorious claims on direct appeal that appeared on record; (2) that his fifth and fourteenth amendments were violated because the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault (3) that his fourth and fourteenth amendments were violated by the trial court's denial of his motion to quash arrest; (4) that his fifth and fourteenth amendments were violated by the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress his oral confession; (5) that his fifth and fourteenth amendments were violated when the trial Judge denied admitting a supplemental police report as substantive evidence; (6) that his sixth and fourteenth amendments were violated when the trial Judge abused his discretion in that the judge had a conversation with a juror outside the presence of Luczak; (7) that his sixth and fourteenth amendments were violated because the trial Judge denied Luczak adequate access to legal materials and a private investigator; (8) that his sixth and fourteenth amendments were violated because the trial Judge abused his discretion in denying Luczak's petition for a new trial when the State failed to prove Luczak's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Luczak's post conviction was denied on April 6, 2000.

On April 5, 2001, Luczak's appointed attorney for his post conviction appeal filed a motion to withdraw as counsel pursuant to Pennsylvania v. Finley, Luczak filed a response to the motion to withdraw on May 22, 2001. Luczak raised seven issues in his response: (1) that the trial court erred in summarily dismissing Luczak's post conviction petition without an evidentiary hearing; (2) that his appellate counsel was ineffective because the counselor failed to raise Miranda issues; (3) that the trial court erred in refusing to admit supplemental police reports as substantive evidence; (4) that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Luczak knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his Miranda warnings; (5) that the trial court erred in the denying his motion to quash arrest and in denying his motion to suppress statements; (6) that the trial court erred in holding Luczak, a pro se litigant, to the same standards as a licensed attorney; (7) the trial court erred in denying Luczak the right to effective access to the Cook County Jail Law Library while he was being held in custody. On June 25, 2001, in an unpublished order, the Appellate Court found no issues of arguable merits, granted the appointed attorneys motion to withdraw as counsel pursuant to Pennsylvania v. Finley, and affirmed the judgment of the circuit court.

Luczak filed his second pro se petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court on August 6, 2001. Luczak raised eight issues: (1) that the trial court erred in summarily dismissing Luczak's post conviction petition without an evidentiary hearing; (2) that the Appellate court erred in dismissing Luczak's post conviction appeal based upon his appointed counsel's motion to withdraw pursuant to Pennsylvania v. Finley; (3) that his appellate counsel was ineffective because the counselor failed to raise all meritorious claims and failed to review the entire record before filing the appellate brief; (4) that the trial court erred in refusing to admit a supplemental police report as substantive evidence; (5) that the trial court erred in denying Luczak's motion to suppress his oral confession; (6) that the trial court erred in denying Luczak's motion to quash arrest; (7) that the trial court erred in holding Luczak, a pro se litigant, to the same standards as a licensed attorney, denying him effective access to the law library at Cook County Jail, and failing to appoint Luczak standby counsel; (8) that the trial court erred in denying Luczak's motion for a new trial because the State failed to prove Luczak's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Illinois State Supreme Court denied Luczak's petition for leave to appeal in an unpublished order on October 3, 2001. Luczak then filed this pro se writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on January 14, 2002.

DISCUSSION

Luczak raises nine claims: (1) He was denied a fair trial because his prior conviction of aggravated criminal sexual assault was wrongfully admitted into evidence during his trial; (2) he received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel because his counsel failed to review all meritorious claims and failed to review the entire record prior to filing his appellate brief; (3) he was denied due process because during the pre-trial motion to suppress statements, after the State established a prima facie case, the trial court erred in shifting the burden to the petitioner to prove that he did not waive his Miranda rights; (4) he was denied due process because at a pre-trial motion to quash arrest the State did not present enough evidence which would have established that the police officers had probable cause at the time of his arrest; (5) he was denied due process because the trial Judge did not allow a supplemental police report to be admitted to the jury as substantive evidence; (6) he was denied due process because the statutes governing pro se litigants were violated because he was never appointed standby counsel nor did the Judge grant an order for petitioner to be allowed extended time in the Cook County Jail Law Library; (7) he was denied due process because during the State's opening arguments, the State included inaccurate information that was contrary to the evidence presented at trial; (8) he was denied due process because the trial court dismissed his post conviction petition without an evidentiary hearing; (9) he was denied effective assistance of counsel for post conviction appeal when the Appellate court granted his appointed counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel pursuant to Pennsylvania v. Finley.

A. STANDARD OF REVIEW

After the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), the law of habeas corpus requires that the federal courts review state court holdings with deference to state-court fact findings and is limited to ensuring that the state courts comply with "clearly ...


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