The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER
This case is before the Court on the petition of Jeremy Jones for
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the following
reasons, the petition for habeas corpus is denied.
Petitioner does not challenge the statement of facts set forth in the
order of the Illinois Appellate Court affirming his first degree murder
conviction. People v. Jones, No. 1-96-3841 (1999). For purposes of
federal habeas review, "a determination of a factual issue made by a
State court shall be presumed to be correct." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e).
Accordingly, we will adopt the facts as our own.
The evidence presented at trial established that Petitioner was a
member of the Blackstone street gang. On May 10, 1995, Petitioner and two
of his friends were chased by members of a rival gang, the Gangster
Disciples, after the three exited a bus at the CTA terminal located at
95th Street and the Dan Ryan expressway in Chicago, Illinois.
Thereafter, Petitioner went to the home of a fellow gang member and
obtained a. 22-caliber gun before returning to the
vicinity of the CTA terminal. While standing in the vacant lot across the
street from the station, Petitioner announced that he was "going to pop
one of them." Petitioner than crossed the street to the station and
joined a group who was discussing a peace treaty between the Blackstones
and the Gangster Disciples. The victim, Octavius Seabron, walked up and
joined this group. When the other members of the group began shaking
hands, Petitioner refused, threw his hands up into the air, and walked
Mr. Seabron called Lynnecia Reid over to the group and asked her for a
hug. He then took a couple of steps away from the group and turned to
face Ms. Reid. While Mr. Seabron was hugging Ms. Reid, Petitioner shot
him in the back of the head and shoulder. Mr. Seabron died of multiple
Petitioner testified that just before he fired the gun, there was a
crowd of Gangster Disciples approaching him, yelling and screaming, and
he heard something that sounded like a gunshot. This evidence was not
corroborated by any of the other witnesses who testified at trial.
On September 6, 1996, after a jury trial in Cook County, Illinois,
Petitioner was convicted of one count of first degree murder. Petitioner
was sentenced to a term of 50 years imprisonment. Petitioner appealed his
conviction to the Illinois Appellate Court, First Judicial District. In
his appellate brief, Petitioner raised the following issues: 1) the
prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; 2) he
was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel; and 3) the sentence
was excessive. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Petitioner's
conviction on February 19, 1999. Petitioner did not file a petition for
leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Petitioner filed a post-conviction petition in the Illinois Circuit
Court of Cook County. In his post-conviction petition, he alleged solely
that he was denied his constitutional right to effective assistance when
trial counsel failed to initiate or pursue plea negotiations. On January
23, 1998, the Circuit Court of Cook County issued a written order denying
Petitioner's post-conviction petition, specifically finding that
Petitioner's claim was without merit.
Petitioner appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court. In this appeal of
the denial of his post-conviction petition, Petitioner argued that he
received ineffective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to pursue
plea negotiations. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the denial of
Petitioner's post-conviction petition.
Petitioner filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme
Court. In his petition for leave to appeal, Petitioner argued that he was
denied due process and his Sixth Amendment right to counsel when counsel
failed to conduct plea negotiations. The Illinois Supreme Court denied
the petition for leave to appeal.
Petitioner then filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus in
this Court. In his habeas petition, Petitioner claims that he received
ineffective assistance of counsel and was denied his Fourteenth Amendment
due process rights and his Sixth Amendment right of counsel when counsel
failed to conduct any plea negotiations.
Federal courts may issue a writ of habeas corpus if a petitioner
demonstrates that he is "in [state] custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2245(a);
Moffat v. Gilmore, 113 F.3d 698, 702 (7th Cir. 1997); see also Del Vecchio
v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections, 31 F.3d 1363, 1370 (7th Cir. 1994) (en
bane) ("[F]ederal courts can
grant habeas relief only when there is a violation of federal statutory
or constitutional law."). The federal courts may not grant habeas relief
under Section 2254 unless the state court's judgment "(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 ...