The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM J. HIBBLER, District Judge
*fn1 Mauldin's petition named James Chrans, the former warden of the now
defunct Joliet Correctional Center, as the respondent. Mauldin is
currently incarcerated at the Menard Correctional Center. Accordingly,
Eugene McAdory, the warden of that facility, is hereby substituted as the
respondent. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 25(d)(1); Rule 2(a) of the Rules Governing
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Cases.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Petitioner, Andre Mauldin, a prisoner at the Menard Correctional
Center, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the following reasons, his request for relief
under § 2254 is DENIED.
The Court will presume that the state court's factual determinations
are correct for the purposes of habeas review as Mauldin has not provided
clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254
(e)(1); Todd v. Schomig, 283 F.3d 842, 846 (7th Cir. 2002). The relevant
facts established at trial are as follows. On April 17, 1992, a party was
held at 6740 South Dorchester Street. Several members of the street
gang, Gangster Disciples, attended the party. At about 1 a.m. on April 18, 1992, members of a rival street gang, the
Four Corner Hustlers (a street gang associated with the Vice Lords),
fired multiple gunshots into the party from railroad tracks behind the
house. Two people were killed and five others sustained injuries.
Michael Sullivan and DeAngelo Anderson were identified as two of the
offenders from lineups on April 19, and they were taken into custody.
Latrice Cooper, the person who held the party, identified Sullivan and
Anderson as two of the shooters. On April 18, 1992, Detective Mosher
investigated the scene of the crime and recovered nineteen cartridge
cases near the railroad tracks. Later that evening, Sullivan accompanied
police back to the crime scene to survey the tracks because, according to
Officer Cullom, "all the defendants allegedly ran south from the scene
and were up there." Mauldin raised no objection to this testimony at
trial. At trial, Cooper testified to seeing Sullivan and several
detectives walking by the railroad tracks behind her house. She testified
that Sullivan was pointing at the tracks. The trial court overruled
Sullivan's objection to this testimony.
On April 19, Detective Mosher and Officer Cullom accompanied Sullivan
to retrieve a hierarchical list of Vice Lords street gang members from
Sullivan's home at 6834 South Dorchester. Officer Cullom and Sullivan
then returned to the police station, and later that day Officer Cullom
and Sullivan returned to 6936 South Dorchester Street, where Mauldin was
arrested. During a sidebar conference, the trial court criticized the
State for introducing evidence of Sullivan's presence at the scene of
Mauldin's arrest because it created "the obvious inference" that Sullivan
confessed to the crime and implicated Mauldin. The prosecutor maintained
that he properly adduced evidence of the police officers' investigation
without discussing any conversations between Sullivan and police. The
court denied defense counsel's motion for a mistrial because although the
court issued a pretrial order barring the police from testifying that they arrested
Mauldin after speaking with Sullivan, it did not prohibit the State from
mentioning Sullivan's cooperation with police. Furthermore, the trial
court had denied Mauldin's motion in limine to preclude the State from
introducing testimony that Sullivan took the police to various sites to
gather evidence during their investigation.
Detective Mosher testified that while in custody, Mauldin admitted that
he and the other gang members went to the railroad tracks behind the
party and waited for an hour before firing their weapons into the party.
Mauldin had a "Mack 11" which held thirteen rounds, and he admitted to
firing ten rounds. Mauldin testified, however, that he falsely confessed
to the shooting because he feared the repercussions from the Vice Lords
if he told the truth. He had attended a meeting of the Vice Lords to
discuss shooting Gangster Disciple members prior to the party. At trial,
he testified that he was not present at the shooting but had relied on
what he had heard from others to form his confession.
Following a 1995 jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Mauldin was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and five
counts of attempted murder. The court sentenced Mauldin to two life terms
for the murder convictions and five concurrent 30-year prison terms for
the attempted murder counts.
Mauldin filed a timely appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court,
alleging: (1) denial of his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses
because improper hearsay evidence was admitted which allowed the jury to
infer that Sullivan had confessed to the shooting, and which corroborated
other state evidence indicating that Sullivan and Mauldin had committed
the offense together; and (2) deprivation of a fair trial and due process
because the prosecution, during its closing arguments, improperly
diminished Mauldin's presumption of innocence and shifted the burden of
proof onto him. On August 22, 1997, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed
the judgment of the trial court.
Mauldin then filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois
Supreme Court. He raised the following arguments: (1) that he was not
proven guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt because no witnesses
identified him in court and no evidence placed him at the scene of the
crime; (2) that during closing argument, Mauldin's right to due process
and a fair trial were denied when the prosecutor shifted the burden of
proof to Mauldin and violated the presumption of innocence with his
comments; and (3) that Mauldin was denied the right to a fair trial when
he was not ...