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U.S. EX. REL. MAULDIN v. McADORY

June 2, 2004.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. ANDRE MAULDIN, Petitioner
v.
EUGENE McADORY, Warden, Menard Correctional Center,[fn1] Respondent



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.

 I. FACTUAL HISTORY

  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.

 II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

  A. Direct Appeal

  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 ...


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