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U.S. v. BIGLEY

June 14, 2004.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel., SHAWN BAHRS, Petitioner,
v.
KIM BIGLEY, Warden, Shawnee Correction Center, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Petitioner Shawn Bahrs' ("Petitioner") petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner has also filed a petition for writ of habeas ad testificandum. For the reasons stated below we deny the Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus. In addition, Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas ad testificandum is denied as moot.

BACKGROUND

  Petitioner is a prisoner in the State of Illinois and is currently being held at the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna, Illinois. Kim Bigley ("Respondent") is the warden of that institution.

  Petitioner was charged in the Circuit Court of DuPage County ("Trial Court") with one count of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle; one count of unlawful possession of a converted vehicle; one count of aggravated driving while license revoked; and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence. Following a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of unlawful possession of a converted vehicle, aggravated driving while license revoked, and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Petitioner was acquitted of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle. Petitioner was sentenced to a term of twelve years in the Illinois Department of Corrections as a Class X offender for the offense of unlawful possession of a converted vehicle. Petitioner received sentences of three years as to each of the remaining convictions, to be served concurrently to each other and to the twelve year sentence.

  Petitioner appealed his convictions and sentences to the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District ("Illinois Appellate Court") and raised the following arguments: (1) whether the Trial Court confused the jury by giving the jury separate verdict guilty forms; (2) whether the jury's conviction on the unlawful possession of converted vehicle was legally inconsistent to its finding for acquittal for unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle; and (3) whether the Trial Court abused it discretion in imposing a twelve year sentence. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the convictions and sentences of the Trial Court. Petitioner then filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Illinois. The petition for leave to appeal was denied by the Supreme Court of Illinois.

  Petitioner then filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Trial Court and raised five issues. The Trial Court denied the petition for post-conviction relief and Petitioner did not file an appeal.

  On May 28, 2003, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus ("Petition") with this court. In his Petition, Petitioner alleges (1) that he was improperly convicted of unlawful possession of a converted vehicle because he was found not guilty of possession of a stolen or converted vehicle; (2) that his due process rights were violated because the Trial Court's jury instruction was defective; and that (3) his defense counsel in the Trial Court was ineffective for failing to object to the jury/verdict forms and arguing two different theories to the jury.

  LEGAL STANDARD

  A district court may entertain a habeas corpus petition from a "person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the grounds that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 a habeas corpus petition shall not be granted:
on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State Court . . . unless the adjudication of the claim . . . (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 United States; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding."
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

  DISCUSSION

  I. Procedural Default

  A federal court will not address a question of federal law presented in a habeas corpus petition brought to contest a state court ruling if "the state decision rests on a state procedural ground that is independent of the federal question and adequate to support the judgment." Page v. Frank, 343 F.3d 901, 905 (7th Cir. 2003). In order to avoid a procedural default on a claim presented in a habeas corpus petition, a petitioner must "give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's ...


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