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United States ex rel Stone v. Anglin

November 15, 2010

UNITED STATES EX REL. EDWARD STONE (#R42443), PETITIONER,
v.
KEITH ANGLIN, WARDEN, DANVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AMY J. ST. EVE, District Court Judge

Before the Court is Petitioner Edward Stone's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). For the following reasons, the Court denies Stone's habeas petition. Further, the Court declines to certify any issues for appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).

BACKGROUND

Stone does not present clear and convincing evidence challenging the statement of facts in the last state court decision to address his arguments on the merits, therefore, those facts are presumed correct for purposes of this habeas review. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Rever v. Acevedo, 590 F.3d 533, 537 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court therefore adopts the underlying facts as set forth by the Illinois Appellate Court in People v. Stone, No. 1-06-0839 (Ill. App. Ct. June 4, 2007) (unpublished).

In August 2003, Stone was charged in the Circuit Court of Cook County with sexually assaulting his minor stepdaughter, A.K., under case numbers 03-CR-18115, 03-CR-18117, 03- CR-18118, and 03-CR-18119. More specifically, in case number 18115, Stone was charged with criminal sexual assault against A.K. stemming from conduct between September 1, 2000, and July 5, 2003. In case number 18117, Stone was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault against A.K. stemming from conduct between January 1992 and February 1995. Also, in case number 18118, Stone was charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault against A.K. stemming from conduct between July 6, 2003, and July 20, 2003. Finally, in case number 18119, Stone was charged with criminal sexual assault against A.K. stemming from conduct between July 25, 2000, and August 31, 2000. Stone moved to dismiss the indictments as time-barred, but the Circuit Court denied the motion in December 2003.

In March 2005, the Circuit Court conducted a plea hearing where Stone pleaded guilty to one count of predatory criminal sexual assault and four counts of criminal sexual assault. The Circuit Court then sentenced Stone to 15 years for case number 18115; 24 years for case number 18177; 15 years for count 1 and 9 years for count 2 in case number 18118; and 15 years for case number 18119. The sentences were to run concurrently except for the two counts in case 18118, which were to run consecutively. In sum, the Circuit Court sentenced Stone to a total of 24 years imprisonment. Thereafter, Stone filed a post-judgment motion to clarify his sentences and to withdraw his guilty pleas that the Circuit Court denied. See 735 ILCS 5/2-1401.

Stone appealed his convictions to the Illinois Appellate Court raising the following claims: (1) the Circuit Court erred in refusing to dismiss the indictments in case numbers 18117 and 18119 because the prosecutions were barred by the statute of limitations, the indictments did not allege any extension of the limitations period, and the indictment for case number 18119 did not allege a specific date for the alleged conduct; (2) the prosecution in case number 18117 was barred by the statute of limitations; and (3) the Circuit Court erred in refusing to allow Stone to withdraw his guilty pleas because he never stipulated to the use of force and the State made false statements during the plea hearing. On June 4, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Stone's convictions. Stone then filed a petition for leave to appeal ("PLA") to the Supreme Court of Illinois arguing that he was entitled to good conduct credit for his prison sentences. On September 30, 2009, the Supreme Court of Illinois denied his PLA.

Stone did not file a petition pursuant to the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act, 725 ILCS 5/122-1, et seq. Stone's time to file his post-conviction petition has run, and thus he has exhausted his habeas claims. See 725 ILCS 5/122-1(c); Smith v. Battaglia, 415 F.3d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 2005).

On September 20, 2010, Stone filed the present petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Construing his pro se allegations liberally, see McGee v. Bartow, 593 F.3d 556, 565-66 (7th Cir. 2010), Stone's habeas claims include: (1) the Circuit Court violated his due process rights by convicting him of aggravated criminal sexual assault in case number 18117 because the prosecution was barred by the statute of limitations; (2) the Circuit Court violated his due process rights by denying his motion to dismiss the indictments in case numbers 18117 and 18119 because (a) the prosecutions were barred by the statute of limitations, (b) the indictments did not allege any extension of the limitations period, and (c) the indictment for case number 18119 did not allege a specific date for the alleged conduct; and (3) the Circuit Court violated his due process rights by denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea because he did not admit to the use of force and the State made false statements at his plea hearing.

LEGAL STANDARDS

I. Habeas Standard

"[I]n all habeas corpus proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the successful petitioner must demonstrate that he 'is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.'" Brown v. Watters, 599 F.3d 602, 611 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a)). Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), habeas relief cannot be granted unless the state court's decision was contrary to, or an unreasonable application of federal law clearly established by the Supreme Court. See Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 402-03, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000); Brown v. Finnan, 598 F.3d 416, 421 (7th Cir. 2010). In Williams, the Supreme Court explained that a state court's decision is "contrary to" clearly established Supreme Court law "if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by this Court on a question of law" or "if the state court confronts facts that are materially indistinguishable from a relevant Supreme Court precedent and arrives at a result opposite to ours." Williams, 529 U.S. at 405; see also Brown, 598 F.3d at 421-22.

Under the "unreasonable application" prong of the AEDPA standard, a habeas petitioner must demonstrate that although the state court identified the correct legal rule, it unreasonably applied the controlling law to the facts of the case. See Williams, 529 U.S. at 407; Brown, 598 F.3d at 422. "A state court's decision is 'unreasonable' within the meaning of ยง 2254(d)(1) only if it is 'so erroneous as to be objectively unreasonable.'" Bennett v. Gaetz, 592 F.3d 786, 790 (7th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted); see also Williams, 529 U.S. at 410 ("unreasonable application of federal law is different from an incorrect application of federal law") (emphasis in original); Wood v. Allen, 130 S.Ct. 841, 849 (2010) (state court's factual finding not unreasonable "merely because the federal habeas court would have reached a different conclusion in the first instance."). To be considered objectively unreasonable, a state court's decision must be "well outside the boundaries of permissible differences of ...


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