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Miguel Garcia v. Marcus Hardy

May 11, 2011

MIGUEL GARCIA, PETITIONER,
v.
MARCUS HARDY, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Samuel Der-yeghiayan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Petitioner Miguel Garcia's (Garcia) petition for writ of habeas corpus (Petition). For the reasons stated below, the court denies the Petition.

BACKGROUND

In 2004, a jury convicted Garcia in Illinois state court of first degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Garcia was sentenced to fifty-five years in prison. Garcia appealed the conviction, arguing that 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(1)(d)(iii) was unconstitutional as applied to his case and that the trial court had not properly admonished him with respect to his right to appeal the conviction. (R Ex. B, D Brief 2). Before the Illinois Appellate Court ruled on Garcia's appeal, Garcia withdrew his arguments relating to the constitutionality of 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(1)(d)(iii). (R Ex. D 1-2). On April 14, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Garcia's conviction. Garcia filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court (PLA), which was denied on September 27, 2006.

On February 13, 2007, Garcia filed a post-conviction petition, and on March 16, 2007, the petition was summarily dismissed. On April 10, 2007, Garcia filed a motion to reconsider, which was denied on April 26, 2007. Garcia then appealed the dismissal of his post-conviction petition, and on May 28, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the dismissal. Garcia filed a PLA on his post-conviction appeal, which was denied on September 30, 2009. On August 18, 2010, Garcia filed the Petition in this action.

LEGAL STANDARD

An individual in custody pursuant to state court judgment may seek a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, which provides the following:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings 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). The decision made by a state court is deemed to be contrary to clearly established federal law "'if the state court applies a rule different from the governing law set forth in [Supreme Court] cases, or if it decides a case differently than [the Supreme Court has] done on a set of materially indistinguishable facts.'" Emerson v. Shaw, 575 F.3d 680, 684 (7th Cir. 2009)(quoting Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 694 (2002)). The decision by a state court is deemed to involve an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law "'if the state court correctly identifies the governing legal principle from [Supreme Court] decisions but unreasonably applies it to the facts of the particular case.'" Emerson, 575 F.3d at 684 (quoting Bell, 535 U.S. at 694).

DISCUSSION

Garcia argues in his Petition: (1) that he was unconstitutionally denied due process and equal protection because 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(1)(d)(iii) should only be applied in cases where the use of a firearm causes severe injury or death to a person other than the murder victim (Claim 1), (2) that he was unconstitutionally denied due process and equal protection because the application of 730 ILCS 5/5-8/1(a)(1)(d)(iii) to his case results in a double-enhancement (Claim 2), (3) that his appellate counsel on direct appeal (Appellate Counsel) was ineffective for failing to make arguments relating to the fact that Alma Santillano's (Santillano) testimony at trial was contrary to the trial court's pre-trial in limine ruling and was not timely disclosed to defense counsel (Claim 3), and (4) that his Appellate Counsel was ineffective for failing to make arguments relating to the admissibility of evidence of Garcia's other crimes (Claim 4).

I. Procedurally Defaulted Claims

Respondent argues that all of Garcia's claims are procedurally defaulted and that there is no ...


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