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Michael Harris v. David Rednour

October 21, 2011

MICHAEL HARRIS, PETITIONER,
v.
DAVID REDNOUR, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Petitioner Michael Harris' petition for writ of habeas corpus (Petition). For the reasons stated below, the Petition is denied.

BACKGROUND

In 2004, in a bench trial in Illinois state court, Harris was acquitted on some charges and was found guilty of murder. Harris was sentenced to six concurrent forty-five-year terms of imprisonment. Harris appealed the conviction, his appeal was denied and his petition for leave to appeal (PLA) to the Illinois Supreme Court was denied on January 24, 2007. In December 2007, Harris filed a post-conviction petition, which was dismissed. Harris appealed, the appeal was denied, and on January 26, 2011, Harris's PLA was denied on his post-conviction petition. In addition, on July 20, 2009, Harris filed a motion for leave to file a successive state post-conviction petition, which was denied and his appeal on that denial is still pending. Harris brings the instant petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

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

I. Additional Motions

The parties have filed several additional motions that are pending in these proceedings. Harris has filed a supplemental reply brief, which was untimely. However, since Harris is proceeding pro se the court will consider the filing as a motion for leave to extend the deadline for filing a reply brief and the motion is granted. Respondent has filed a motion for leave to file instanter a sur-reply and that motion is granted.

Finally, Harris has filed a motion for leave to amend the Petition. The briefing regarding the Petition has been fully briefed, including a reply and sur-reply. Although Harris entitled his motion as a "Motion for Leave to Amend the Petition for Habeas Corpus," Harris has not provided sufficient justification for amending the Petition at this juncture and merely continues to oppose Respondent's arguments.

Harris states in the motion, for example that he "urges this Honorable Court to reject [R]espondent's view of a "procedural default. . . ." (Mot. Am. 8). Harris has not submitted a proposed amended Petition and has not shown that he has any additional claims or alterations of his existing claims that have any merit. Although a habeas petition can be amended and supplemented pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2242 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, Harris has not shown that his motion to amend should be granted and the motion is denied. The court also notes that even when considering the arguments ...


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