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Hughes v. Ashby

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 31, 2014

JACKIE E. HUGHES, Petitioner,
v.
FORREST ASHBY, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on Petitioner Jackie E. Hughes' (Hughes) pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus (Petition) brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Section 2254). For the reasons stated below, the court denies the Petition.

BACKGROUND

In 1999, the State's Attorney of Lake County charged Hughes with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. (R Ex. D). Count VI of the indictment, which is relevant to the instant Petition, alleged that Hughes committed aggravated criminal sexual abuse. (R Ex. D). On December 28, 1999, the State moved to dismiss five counts, including Count VI, and such counts were dismissed. On December 30, 1999, the State petitioned to have Hughes declared a sexually dangerous person (SDP) under the Sexually Dangerous Person Act, (SDPA), 725 ILCS 205/0.01, which allows for a commitment of individuals in lieu of a criminal prosecution for charged offenses. See Varner v. Monohan, 460 F.3d 861, 865 (7th Cir. 2006)(explaining that "Illinois has enacted the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act..., which authorizes the indefinite civil confinement of persons who have yet to be convicted of sex offenses but are deemed likely to endanger others").

At a jury trial on the SDPA petition, Hughes was found to be a SDP. However, on appeal the Illinois Appellate Court vacated the judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.

On September 26, 2006, by agreement of the parties, the criminal matter was reopened and Hughes pled guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Count VI. In exchange, the State dismissed the remaining charges and the pending SDP petition. The parties agreed to a fourteen-year sentence for Hughes with credit for the time Hughes had spend in custody since July 21, 1999. Approximately two weeks after Hughes pled guilty, the State filed a petition to have Hughes declared a sexually violent person (SVP) and to have him committed under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (SVPA), 725 ILCS 207/1 et seq., using Hughes' conviction as the predicate offense for the SVP determination. Hughes then moved to withdraw his guilty plea, contending that his plea was not made knowingly and voluntarily. The trial court denied the motion to withdraw the plea.

Hughes then filed an appeal, and on July 20, 2011, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed his conviction and sentence. Hughes then filed a petition for leave to appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court and on November 29, 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence. Hughes did not file a petition for writ of certiorari in the United State Supreme Court. On March 18, 2013, Hughes filed the instant Petition.

LEGAL STANDARD

An individual in custody pursuant to state court judgment may seek a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Section 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

Respondent argues that the instant Petition is improper, and lacks merit. Respondent also contends that the court should not ...


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