Argued: November 18, 2015
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 12-C-697 -- Patricia J. Gorence, Magistrate Judge.
For Gregory Jean-Paul, Petitioner - Appellant: Edward King Poor, Attorney, Matthew T. Ingersoll, Attorney, Quarles & Brady LLP, Chicago, IL.
For Timothy Douma, Respondent - Appellee: Sarah Burgundy, Attorney, Office of The Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Madison, WI.
Before POSNER, MANION, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Sykes, Circuit Judge.
Gregory Jean-Paul, a Wisconsin prisoner, filed a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 arguing that he did
not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to counsel on his direct
criminal appeal in state court. The district court denied relief. We affirm the
judgment because the state appellate court reasonably concluded that his waiver
was knowing and intelligent.
Jean-Paul was convicted in 2007 of state drug crimes and sentenced to 13 years' confinement and 12 years' extended supervision. He appealed, but vacillated on whether he wanted to represent himself on appeal. In January 2008 he talked with his appointed counsel, Patrick Donnelly. Donnelly told his client that he intended to file a " no-merit report," see Wis. Stat. § 809.32, unless Jean-Paul wanted to proceed pro se, in which case Donnelly would simply ask to withdraw. Jean-Paul replied that he wanted to proceed pro se. To confirm, Donnelly wrote to Jean-Paul, advising him that if he signed and returned
a " Statement of Decision to Proceed Pro Se," Donnelly would withdraw from Jean-Paul's appeal. Donnelly noted that " [t]he deadline for taking action in your case is ...