United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Z. Lee United States District Judge
November 2007, Petitioner Jeremiah Busby was found guilty of
first-degree murder after a jury trial in the Circuit Court
of Cook County, Illinois. He was sentenced to fifty
years' imprisonment. In November 2014, he filed a pro
se habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
For the reasons provided herein, the petition is denied.
conviction arose from the fatal shooting of Shaun Henry on
September 18, 2005, in Maywood, Illinois. Resp't Ex. A,
at 2, ECF No. 18. Six days before the shooting, a man named
James Cavanaugh went to an apartment to purchase drugs from a
person named “Silk.” Id. at 6. Busby was
present at the apartment. Id. Cavanaugh asked for a
line of credit to purchase drugs, but he was told that
“Silk and [Busby] wanted their money.”
Id. Silk and Busby drove Cavanaugh home in
Cavanaugh's black Hyundai Sonata. Id. Once they
arrived, Cavanaugh went inside by himself. Id. When
he looked outside a few hours later, his black Hyundai Sonata
was gone. Id.
Tribble, an acquaintance of Busby, testified that he was
driving in a black car with Busby around 1:00 a.m. on the
night of the shooting. Id. at 2. According to
Tribble, Busby stopped the car in front of a small apartment
building at 27 South 20th Street in Maywood. Id.
Several people were gathered in front of the building,
including Henry, the shooting victim. Id. Busby got
out of the car, carrying a gun, and he followed Henry around
to the back of the building. Id. After Tribble lost
sight of Busby, he heard several gunshots. Id.
Tribble then saw Busby run back toward the car, still holding
a gun. Id. Busby announced that he had “shot
the guy, ” and Busby and Tribble drove away.
Christopher and Clarissa Hampton lived at 27 South 20th
Street at the time of the shooting. Id. at 3. They
knew Busby and Henry “from school and around the
neighborhood.” Id. Christopher testified that,
just before the shooting, he and Clarissa had been in their
front yard with Henry and some friends when “a black
car turned around in front of [the apartment building] and
left.” Id. The Hamptons and their friends went
inside and then heard four or five gunshots. Id. at
3-4. After hearing the gunshots, the Hamptons went outside
and saw Henry lying in the backyard. Id. At trial,
the Hamptons denied seeing Busby the night of the shooting
and also denied ever telling the police otherwise.
officer Sergio Cordoba responded to the shooting.
Id. at 4. When he arrived at the scene, he found the
Hamptons in the backyard with Henry's body. Id.
According to Cordoba, the Hamptons told him they had seen
Busby get out of a black car and walk toward the building.
Id. at 5. Cordoba also testified that Christopher
Hampton told him Busby had been carrying a gun. Id.
Detective David Gude interviewed each of the Hamptons
separately about the shooting. Id. According to
Gude, Christopher Hampton told him that he had seen Busby
pull up in a dark-colored vehicle, exit the vehicle while
“holding an object under his shirt, ” and follow
Henry behind the building. Id. He then heard several
gunshots, and he saw Busby run back to the vehicle and drive
away. Id. Clarissa Hampton told Gude that she had
seen Busby pull up in a dark-colored Hyundai Sonata and exit
the vehicle with a gun. Id.
also testified that, while investigating the shooting, he
spoke with other witnesses besides the Hamptons.
Busby, 2013 WL 6813899, at *2. On cross-examination,
Gude was asked whether those other witnesses had viewed a
photo array or otherwise identified Busby. Id. In
response, Gude said he would have to see “the
report” to answer such questions. Id. The
parties held a sidebar, and defense counsel stated that the
prosecution had never disclosed “any reports that any
other people identified [Busby].” Id.
November 2005, about two months after the shooting, police
arrested Busby. Resp't Ex. A, at 6. Following the arrest,
Detective Gude interviewed Busby, and Busby gave a videotaped
statement that was admitted into evidence at trial.
Id. In the statement, Busby indicated that he had
previously had an altercation over drug customers with Henry,
but he denied shooting Henry. Id. at 6-7. He
acknowledged that he had been in the black Hyundai Sonata at
some point, but he explained that “all of the drug
dealers borrowed that car.” Id. at 7. He also
claimed that he had been in Rockford since early September,
and he told Gude that he had a Greyhound bus ticket to
Rockford for September 4, 2005. See Id. Gude went to
the bus station after interviewing Busby, but he was unable
to locate information indicating that Busby had purchased a
ticket to Rockford for that date. Id. at 8.
his jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Busby was
convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to fifty
years' imprisonment. Id. at 1. The Illinois
Appellate Court affirmed his conviction. Id. at 21.
Busby subsequently filed a petition for leave to appeal (PLA)
in the Illinois Supreme Court. Resp't Ex. E, PLA,
People v. Busby, No. 110243. In the PLA, Busby
raised only two claims, both of which he had also raised
before the Illinois Appellate Court. First, he claimed that
the prosecution had improperly used the Hamptons' prior
inconsistent statements to police as substantive evidence,
when they were admissible only for impeachment. Id.
at 11. Second, he claimed that trial counsel had rendered
ineffective assistance by failing to object to this use of
the Hamptons' prior inconsistent statements. Id.
at 15. The Illinois Supreme Court denied the PLA on September
29, 2010. Resp't Ex. F.
Busby filed a postconviction petition in the Circuit Court of
Cook County. Resp't Ex. P. The court dismissed the
petition, and Busby appealed. In his postconviction
proceeding before the Illinois Appellate Court, Busby raised
only two claims. First, he claimed that the prosecution had
violated his due process rights under Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by failing to disclose
police reports indicating that several witnesses other than
the Hamptons had identified Busby. Resp't Ex. G, Br.
& Argument, at 10, 13. Second, he claimed that appellate
counsel had rendered ineffective assistance by failing to
challenge the nondisclosure of the police reports on direct
appeal. Id. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed
the dismissal of the postconviction petition. Busby,
2013 WL 6813899, at *1.
then filed another PLA in the Illinois Supreme Court.
Resp't Ex. M, PLA, People v. Busby, No. 117340.
In the PLA, Busby raised only one claim: a claim for
ineffective assistance of appellate counsel based on
counsel's failure to argue that the prosecution had
violated Illinois Supreme Court Rule 412 by failing to
disclose the police reports. Id. at 3, 11- 14. The
Illinois Supreme Court denied the PLA on May 28, 2014.
Resp't Ex. N.
November 2014, Busby filed a pro se habeas corpus
petition in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. His
petition advances the following claims:
1. The prosecution improperly (a) argued to the jury that
Busby had threatened two witnesses; and (b) vouched for the
credibility of state witnesses.
2. The cumulative effect of the prosecution's misconduct
3. Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by (a)
failing to object to the prosecution's argument that
Busby had threatened witnesses; (b) suggesting that the jury
hear Busby's entire post-arrest statement;(c) failing to
object to Cavanaugh's testimony; (d) failing to object to
the admission of evidence regarding other crimes Busby had
committed; and (e) eliciting testimony from Detective Gude
suggesting that witnesses other than the Hamptons had
identified Busby as the shooter.
4. Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by
failing to raise claims presented to the Illinois Appellate
Court in the PLA on direct review.
5. The prosecution improperly used the Hamptons' prior
inconsistent statements as substantive evidence, rather than
using them only for impeachment.
6. The prosecution violated Busby's due process rights by
failing to disclose evidence of police reports suggesting
that witnesses other than the Hamptons had identified Busby
as the shooter.
7. Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing
to object to the prosecution's use of the Hamptons'
prior inconsistent statements as substantive evidence.
8. Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by
failing to raise a claim on direct appeal regarding the
prosecution's failure to disclose ...