United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN O UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is petitioner's 28 U.S.C. § 2254
habeas corpus petition (Dkt. # 1). For the reasons below, the
petition will be denied.
cases arises from petitioner's convictions for
manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine. In 2013, police
searched petitioner's home after detecting the chemical
odor associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.
See Dkt. # 7-5 at 19-20. They discovered a one-pot
drug laboratory and arrested petitioner. Id. The
state filed the following charges: (Count 1): manufacture of
a controlled dangerous substance in violation of Okla. Stat.
tit. 63 § 2-401(G); (Count II): possession of a
controlled dangerous substance in violation of Okla. Stat.
tit. 63 § 2-402; and (Count 3): possession of drug
paraphernalia in violation of Okla. Stat. tit. 63 §
2-405. See Dkt. # 7-1 at 1. The offenses occurred
after two or more prior felonies. Id. Mark Kane was
appointed as defense counsel. See Dkt. # 7-5 at 7.
through counsel, waived the preliminary hearing. See
Dkt. # 7-5 at 7. On May 1, 2013, petitioner entered a blind
plea and requested placement in a drug treatment program.
See Dkt. # 8-1. The state court accepted the plea
and, over the objection of the prosecution, released
petitioner on bond for treatment at Ray's House in
Muskogee, Oklahoma. Id. at 8-1; see also
Dkt. # 7-7 at 7. The state court deferred sentencing until
after petitioner completed a two-year treatment program.
See Dkt. # 8-1 at 5. Petitioner entered Ray's
House on or about May 2, 2013. See Dkt. # 7-7 at 7.
The following year, he left the facility to attend his
father's funeral. Id. at 8. Petitioner was
discharged from Ray's House when he did not return as
required. Id. When petitioner was eventually
apprehended, the state court reset the matter for sentencing.
See Dkt. #8-3. That hearing was continued because
the state court could not locate the original Lumpkin form
(i.e., plea worksheet) that petitioner completed the
prior year. Id. at 3-4. The form was eventually
recreated, and the state court sentenced petitioner to a
total term of 21 years imprisonment. See Dkt. # 8-4.
The sentence represented the statutory minimum, based on
prior convictions, and he received credit for the time spent
at Ray's House. Id.
timely filed a motion to withdraw the plea. See Dkt.
# 7-4. Conflict counsel was appointed to represent petitioner
during the withdrawal proceedings. See Dkt. # 7-5 at
10. The state court denied the motion to withdraw, and the
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) affirmed.
See Dkt. # 8-5 at 41; see also Dkt. # 7-6.
Petitioner filed this federal § 2254 petition (Dkt. # 1)
on August 5, 2016. He raises three propositions of error:
(Ground 1): The plea was involuntary;
(Ground 2): Ineffective assistance of plea counsel;
(Ground 3): The plea must be withdrawn based on the missing
See Dkt. # 1 at 3.
filed a response (Dkt. # 7), along with copies of the state
court record (Dkt. # 8). Respondent concedes, and the Court
finds, that petitioner timely filed his federal habeas
petition and exhausted state remedies as to the above claims.
See Dkt. # 7 at 2; see also 28 U.S.C.
§§ 2244(d), 2254(b)(1)(A). Petitioner filed a reply
(Dkt. # 11) on November 8, 2016, and the matter is ready for
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) governs
this Court's review of petitioner's habeas claims.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Relief is only available
under the AEDPA where the petitioner “is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). However,
because the OCCA already adjudicated petitioner's claims,
this Court may not grant habeas relief unless he demonstrates
that the OCCA's ruling: (1) “resulted in a decision
that was contrary to . . . clearly established Federal law as
determined by Supreme Court of the United States, ” 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1); (2) “resulted in a decision that
. . . involved an unreasonable application of clearly
established Federal law, ” id.; or (3)
“resulted in a decision that was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts” in light of
the record presented to the state court, id. at
determine whether a particular decision is ‘contrary
to' then-established law, a federal court must consider
whether the decision ‘applies a rule that contradicts
[such] law' and how the decision ‘confronts [the]
set of facts' that were before the state court.”
Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 182 (2011)
(alterations in original) (quotations omitted). When the
state court's decision “identifies the correct
governing legal principle in existence at the time, a federal
court must assess whether the decision ‘unreasonably
applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's
case.” Id. (quotations omitted).
Significantly, an “unreasonable application of”
clearly established federal law under § 2254(d)(1)
“must be objectively unreasonable, not merely
wrong.” White v. Woodall, 134 S.Ct. 1697, 1702
(2014) (quotations omitted). “[E]ven clear error will
not suffice.” Id. Likewise, under §
2254(d)(2), “a state-court factual determination is not
unreasonable merely because the federal habeas court would
have reached a different conclusion in the first
instance.” Wood v. Allen, 558 U.S. 290, 301
(2010). The Court must presume the correctness of the state
court's factual findings unless petitioner rebuts that
presumption “by clear and convincing evidence.”
28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).
the standards set forth in § 2254 are designed to be
“difficult to meet, ” Harrington v.
Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102 (2011), and require federal
habeas courts to give state court decisions the
“benefit of the doubt.” Woodford v.
Visciotti, 537 U.S. 19, 24 (2002). A state prisoner
ultimately “must show that the state court's ruling
... was so lacking in justification that there was an error
well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any
possibility for fairminded disagreement.”
Richter, 562 U.S. at 103.
Grounds 1 and 3: ...