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Jackson v. Sharp

United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma

January 6, 2020

ERIC JEROME JACKSON, Petitioner,
v.
TOMMY SHARP, Interim Warden, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          HONORABLE RONALD A. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the court on Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. [Doc. 1]. Petitioner, a pro se prisoner in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, is currently incarcerated at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. Following a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of one count of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Methamphetamine) (63 O.S.Supp.2012, § 2-402), after former conviction of two or more felonies, in Carter County District Court No. CF-2013-344. He was sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment in accordance with the jury's recommendation.

         Petitioner was represented by counsel Eric R. Jones at trial and counsel Robert W. Jackson with the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System on direct appeal. Appellate counsel raised one claim on direct appeal, arguing that Petitioner's Sixth Amendment rights were violated when the trial court refused to allow him to call a material witness in his defense. [Doc. 13-2]. Petitioner's conviction was affirmed by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) on direct appeal. See Jackson v. State, F-2014-222 (Okla. Crim. App. Jan. 6, 2015) (unpublished). [Doc. 13-4].

         In this habeas action, Petitioner alleges that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to argue on direct appeal that trial counsel was ineffective for not objecting when the prosecutor deliberately deceived the jury by presenting false testimony. Respondent concedes the § 2254 petition is timely and that Petitioner has exhausted his state court remedies for the purpose of federal habeas corpus review. [Doc. 13 at 3].[1] Petitioner, appearing pro se, previously filed two applications for post-conviction relief in the state district court. [Docs. 13-5 and 13-6]. Both applications were almost identical, and Petitioner asserted the same claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failing to raise the claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel on direct appeal. The Carter County District Court denied relief [Doc. 13-8], and Petitioner appealed the state trial court's order denying post-conviction relief. He filed a petition in error and brief in support of petition in error with the OCCA. [Docs. 13-9 and 13-10]. The OCCA affirmed the district court's denial of post-conviction relief. [Doc. 13-11].

         The following have been submitted for consideration in this matter:

         A. Petitioner's direct appeal brief.

         B. State's brief in Petitioner's direct appeal.

         C. Summary Opinion affirming Petitioner's judgment and sentence.

         D. Petitioner's applications for post-conviction relief.

         E. State's response to Petitioner's application for post-conviction relief.

         F. Order denying Petitioner's application for post-conviction relief.

         G. Petition in error.

         H. Brief in support of petition in error.

         I. Order affirming denial of post-conviction relief.

         J. State court record.

         K. Transcripts.[2]

         L. Trial exhibits.

         Standard of Review

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, federal habeas corpus relief is proper only when the state court adjudication of a 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).

         Factual Background

         On June 26, 2013, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Ardmore Police Officer Juan Galicia pulled behind a truck and noticed the operational failure of the center brake light. [Doc. 14-2 at 123, 134]. Before the officer could make the stop, however, the vehicle turned into a driveway and its driver turned off the vehicle headlamps. Id. at 123. Thinking such activity was strange, Officer Galicia traveled a short distance down the road and set up near an intersection. Id. After a brief period of time, the vehicle approached the intersection. Id. at 123-24. Officer Galicia pulled behind the truck and activated his overhead lights to initiate a traffic stop. Id. at 124.

         The vehicle came to a stop and Officer Galicia made contact with the driver and three occupants. Id. Officer Galicia asked Petitioner, who was the driver, to provide a driver's license and insurance verification. Id. at 124-25. Petitioner provided an insurance verification for a different vehicle, but not for the truck that had been stopped. Id. at 125. He did not provide a driver's license. Id. After gathering information about Petitioner and his passengers, the officer contacted dispatch for a license and warrant check. Id. Petitioner did not hold a valid driver's license, and he was ...


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