Willis Reed v. Rick Thaler, Director
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [10-40326 Affirmed ] Judge: EGJ , Judge: EMG , Judge: CES Mandate pull date is 07/06/2011 [10-40326]
Date Filed: 06/15/2011
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
June 15, 2011
Lyle W. Cayce
WILLIS JOSEPH REED,
RICK THALER, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE,
CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS DIVISION,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas
USDC No. 1:06-CV-598
Before JOLLY, GARZA and STEWART, Circuit Judges.
Willis Joseph Reed, Texas prisoner # 1319595, appeals from the district
court’s denial of his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 application challenging his conviction for
murder. This court granted a certificate of appealability on the issue whether
the district court erred by dismissing Reed’s sufficiency of the evidence claim
when no copy of the state trial record is contained in the record.
Pursuant to 5TH CIR . R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR .
Date Filed: 06/15/2011
Because Reed received sufficient notice that the issue of procedural default
would be considered on appeal and had a reasonable opportunity to respond, and
because the State did not intentionally waive its procedural defenses, we
consider sua sponte whether Reed’s sufficiency claim is procedurally defaulted.
See Smith v. Johnson, 216 F.3d 521, 523-24 (5th Cir. 2000). As Reed raised his
sufficiency claim only in his state habeas application, the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals’s denial of his application was based on an independent and
adequate Texas procedural ground such that his sufficiency claim is procedurally
defaulted. See Busby v. Dretke, 359 F.3d 708, 718 (5th Cir. 2004); Ex parte
Grigsby, 137 S.W.3d 673, 674 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004). We have fully considered,
but find no merit in, Reed’s reply argument that failing to consider his
sufficiency claim on the merits would result in a fundamental miscarriage of
justice because he is actually innocent. See Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 324,
327-28 (1995); Smith, 216 F.3d at 524.
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