Cory Donald v. Lloyd Rapelje
OPINION: we VACATE the judgement of the district court and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court's opinion, pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court judgment, decision not for publication. Alice M. Batchelder, AUTHORING Circuit Judge; Ralph B. Guy , Jr., Circuit Judge and Karen Nelson Moore, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
FILE NAME: 15A0458N.06
CASE NO. 12-2624
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
Jun 17, 2015
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
JEFFREY WOODS, Warden,
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Before: GUY, BATCHELDER, and MOORE, Circuit Judges.
ALICE M. BATCHELDER, Circuit Judge. Following remand from the Supreme
Court, we VACATE the district court’s grant of habeas corpus to Petitioner Corey Donald and
REMAND for further proceedings in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion. See Woods v.
Donald, 575 U.S. - -, 135 S. Ct. 1372 (2015).
The State of Michigan charged Donald with one count of first-degree felony murder and
two counts of armed robbery. A jury convicted him on all three counts. During trial, however,
his counsel was absent for a brief portion of the prosecution’s proof, which was directed at
certain co-defendants and did not concern Donald’s particular theory of defense.
On direct appeal, Donald argued that the brief absence by his attorney during a critical
stage denied him his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel, in violation of
United States v. Cronic, 466 U.S. 648 (1984). The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected his claim
and affirmed the convictions. The Michigan Supreme Court denied further review.
Donald v. Woods
Donald petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus in the federal district court, raising the same
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim. The district court granted the petition, holding that the
Michigan state court decision was contrary to and an unreasonable application of Cronic. See
Donald v. Rapelje, No. 09-cv-11751, 2012 WL 6047130 (E.D. Mich., Dec. 5, 2012). The State
appealed and a divided panel of this court affirmed. See Donald v. Rapelje, 580 F. App’x 277
(6th Cir. 2014).
The State petitioned for certiorari in the Supreme Court and obtained review. The Court
held that no decision from the Court clearly established that Cronic applies to these
circumstances and, therefore, reversed our decision and remanded for further proceedings. See
Woods v. Donald, 575 U.S. - -, 135 S. Ct. 1372 (2015).
For the foregoing reasons, we VACATE the judgment of the district court and REMAND
for further proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court’s opinion.
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