Lyles v. Atchison et al
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order, Signed by the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber on 1/31/2013. (ea, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex
rel WILLIAM LYLES,
Case NO. 12 C 2099
Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber
MIKE ATCHISON, Warden, Menard
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is William Lyles’ (hereinafter, “Lyles” or
“Petitioner”) Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254.
For the reasons stated herein, the Petition is
denied and the Court declines to issue a Writ on any of the issues
raised in the petition.
On March 5, 2004, a Cook County jury found Petitioner guilty
of first degree murder for shooting and killing Bobby Roberts.
April 5, 2004, the trial judge sentenced Petitioner to a twentythree-year
conviction and a consecutive twenty-five year term of incarceration
enhancement for discharging a firearm that caused the death of
another person pursuant to 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(d)(iii). Petitioner
is currently serving his forty-eight-year sentence at the Menard
Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois.
In the instant Petition, Lyles seeks a Writ of Habeas Corpus
on the following six grounds:
(1) his due process rights were
violated because one of the jurors in his murder trial expressed
uncertainty regarding the guilty verdict, and trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to object; (2) appellate counsel was
ineffective for failing to argue on direct appeal that the trial
court should have granted petitioner’s motion to quash arrest; (3)
his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when officers detained
him for more than forty-eight hours without a probable cause
hearing, and his confession should have been suppressed on that
basis; (4) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to impeach
officers at the suppression hearing with police reports; (5)
appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the prior
two arguments (Claims (3) and (4)) on direct appeal; and (6) his
due process rights were violated by prosecutorial error during the
opening statement and closing argument.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), the Court presumes that the
state court’s factual determinations are correct for purposes of
The facts relevant to Lyles’ petition follow.
November 18, 2001, Petitioner shot and killed Bobby Roberts, a
rival gang member, outside a video store at 51st Street and Wood in
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The shooting occurred in front of Roberts’ mother,
Luwanda Smith (“Smith”), and two other women.
identified Petitioner as the shooter.
The mother of two of
Petitioner’s children, Sheree Murdock (“Murdock”), also testified
and said that Petitioner told her that he killed someone in front
of the video store on November 18, 2001.
After the jury returned a guilty verdict, the trial judge
polled the jurors.
The following colloquy occurred with juror
Ralph Buford (“Buford”):
Ralph Buford, was it then and is it now your
I’m slow about answering because I didn’t
agree. I had to agree because it was ten
against two. That’s the way it was.
All right. Is this your verdict though?
After polling the remaining jurors, the trial judge returned
to Buford and had the following colloquy:
Just one –- you said that this is your
verdict, is that correct now?
I have no choice.
All right. But nobody forced you to make that
We would be here all night.
Sir, what I’m asking you, did anybody force
-- to make that verdict?
Petitioner’s post-trial motion seeking a new trial was denied. The
state appellate court denied Petitioner’s direct appeal, and the
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Illinois Supreme Court denied his Petition for Leave to Appeal (the
Thereafter, Petitioner filed a pro se post-conviction
petition, and appointed counsel filed an amended post-conviction
The trial court dismissed the amended post-conviction
petition on January 6, 2010.
Petitioner appealed that dismissal,
but his appointed counsel was granted leave to withdraw under
Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551 (1987).
The Illinois Supreme
Court denied his post-conviction PLA, and Petitioner filed the
instant habeas petition.
28 U.S.C. § 2254 limits the ability of federal courts to grant
habeas relief to state prisoners.
In order to present a viable
claim for federal habeas review, Petitioner must establish that he
(1) exhausted all applicable state court remedies and (2) his
claims are not procedurally defaulted.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b).
Respondent concedes that Petitioner has exhausted all available
state court remedies, but argues that Claims 4, 6 and a portion of
Claim 5 were procedurally defaulted.
A federal court is precluded from reaching the merits of a
claim in a § 2254 petition based on procedural default if the claim
“was presented to the state courts and the state court ruling
against the petitioner rests on adequate and independent state-law
procedural grounds,” or the claim “was not presented to the state
courts and it is clear that those courts would now hold the claim
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Perruquet v. Briley, 390 F.3d 505, 514 (7th
Cir. 2004) (citing Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 735 & n. 1
“Thus, when the habeas petitioner has failed to fairly
present to the state courts the claim on which he seeks relief in
federal court and the opportunity to raise that claim in state
court has passed, the petitioner has procedurally defaulted that
claim.” Id. There is a limited equitable exception to a procedural
impediment blocked him from asserting his federal claim in the
state court and actual prejudice resulted.
Perruquet, 390 F.3d at
“Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
1996 (the “AEDPA”), a petitioner is entitled to habeas relief when
a decision of the state court is ‘contrary to’ or ‘an unreasonable
application of’ clearly established federal law as determined by
the United States Supreme Court.”
Burr v. Pollard, 546 F.3d 828,
precedent when it relies on a rule that conflicts with that
precedent or reaches a different result in a similar case.”
546 F.3d 828, 2008 WL 4569900 at *2.
“A state court unreasonably
applies clearly established law if it ‘identifies the correct
governing legal principle . . . but unreasonably applies that
principle to the facts of the prisoner’s case.’”
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Burr, 546 F.3d
828, 2008 WL 4569900 at *2 (quoting Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S.
362, 413 (2000)).
Error alone is not sufficient.
828, 2008 WL 4569900 at *2.
The state court’s decision must be
Burr, 546 F.3d
Claims 4, 6 and a portion of Claim 5
Claims 4, 6 and a portion of Claim 5.
Petitioner raised Claim 6,
that his due process rights were violated by prosecutorial error
during the opening statement and closing argument in his criminal
trial, on direct appeal.
However, Petitioner did not raise that
argument in his PLA to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Petitioner failed to raise this issue in a full round of appellate
review, it is procedurally defaulted.
Smith v. McKee, 598 F.3d
374, 383 (7th Cir. 2010) (citing O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S.
838, 845-46, 119 S.Ct. 1728 (1999)).
because he has not shown good cause for the default, actual
prejudice from the alleged error, or that failure to consider this
claim will result in a fundamental miscarriage of justice.
Coleman v. Thomson, 501 U.S. 722, 750 (1991); Dellinger v. Bowen,
301 F.3d 758, 764 (7th Cir. 2002). Accordingly, Claim 6 is denied.
In Claim 4, Petitioner argues that his trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to impeach officers at the suppression
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hearing with police reports.
Petitioner further argues in Claim 5
that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise
this issue on direct appeal.
Petitioner did not raise either of these issues in his postconviction petition, or in his objection to his post-conviction
appellate counsel’s motion to withdraw pursuant to Pennsylvania v.
Finley, 481 U.S. 551 (1987).
Petitioner did raise these issues in
his post-conviction PLA, however, as the Court stated above, claims
are procedurally defaulted if they are not raised in a full round
of appellate review.
Smith v. McKee, 598 F.3d 374, 383 (7th Cir.
2010) (citing O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845-46, 119
S.Ct. 1728(1999)); White v. Godinez, 192 F.3d 607, 608 (7th Cir.
1999) (holding that Boerckel applies with equal force to the state
Additionally, Petitioner has not shown
good cause for the default, actual prejudice from the alleged
error, or that failure to consider these claims will result in a
fundamental miscarriage of justice.
See Coleman v. Thomson, 501
U.S. 722, 750 (1991); Dellinger v. Bowen, 301 F.3d 758, 764 (7th
Accordingly, Claim 4 and the portion of Claim 5
related to Claim 4 are denied.
Claims 1, 2, 3, and the portion of Claim 5 related to Claim 3, on
In Claim 1, Petitioner argues that his due process
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rights were violated because juror Buford, when polled, expressed
uncertainty regarding the guilty verdict, rendering the verdict not
Petitioner further argues that his trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to object to the non-unanimous verdict.
“[A] state criminal defendant, at least in noncapital cases,
has no federal right to a unanimous jury verdict[.]”
Arizona, 501 U.S. 624, 634 n.5 (1991) (citing Johnson v. Louisiana,
406 U.S. 356, 359-62 (1972)).
Further, “only noncompliance with
federal law renders a State’s criminal judgment susceptible to
collateral attack in federal courts.”
Wilson v. Corcoran, 131
S.Ct. 13, 16 (2010) (per curiam). Because Petitioner does not have
a federal Constitutional right to a unanimous jury verdict, he
cannot show that the state court’s resolution of this claim was
contrary to or an unreasonable application of “clearly established”
Supreme Court precedent.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
Petitioner also cannot establish that his trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to object to the unanimity of the jury
In order to prevail on an ineffective assistance of
counsel claim, Petitioner must show that his counsel’s performance
fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and that but
probability of a different result.
Strickland v. Washington, 466
U.S. 668, 688 (1984); Stallings v. United States, 536 F.3d 624, 627
(7th Cir. 2008).
When considering an ineffective assistance of
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counsel claim on habeas review, this Court must not only defer to
evaluation of the issue.
Winston v. Boatwright, 649 F.3d 618, 625
(7th Cir. 2011).
“Judicial scrutiny of counsel’s performance must be highly
deferential,” and “a court must indulge a strong presumption that
professional assistance.” Knowles v. Mizrayance, 556 U.S. 111, 129
S.Ct. 1411, 1420 (2009) (quoting Strickland, 466 U.S. at 689).
“The question is whether an attorney’s representation amounted to
incompetence under ‘prevailing professional norms,’ not whether it
deviated from best practices or most common custom.” Harrington v.
Richter, 131 S.Ct. 770, 788 (2011).
“For the second element,
[Petitioner] must show that ‘counsel’s errors were so serious as to
deprive the defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is
2007)(quoting Strickland, 466 U.S. at 687).
When juror Buford expressed uncertainty regarding the guilty
verdict during polling, the trial judge questioned him thoroughly.
There is nothing in the record before this Court that suggests that
an objection from trial counsel regarding that issue would have led
to further questioning.
The state appellate court conducted a
unanimous and concluded that the trial judge’s finding of unanimity
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Petitioner cannot establish either deficient
performance or prejudice stemming from trial counsel’s decision not
to object to the verdict.
Accordingly, Claim 1 is denied.
In Claim 2, Petitioner argues that his appellate counsel was
ineffective for failing to argue on direct appeal that the trial
court should have granted his motion to quash the arrest.
of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel are subject to the
same standard as those challenging trial counsel.
See Martin v.
Evans, 384 F.3d 848, 851 (7th Cir. 2004); Suggs v. United States,
513 F.3d 675, 678 (7th Cir. 2008).
Appellate counsel “is not
required to raise every non-frivolous issue on appeal.”
384 F.3d at 852.
To prevail on an ineffective assistance of
appellate counsel, Petitioner must show that appellate counsel
“fail[ed] to argue an issue that is both obvious and clearly
stronger than the issues raised.” Id. at 851. Petitioner must also
demonstrate a reasonable probability that, but for his attorney’s
deficient performance, the result of the appeal would have been
Suggs, 513 F.3d 675, 678.
Resolution of the motion to quash arrest was based on a
determinations are particularly difficult to reverse on appeal.
See, e.g., People v. Richardson, 917 N.E.2d 501, 512 (Ill. 2009)
(“[f]indings of fact and credibility determinations made by the
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circuit court are accorded great deference and will be reversed
only if they are against the manifest weight of the evidence”).
The trial court’s denial of the motion to quash arrest was not
clearly stronger than the other issues raised on direct appeal.
Further, Petitioner has not demonstrated a reasonable probability
that his direct appeal would have been granted if it included this
Accordingly, Petitioner has not established that his
appellate counsel was ineffective and Claim 2 is denied.
Claim 3 and the Remaining Portion of Claim 5
In Claim 3, Petitioner argues that his Fourth Amendment rights
were violated when officers detained him for more than forty-eight
hours without a probable cause hearing, and his confession should
have been suppressed on that basis.
In the remaining portion of
ineffective for failing to raise Claim 3 on direct appeal.
“As long as a habeas petitioner enjoyed an ‘opportunity for
full and fair litigation of a Fourth Amendment claim’ in state
court, federal habeas review of the claim is barred.”
v. Buss, 540 F.3d 542, 552 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Stone v.
Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 481-82 (1976)).
Even though the state court
found that Petitioner was not detained for more than forty-eight
hours without a probable cause hearing, according to the record in
this case, Petitioner had the opportunity to fully and fairly
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litigate the issue.
Therefore, habeas review of the issue is
barred under Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 481-82 (1976)).
unconstitutional delay in receiving a probable cause hearing, the
remedy is not suppression of his confession. See Lawhorn v. Allen,
519 F.3d 1272, 1292 (11th Cir. 2008) (remedy for unlawful detention
was not suppression of evidence); United States v. Fullerton, 187
F.3d 587, 592 (6th Cir. 1999) (remedy for delay in probable cause
determination was Section 1983 claim, not suppression of evidence).
For these reasons, Claim 3 is denied.
Similar to Claim 2, Petitioner’s appellate counsel was not
ineffective for failing to raise this issue on direct appeal.
timing and circumstances of Petitioner’s detention were credibility
particularly difficult to reverse on appeal.
Further, this issue
was not clearly stronger than the other issues raised on direct
probability that his direct appeal would have been granted if it
included this issue.
Accordingly, Petitioner has not established
that his appellate counsel was ineffective and the remaining
portion of Claim 5 is denied.
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
In order to obtain a certificate of appealability, Petitioner
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28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
Petitioner must show that “reasonable jurists could debate whether
. . . the petition should have been resolved in a different manner
or that the issues presented were adequate to deserve encouragement
to proceed further.”
Resendez v. Knight, 653 F.3d 445, 446 (7th
Cir. 2011) (Ripple, J. in chambers) (citations omitted).
The claims raised in the instant petition do not deserve
encouragement to proceed further and would not garner debate
between reasonable jurists as to whether they should have been
Accordingly, Petitioner has not made a
substantial showing that his constitutional rights were denied and
his request for a certificate of appealability is denied.
For the reasons stated herein, the Petition is denied and the
Court declines to issue a Writ on any of the issues raised in the
The request for a Certificate of Appealability is also
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge
United States District Court
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