Anderson v. Rapelje
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY. Signed by District Judge Gershwin A. Drain. (TBan)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
ERIC KARL ANDERSON,
Civil Action 14-CV-12950
HONORABLE GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS
CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
Eric Karl Anderson, (“Petitioner”), confined at the Gus Harrison Correctional
Facility in Adrian, Michigan, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his application, filed through his attorney, James Sterling
Lawrence, petitioner challenges his conviction out of the Wayne County Circuit Court
for two counts of armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529, one count of assault
with intent to rob while armed, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.89,2 and one count of
possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony (felony-firearm), Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.227b. For the reasons stated below, the petition for a writ of
The Caption is amended to reflect that petitioner is currently housed at the
Gus Harrison Correctional Facility and the Warden is Paul Klee.
The Michigan Court of Appeals vacated Petitioner’s conviction for assault
with intent to rob while armed on double jeopardy grounds.
habeas corpus is DENIED.
On April 18, 2010, in the city of Detroit, Gregory Matthews and Stephon Tolin
were robbed at gunpoint. Around 3:19 a.m. while Matthews and Tolin stood in front
of Matthews’s home, Matthews saw petitioner and another individual walk past them.
The area was lit by a pole with a light in front of Matthews’ house and by a porch
light attached to the house. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 10, 66). Matthews recognized both
petitioner and his accomplice because he had seen them five or six times in the
neighborhood. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 10-14, 20-21,65). Matthews identified, with certainty,
petitioner as one of the assailants that robbed him. (Tr. 11/3/10. pp. 14-15, 22).
However, Matthews did not know petitioner’s name until petitioner’s ex-girlfriend told
Matthews his name and suggested he view a picture of petitioner on Facebook.
Once he looked on Facebook, Matthews was able to identify petitioner as the
assailant and brought the picture to the police. Tolin could not identify either robber
and testified that a gun was in his face the entire time. (Tr. 11/3/10 Tr. p. 77).
Matthews saw petitioner and the other individual turn around and run towards
him and Tolin, this time with their faces covered and armed with handguns. (Tr.
11/3/10, pp. 6-9). The robbers pointed their handguns at Matthews and Tolin and
then took Matthews’ money, wallet, house keys, and car keys and Tolin’s phone and
fifty dollars. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 8-9, 25, 75, 77). The other assailant placed Matthews
in a headlock, while petitioner struck Matthews with his handgun above Matthews’
right eyebrow and nose. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 8, 33, 68). Afterwards, Matthews and Tolin
were told to leave the area. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 11, 33-34). Within a minute after
leaving the house, Matthews heard two gunshots. (Tr. 11/3/10, p. 12).
Matthews called and woke his mother, Omeake Taylor, on his cell phone,
telling her that he had been robbed and that the assailants took the keys to his car.
Taylor looked out her window on the second floor and saw two individuals near her
son’s car, which was parked in her driveway. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 27, 121-122, 124).
Earlier that day, Taylor had seen the individual on the passenger side of Matthews’
car wearing the same beige shirt, without his face covered. Taylor identified this
man as petitioner. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 122, 133).
Darius Nunlee testified that on the morning of April 18, he and petitioner went
to a club in downtown Detroit before going to the Coney Island on Woodward and
Mack. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 165-166). According to Nunlee, petitioner got shot at the
Coney Island so he drove him to Sinai Grace Hospital. (Tr. 11/3/10, pp. 167-168).
Nunlee and Petitioner have been friends since elementary school. (Tr. 11/3/10, p.
Petitioner’s conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v. Anderson, 2012 WL
3536791; lv. den. 829 N.W.2d 221 (2013).
Petitioner now seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:
I. Petitioner was denied a fair trial by the missing witness and refusal
to provide a missing witness jury instruction.
II. Petitioner was prejudiced by ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Title 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), imposes the following standard of review for
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in
custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted
with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State
court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim–
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
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.
A decision of a state court is “contrary to” clearly established federal law if the
state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by the Supreme Court
on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than the
Supreme Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts. Williams v. Taylor,
529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000). An “unreasonable application” occurs when “a state
court decision unreasonably applies the law of [the Supreme Court] to the facts of
a prisoner’s case.” Id. at 409. A federal habeas court may not “issue the writ simply
because that court concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant
state-court decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously or
incorrectly.” Id. at 410-11.
The Supreme Court has explained that “[a] federal court’s collateral review
of a state-court decision must be consistent with the respect due state courts in our
federal system.” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 340 (2003). The “AEDPA thus
imposes a ‘highly deferential standard for evaluating state-court rulings,’ and
‘demands that state-court decisions be given the benefit of the doubt.’” Renico v.
Lett, 559 U.S. 766, 773 (2010)(quoting Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 333, n. 7
(1997); Woodford v. Viscotti, 537 U.S. 19, 24 (2002)(per curiam)). “[A] state court’s
determination that a claim lacks merit precludes federal habeas relief so long as
‘fairminded jurists could disagree’ on the correctness of the state court’s decision.”
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 101 (2011)(citing Yarborough v. Alvarado, 541
U.S. 652, 664 (2004)). In order to obtain habeas relief in federal court, a state
prisoner is required to show that the state court’s rejection of his claim “was so
lacking in justification that there was an error well understood and comprehended
in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement.” Harrington, 562
U.S. at 103. A habeas petitioner should be denied relief as long as it is within the
“realm of possibility” that fairminded jurists could find the state court decision to be
reasonable. See Woods v. Etherton, 136 S. Ct. 1149, 1152 (2016).
A. Claim # 1. The missing witness claim and missing witness
Petitioner alleges that the prosecutor failed to exercise due diligence in
locating and subpoening Arielle Johnson for trial and should not have been excused
from producing her at trial. Petitioner further contends that the trial court judge
erred in failing to give a requested adverse inference instruction to the jury.
Petitioner requests that this Court hold an evidentiary hearing pertaining to the
missing witness and the missing jury instruction.
Federal law does not require the production of res gestae witnesses. Johnson
v. Hofbauer, 159 F. Supp. 2d 582, 601 (E.D. Mich. 2001).
requirement that the prosecutors produce res gestae witnesses is simply a matter
of state law whose enforcement is beyond the scope of federal habeas review. See
Collier v. Lafler, 419 F.App’x. 555, 559 (6th Cir. 2011). “[U]nder federal law, there
is no obligation on the part of the prosecutor to call any particular witness unless the
government has reason to believe that the testimony would exculpate the
petitioner.” Atkins v. Foltz, 856 F.2d 192 (Table), 1988 WL 87710, *2 (6th Cir.
August 24, 1988)(citing to United States v. Bryant, 461 F.2d 912, 916 (6th Cir.
1972)). Thus, whether a prosecutor exercised due diligence in attempting to locate
a res gestae witness is outside the scope of federal habeas review. Collier, 419
F.App’x. at 559.
Petitioner has offered no evidence, other than speculation, that Johnson
would have provided exculpatory evidence. Although petitioner claims that Johnson
might have testified that she provided petitioner’s name to Matthews and Matthews
looked petitioner up on Facebook, Matthews testified that he had seen petitioner
numerous times in the neighborhood but did not know his name.
The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected petitioner’s res gestae and related
instructional error claim as follows:
A res gestae witness is one who witnesses “some event in the
continuum of the criminal transaction” and whose testimony would aid
“in developing a full disclosure of the facts at trial.” It was alleged that
Johnson provided Gregory Matthews with defendant’s name and
informed him that he could see a picture of defendant on Facebook.
It was never alleged that Johnson witnessed any event in the
continuum of the criminal transaction. Matthews testified that he had
seen defendant in the neighborhood but did not know his name. When
he was provided with defendant’s name by Johnson and looked up
defendant’s picture on Facebook, Matthews was able to identify
defendant as the perpetrator of the armed robbery. At trial, Matthews
testified to these facts and the jury chose to believe him.
Although Johnson should not be considered a res gestae witness, she
was an endorsed witness. The prosecutor was unable to show that
due diligence was exercised to obtain her presence at trial. In this
instance, a missing jury instruction may have been appropriate.
However, even if the missing witness instruction were applicable,
reversal is not warranted because defendant did not establish that the
error resulted in a miscarriage of justice. At trial, defendant claimed
that he did not commit the crimes and that he had been shot at a
restaurant just before the time the crimes were committed. Defendant
does not assert that Johnson would have provided any testimony to
establish that he was innocent, only that she told the victim that she
thought defendant was the individual who robbed him and that there
was a picture of defendant on Facebook. After review of the nature of
the error in light of the weight and strength of the evidence, it does not
appear more probable than not that the failure to provide the
instruction was outcome determinative. We find that the trial court did
not abuse its discretion when it did not provide the jury with the
missing witness jury instruction.
People v. Anderson, 2012 WL 3536791, at *3. (internal citations omitted).
Petitioner failed to show that Ms. Johnson would have provided exculpatory
evidence, thus, the prosecutor’s failure to call her to testify at petitioner’s trial would
not entitle him to habeas relief.
The Court rejects petitioner’s related claim that the jury should have been
given the missing witness instruction.
A habeas petitioner is entitled to relief only if the defective jury instruction “so
infected the entire trial that the resulting conviction violates due process.” Cupp v.
Naughten, 414 U.S. 141, 147 (1973). A federal court may not grant habeas relief
on the ground that a jury instruction was incorrect under state law, Estelle, 502 U.S.
at 71-72, and “[a]n omission, or an incomplete instruction, is less likely to be
prejudicial than a misstatement of the law.” Henderson v. Kibbe, 431 U.S. 145, 155
A criminal defendant does not have a clearly established federal right to a
missing witness instruction. Petitioner therefore cannot obtain federal habeas relief
based on the state court’s failure to give an instruction to his jury regarding the
prosecution’s failure to produce witnesses. See Stadler v. Curtin, 682 F. Supp. 2d
807, 821-22 (E.D. Mich. 2010). Petitioner is not entitled to habeas relief on his first
B. Claim # 2. The ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims.
Petitioner alleges that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel
when counsel failed to move to suppress the in court identification testimony of
Gregory Matthews, failed to compel the production of Arielle Johnson, and failed to
adequately present the alibi defense. Petitioner requests that this Court conduct
an evidentiary hearing in connection with his ineffective assistance of trial counsel
To the extent that petitioner contends that the state courts erred in denying
him an evidentiary hearing on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims, that
alone would not entitle him to habeas relief. There is no clearly established
Supreme Court law which recognizes a constitutional right to a state court
evidentiary hearing to develop a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel on
appeal. See Hayes v. Prelesnik, 193 F.App’x. 577, 585 (6th Cir. Aug. 25, 2006).
Even if there is a due process component to petitioner’s claims involving the
denial of his motions to remand by the Michigan Court of Appeals, deprivation of
this sort would not form the basis for issuing a writ of habeas corpus, but might
support a request for an evidentiary hearing in this Court for the purpose of
developing a record on the petitioner’s ineffective assistance of counsel claims. See
May v. Renico, 2002 WL 31748845, *5 (E.D. Mich. 2002). This Court must
determine whether petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims.
When deciding whether to grant an evidentiary hearing, a federal court must
consider whether such a hearing could enable the habeas petitioner to prove the
petition’s factual allegations, which, if true, would entitle the petitioner to federal
habeas relief on his claim or claims. Schriro v. Landrigan, 550 U.S. 465, 474 (2007).
“[B]ecause the deferential standards prescribed by § 2254 control whether to grant
habeas relief, a federal court must take into account those standards in deciding
whether an evidentiary hearing is appropriate.” Id. If the record refutes the habeas
petitioner’s factual allegations or otherwise precludes habeas relief, a district court
is not required to hold an evidentiary hearing. Id. Stated differently, a habeas
petitioner is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims if they lack merit.
See Stanford v. Parker, 266 F.3d 442, 459-60 (6th Cir. 2001). Furthermore, a
habeas petitioner is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel where the petitioner fails to allege specific facts which, if true,
would entitle him to relief on his claims. See Barber v. Birkett, 276 F. Supp. 2d 700,
706 (E.D. Mich. 2003)(petitioner was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his
claims that he was denied his right to counsel and that his appellate counsel
rendered ineffective assistance, where he did not assert any facts which, if true,
would establish a constitutional error). As will be discussed below, petitioner’s
ineffective assistance of counsel claims are without merit, therefore, he is not
entitled to an evidentiary hearing on these claims.
To show that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel under federal
constitutional standards, a defendant must satisfy a two prong test. First, the
defendant must demonstrate that, considering all of the circumstances, counsel’s
performance was so deficient that the attorney was not functioning as the “counsel”
guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687
(1984). In so doing, the defendant must overcome a strong presumption that
counsel’s behavior lies within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance.
Id. In other words, petitioner must overcome the presumption that, under the
circumstances, the challenged action might be sound trial strategy. Strickland, 466
U.S. at 689. Second, the defendant must show that such performance prejudiced
his defense. Id. To demonstrate prejudice, the defendant must show that “there is
a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of
the proceeding would have been different.” Strickland, 466 U.S. at 694. The
Supreme Court’s holding in Strickland places the burden on the defendant who
raises a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, and not the state, to show a
reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different,
but for counsel’s allegedly deficient performance. See Wong v. Belmontes, 558 U.S.
15, 27 (2009).
On habeas review, “the question ‘is not whether a federal court believes the
state court’s determination’ under the Strickland standard ‘was incorrect but
whether that determination was unreasonable-a substantially higher threshold.’”
Knowles v. Mirzayance, 556 U.S. 111, 123 (2009)(quoting Schriro v. Landrigan, 550
U.S. 465, 473 (2007)). “The pivotal question is whether the state court’s application
of the Strickland standard was unreasonable. This is different from asking whether
defense counsel’s performance fell below Strickland’s standard.” Harrington v.
Richter, 562 U.S. at 101. Indeed, “because the Strickland standard is a general
standard, a state court has even more latitude to reasonably determine that a
defendant has not satisfied that standard.” Knowles, 556 U.S. at 123 (citing
Yarborough v. Alvarado, 541 U.S. at 664). Pursuant to the § 2254(d)(1) standard,
a “doubly deferential judicial review” applies to a Strickland claim brought by a
habeas petitioner. Id. This means that on habeas review of a state court conviction,
“[a] state court must be granted a deference and latitude that are not in operation
when the case involves review under the Strickland standard itself.” Harrington, 562
U.S. at 101. “Surmounting Strickland’s high bar is never an easy task.” Id. at 105
(quoting Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 371 (2010)).
1. Failure to suppress identification as unreliable.
Petitioner claims that the trial court judge erred in failing to suppress the incourt identifications of Gregory Matthews as being the product of a suggestive
Due process protects the accused against the introduction of evidence which
results from an unreliable identification obtained through unnecessarily suggestive
procedures. Moore v. Illinois, 434 U.S. 220, 227 (1977). To determine whether an
identification procedure violates due process, courts look first to whether the
procedure was impermissibly suggestive; if so, courts then determine whether,
under the totality of circumstances, the suggestiveness has led to a substantial
likelihood of an irreparable misidentification. Kado v. Adams, 971 F. Supp. 1143,
1147-48 (E.D. Mich. 1997)(citing to Neil v. Biggers, 409 U.S. 188 (1972)). Five
factors should be considered in determining the reliability of identification evidence:
1. the witness’s opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the
2. the witness’s degree of attention at the time of the crime;
3. the accuracy of the witness’s prior description of the defendant;
4. the witness’s level of certainty when identifying the suspect at the
5. the length of time that has elapsed between the time and the
Neil, 409 U.S. at 199-200.
If a defendant fails to show that the identification procedures are
impermissibly suggestive, or if the totality of the circumstances indicate that the
identification is otherwise reliable, no due process violation has occurred; so long
as there is not a substantial misidentification, it is for the jury or factfinder to
determine the ultimate weight to be given to the identification. See United States v.
Hill, 967 F.2d 226, 230 (6th Cir. 1992).
Petitioner claims that Matthew’s in-court identification was tainted because
Arielle Johnson, not subpoenaed for trial, told Matthews that he was robbed by
petitioner and told him to look up her recent prom photos that she posted on
Facebook. Matthews testified at trial that he had seen petitioner and his accomplice
numerous times prior to the robbery and viewed petitioner’s face just prior to the
Matthews also testified that he actually saw petitioner’s face and
recognized him as someone he had seen several times in the neighborhood. (Tr.
11/3/10, pp. 11, 20-21); Anderson, 2012 WL 3536791, at *2.
Petitioner fails to show how Matthews’ in-court identification was the product
of a suggestive pre-trial identification.
Matthews was not shown petitioner’s
photograph by the police but looked at it himself on Facebook. “[T]he Supreme
Court has never held that an in-court identification requires an independent basis
for admission in the absence of an antecedent improper pre-trial identification.”
Cameron v. Birkett, 348 F. Supp. 2d 825, 843 (E.D. Mich. 2004). Moreover, “the
Due Process Clause does not require a preliminary judicial inquiry into the reliability
of an eyewitness identification when the identification was not procured under
unnecessarily suggestive circumstances arranged by law enforcement.” Perry v.
New Hampshire, 132 S. Ct. 716, 730 (2012). There is no suggestion that Matthews
was subjected to a suggestive pre-trial identification; accordingly, trial counsel was
not ineffective for not moving to suppress Matthew’s in-court identification. See
Perkins v. McKee, 411 F.App’x. 822, 833 (6th Cir. 2011).
2. Failure to call endorsed witness.
Petitioner alleges that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to prepare a
subpoena to request the production of Arielle Johnson, the missing endorsed
witness, for petitioner’s trial or to request a due diligence hearing concerning the
prosecutor’s failure to produce this witness.
The trial court found that Johnson was not an important witness to the case.
(Tr. 11/3/10, p. 145.). She witnessed no “event in the continuum of the criminal
transaction.” Anderson, 2012 WL 3536791, at *3.
Further, Anderson never
asserted “that Johnson would have provided any testimony to establish that he was
innocent . . . .” Id. Thus, petitioner had no entitlement to have Johnson produced
as a witness. Because petitioner has failed to show that Johnson would have
offered exculpatory testimony for the defense, counsel was not ineffective for failing
to seek the production of Johnson or for failing to demand a due diligence hearing.
See Greene v. Lafler, 447 F. Supp. 2d 780, 793 (E.D. Mich. 2006). Petitioner is not
entitled to relief on this claim.
3. Failure to adequately present the alibi.
Petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective by failing to present the
video from the restaurant to the jury, showing petitioner at a restaurant at 3:00 a.m.,
10 miles from the location of the robbery which occurred at 3:18 a.m., and by failure
to conduct cross-examination concerning the contents of the video.
Trial counsel cross-examined Officer Todd Ebey extensively, who testified
that he did not believe the video lent support to petitioner’s alibi defense. (Tr.
11/3/10, pp. 96, 109.) The video displays several individuals at the restaurant
wearing jeans with designs on the pockets. Officer Ebey saw no one with a red
jacket matching Anderson’s description. (Tr. 11/3/10, p. 98). The video shows an
African-American female and a Caucasian male with a beard who have red jackets.
It also shows another individual wearing jeans with a design and footwear that could
be Wheat Timberland boots, but that person has a grey jacket with a light grey
hoodie underneath. That individual is only visible for approximately three seconds,
from 3:00:36 until 3:00:38 and is on the other side of the restaurant from where the
shots were heard.
In regards to the failure to present the video and failure to investigate and
adequately present petitioner’s alibi defense, the Michigan Court of Appeals found:
Fourth, defendant’s argument that his attorney failed to investigate and
present evidence regarding his alibi is unfounded. Defendant does not
indicate what his attorney should have investigated and what further
evidence should have been presented. In fact, defendant presented an
alibi defense that he could not have committed the robbery because
he had been shot at a restaurant approximately 10 miles away just
before the time the robbery was alleged to occur. Both defendant and
his friend, Darius Nunlee, testified regarding this, and Officer Ebey
testified regarding the contents of the restaurant’s videotape. There
was evidence that a person who could have been defendant was at
the restaurant at 3:00 a .m. There was also evidence that an armed
robbery occurred 10 miles away from the restaurant at approximately
3:18 a.m., shots were heard within minutes after the robbery occurred,
and defendant presented at Sinai–Grace Hospital at 3:33 a.m. with a
gunshot wound. The victim of the robbery identified defendant as his
assailant. Even if the jury believed that defendant was at the
restaurant when the shooting occurred there, defendant had time to
get to the location where the robbery occurred and to the hospital
approximately three miles away. Any errors in presenting defendant’s
alibi do not indicate performance by the defense attorney that was
below an objective standard of reasonableness. Defendant was not
denied the effective assistance of counsel.
Anderson, 2012 WL 3536791, at *5. (internal citation omitted).
Because petitioner could have left the Coney Island at 3:00 a.m. and gone
to the scene of the crime to commit the robbery at 3:18 a.m. (Tr. 11/3/2010, p.106),
trial counsel did not have a duty to present the video supporting an alibi defense to
A defense counsel has no obligation to present evidence or testimony that
would not have exculpated the defendant. See Millender v. Adams, 376 F.3d 520,
527 (6th Cir. 2004). The failure to adequately present a proposed alibi defense
which would not lead to a defendant’s acquittal does not amount to the ineffective
assistance of counsel. Id. Because the video could not have provided an “air-tight”
alibi defense, counsel was not ineffective for failing to present the video to the jury.
See Moore v. Parker, 425 F.3d 250, 253-54 (6th Cir. 2005). Petitioner is not
entitled to habeas relief on his alibi claim.
The Court will deny the petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Court will also
deny a certificate of appealability. In order to obtain a certificate of appealability,
a prisoner must make a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). To demonstrate this denial, the applicant is required to
show that reasonable jurists could debate whether, or agree that, the petition should
have been resolved in a different manner, or that the issues presented were
adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further. Slack v. McDaniel, 529
U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000). When a district court rejects a habeas petitioner’s
constitutional claims on the merits, the petitioner must demonstrate that reasonable
jurists would find the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims to be
debatable or wrong. Id. at 484. “The district court must issue or deny a certificate
of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant.” Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases, Rule 11(a), 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254.
For the reasons stated in this opinion, the Court will deny petitioner a
certificate of appealability because reasonable jurists would not find this Court’s
assessment of petitioner’s claims to be debatable or wrong. Johnson v. Smith, 219
F. Supp. 2d 871, 885 (E.D. Mich. 2002).
Based upon the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that the petition for a writ of
habeas corpus is DENIED WITH PREJUDICE.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED That a certificate of appealability is DENIED.
Dated: March 29, 2017
/s/Gershwin A Drain
HON. GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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