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Ransey v. Attorney General

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 27, 2018

MARTICE RANSEY, Petitioner,
v.
ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          ROBERT C. JONES, UNITED STAT€S DISTRICT JUDGE

         Introduction

         This action is a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, by Martice Ransey, a Nevada prisoner. The respondents have filed an answer, responding to all the claims in Ransey's petition for writ of habeas corpus. Ransey did not file a reply. The Court will deny Ransey's petition.

         Background

         Ransey was convicted on December 13, 2011, following a jury trial in Nevada's Eighth Judicial District Court, in Clark County, of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon. See Judgment of Conviction, Exhibit 37 (ECF No. 13-6). Ransey was adjudicated an habitual criminal, and was sentenced to two concurrent sentences of fifteen years in prison, with parole eligibility after five years on each. See id.

         Ransey appealed, and the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction on July 25, 2012, and denied rehearing on September 12, 2012. See Order of Affirmance, Exhibit 53 (ECF No. 13-22); Order Denying Rehearing, Exhibit 57 (13-26).

         On July 15, 2013, Ransey filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the state district court. See Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Exhibit 63 (ECF No. 14-2). The state district court appointed counsel for Ransey, and, with counsel, Ransey filed a supplemental petition. See Order of Appointment, Exhibit 66 (ECF No. 14-5); First Supplemental Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Exhibit 67 (ECF No. 14-6). The state district court denied the petition on May 16, 2014. See Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order, Exhibit 70 (ECF No. 14-9). Ransey appealed, and the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed on February 4, 2015. See Order of Affirmance, Exhibit 91 (ECF No. 14-30).

         This Court received Ransey's federal petition for writ of habeas corpus, initiating this action, pro se, on May 15, 2015 (ECF No. 6). Ransey's petition asserts the following claims:

1. Ransey's trial and appellate counsel was ineffective, in violation of his federal constitutional rights, because counsel "[failed] to challenge the [clerk's] misreading of Ransey's 1992 charge of robbery, which is a violent offense, as inadmissible evidence pursuant to NRS 48.045...." Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 6), p. 3.
2. Ransey's appellate counsel was ineffective, in violation of his federal constitutional rights, because counsel "failed to ... provide the [Nevada Supreme Court] with the bench conference transcripts pertaining to the denial of admission of Dunson's letter in briefing, attempt to investigate and [raise] the issue inappropriately only on rehearing before the [Nevada Supreme Court]." Id. at 5.
3. Ransey's trial and appellate counsel was ineffective, in violation of his federal constitutional rights, because counsel failed to:
1. "adequately represent Ransey after he declined the plea deal offered by the State;"
2. "visit through 'confidential facilities;'"
3. "conduct an adequate investigation for preparation of the case;"
4. "withdraw as requested;"
5. "file pretrial 'motion and writs;'"
6. "require 'good cause' for continuance;"
7. "address 'plea negotiation process;'"
8. "preserve the record;"
9. "address destruction of 'presumption of innocence;"
10. "request additional jury instructions;"
11. "prepare for sentencing;" and
12. "address viable appeal issues."

Id. at 7.

         4. 1. Ransey's federal constitutional rights were violated because "[t]he prosecutor overcharged Ransey with attempted murder when he was aware he did not have sufficient evidence to support such charge, " and "[h]e received an indictment from a grand jury utilizing only children to testify against Ransey to reach the fear* factor necessary to obtain an indictment." Id.at9.

         2. Ransey's appellate counsel was ineffective, in violation of his federal constitutional rights, because counsel failed to raise this issue on his direct appeal. Id. at 9A.

         On October 19, 2015, respondents filed a motion to dismiss (EOF No. 11), arguing that Claims 1, 2 and 3 are unexhausted in state court, and that Claim 3 fails to state a claim because it is conclusory. See Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 11). In response, on February 22, 2016, Ransey filed a motion for stay (ECF No. 16), requesting that the case be stayed to give him an opportunity to exhaust any unexhausted claims. The Court ruled on those motions, denying both, on May 6, 2016. See Order entered May 6, 2016 (ECXF No. 18). The Court found all Ransey's claims to be exhausted in state court, and determined that respondents* argument that Claim 3 is conclusory would be better addressed in conjunction with the merits of Ransey's claims. See Id. The Court denied the motion for stay, as moot, because there are no unexhausted claims. See id.

         Respondents then filed an answer (ECF No. 21). Ransey did not file a reply to the answer.

         Discussion

         28 U.S.C. § 2254(D)

         A federal court may not grant a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the state court decision was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law as determined by United States Supreme Court precedent, or 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). A state-court ruling is "contrary to" clearly established federal law if it either applies a rule that contradicts governing Supreme Court law or reaches a result that differs from the result the Supreme Court reached on "materially indistinguishable" facts. See Early v. Packer,537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002) (per curiam). A state-court ruling is "an unreasonable application" of clearly established federal law under section 2254(d) if it correctly identifies the governing legal rule but unreasonably applies the rule to the facts of the particular case. See Williams v. Taylor,529 U.S. 362, 407-08 (2000). To obtain federal habeas relief for such an "unreasonable application, " however, a petitioner must show that the state court's application of Supreme Court precedent was "objectively unreasonable." Id. at 409-10; see also Wiggins v. Smith,539 U.S. 510, 520-21 (2003). Or, in other words, habeas relief is warranted, under the ...


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