United States District Court, D. Nevada
R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
U.S.C. § 2254 habeas petition filed by Manuel Winn comes
before the court for final disposition on the merits (ECF No.
Procedural History and Background
21, 2010, a jury convicted Winn of battery with the use of a
deadly weapon and attempted robbery with use of a deadly
weapon (exhibit 36). The jury found Winn not guilty of burglary
while in possession of a deadly weapon. Id. The
state district court adjudicated Winn a habitual criminal and
sentenced him to two consecutive terms of life without the
possibility of parole. Exh. 42. Judgment of conviction was
entered on November 18, 2010. Exh. 43. An amended judgment of
conviction was entered on February 16, 2011 to reflect the
jury verdict. Exh. 51. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed
Winn's convictions on November 18, 2011, and remittitur
issued on December 16, 2011. Exhs. 59, 60.
filed a pro per state postconviction petition for habeas
corpus on August 15, 2012. Exh. 74. After an October 10, 2012
hearing, the state district court denied the petition on
October 31, 2012. Exh. 83. On September 18, 2013, the Nevada
Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the petition,
determining that the ineffective assistance of counsel claims
were properly denied on the merits and that the remaining
substantive claims were procedurally barred pursuant to NRS
34.810(1). Exh. 89. Remittitur issued on October 15, 2013.
November 26, 2013, Winn dispatched his federal habeas
petition for filing (ECF No. 6). This court appointed the
Federal Public Defender as counsel for Winn, and Winn filed a
counseled first-amended petition on September 30, 2015 (ECF
No. 19). Respondents have now answered the two remaining
grounds before the court (ECF No. 46). Winn replied (ECF No.
AEDPA Standard of Review
U.S.C. § 2254(d), a provision of the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), provides the legal
standards for this court's consideration of the petition
in this case:
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 ―
(1) 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;
(2) 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.
AEDPA “modified a federal habeas court's role in
reviewing state prisoner applications in order to prevent
federal habeas ‘retrials' and to ensure that
state-court convictions are given effect to the extent
possible under law.” Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S.
685, 693-694 (2002). This court's ability to grant a writ
is limited to cases where “there is no possibility
fair-minded jurists could disagree that the state court's
decision conflicts with [Supreme Court] precedents.”
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102 (2011). The
Supreme Court has emphasized “that even a strong case
for relief does not mean the state court's contrary
conclusion was unreasonable.” Id. (citing
Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63, 75 (2003)); see
also Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 181 (2011)
(describing the AEDPA standard as “a difficult to meet
and highly deferential standard for evaluating state-court
rulings, which demands that state-court decisions be given
the benefit of the doubt”) (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
court decision is contrary to clearly established Supreme
Court precedent, within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
“if the state court applies a rule that contradicts the
governing law set forth in [the Supreme Court's]
cases” or “if the state court confronts a set of
facts that are materially indistinguishable from a decision
of [the Supreme Court] and nevertheless arrives at a result
different from [the Supreme Court's] precedent.”
Lockyer, 538 U.S. at 73 (quoting Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000), and citing
Bell, 535 U.S. at 694.
court decision is an unreasonable application of clearly
established Supreme Court precedent, within the meaning of 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d), “if the state court identifies
the correct governing legal principle from [the Supreme
Court's] decisions but unreasonably applies that
principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.”
Lockyer, 538 U.S. at 74 (quoting Williams,
529 U.S. at 413). The “unreasonable application”
clause requires the state court decision to be more than
incorrect or erroneous; the state court's application of
clearly established law must be objectively unreasonable.
Id. (quoting Williams, 529 U.S. at 409).
extent that the state court's factual findings are
challenged, the “unreasonable determination of
fact” clause of § 2254(d)(2) controls on federal
habeas review. E.g., Lambert v. Blodgett, 393 F.3d
943, 972 (9th Cir.2004). This clause requires that the
federal courts “must be particularly deferential”
to state court factual determinations. Id. The
governing standard is not satisfied by a showing merely that
the state court finding was “clearly erroneous.”
393 F.3d at 973. Rather, AEDPA requires substantially more
.... [I]n concluding that a state-court finding is
unsupported by substantial evidence in the state-court
record, it is not enough that we would reverse in similar
circumstances if this were an appeal from a district court
decision. Rather, we must be convinced that an appellate
panel, applying the normal standards of appellate review,
could not reasonably conclude that the finding is supported
by the record.
Taylor v. Maddox, 366 F.3d 992, 1000 (9th Cir.2004);
see also Lambert, 393 F.3d at 972.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), state court factual findings are
presumed to be correct unless rebutted by clear and
convincing evidence. The petitioner bears the burden of
proving by a preponderance of the ...