government must have ordered, consented to or known about and
failed to prevent the torture. See id.
The BIA concluded that there was not a significant likelihood
of torture because conditions in Bulgaria today are sufficiently
different from those in 1990, when petitioner left. The standard
of review applicable to this finding is the "substantial
evidence" standard, under which this Court must accept the BIA's
finding unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to
conclude to the contrary. See 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(B); see
also Singh v. INS, 134 F.3d 962, 966 (9th Cir. 1998) (holding,
with respect to review of BIA's asylum denial, "substantial
evidence" requires petitioner to present compelling evidence
that no reasonable factfinder could agree with the BIA).
Petitioner presents evidence that Bulgarian police severely
beat her for her activism on behalf of ethnic Turks. The Court
agrees with the BIA that this constitutes evidence of past
torture. Petitioner's evidence also demonstrates, however, that
the government regime in Bulgaria has since changed from
communist to socialist-democrat and that a new constitution has
been adopted. Petitioner presents reports that police brutality
and human rights abuses persisted into 1999, as well as a letter
from petitioner's brother that the Bulgarian police have asked
about her whereabouts. Such evidence could support a finding
that petitioner would suffer torture in the future if she
returns to Bulgaria. A reasonable factfinder, however, could
also conclude that petitioner did not meet her burden of proving
that future torture was more likely than not to occur. When the
government changed hands from the communists to
socialist-democrats, the government's policies regarding
political activism, police brutality, and civil liberties
changed as well. Although the reports describe individual
incidents of police brutality, they also describe investigations
and prosecutions of police officers and attempts through an
independent judiciary to curb these abuses. In addition, there
is no evidence that petitioner could not relocate to another
part of Bulgaria, thus distancing petitioner from corrupt
elements of the police force. Under the deferential "substantial
evidence" standard of review, the BIA's finding regarding future
torture must stand. See Arkansas v. Oklahoma, 503 U.S. 91,
113, 112 S.Ct. 1046, 117 L.Ed.2d 239 (1992) (holding a court
reviewing an agency's findings under the substantial evidence
standard "should not supplant the agency's findings merely by
identifying alternative findings that could be supported by
substantial evidence"). Accordingly, petitioner's claim that the
denial of relief from removal violates UNCAT is denied.
3. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Petitioner claims she is attempting to set aside her
underlying state felony convictions, used as the basis for her
removal, on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. The
Court liberally construed this claim as a constitutional
challenge to the petitioner's removal under Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 686, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674
(1984) (holding Sixth Amendment guarantees effective assistance
of counsel). To succeed under Strickland, however, petitioner
must show that counsel's performance was deficient and that the
deficiencies were so serious as to deprive the defendant of a
fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable. See id. at
687-88, 104 S.Ct. 2052. Petitioner does neither. Indeed,
petitioner nowhere explains how counsel was ineffective or what
impact any ineffectiveness might have had on the verdict. As a
ineffective assistance of counsel claim must be denied.
4. Bond Hearing
Petitioner claims that she was detained in county jail pending
her removal. Petitioner claims that her right to due process
under the Fifth Amendment was violated because this detention was
indefinite and she did not receive an individualized bond
hearing. See, e.g., Szeto v. Reno, No. C 00-0531 CRB, 2000
WL 630869, at **6-7 (N.D.Cal. May 5, 2000) (finding indefinite
mandatory detention provision unconstitutional). Since petitioner
has been removed to Bulgaria and is no longer detained in county
jail, this claim is moot. The relief petitioner seeks by way of
this claim is an order requiring the INS to conduct an
individualized bond hearing to determine whether she could be
released from county jail pending her removal to Bulgaria. Now
that petitioner is in Bulgaria, a bond hearing would serve no
purpose. Moreover, petitioner has failed to demonstrate any
continuing collateral consequences of her lack of a bond hearing.
See Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7-12, 118 S.Ct. 978,
140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998) (holding habeas petition is moot if there
are no continuing collateral consequences of conviction).
Accordingly, this claim is denied.
In light of the foregoing, the petition for a writ of habeas
corpus is DENIED. All pending motions are terminated and the
clerk shall close the file.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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