Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

THOMAS v. KRAMER

September 28, 2005.

ERIC ANGEL THOMAS, Petitioner,
v.
MATTHEW C. KRAMER, Warden of Sierra Conservation Center, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM McCURINE, JR., Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE RE DENIAL OF PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
I. INTRODUCTION
ERIC ANGEL THOMAS ("Thomas"), a state inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, challenges his San Diego Superior Court conviction in case number SCD167289 with a habeas corpus petition in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his petition, Thomas claims that: (1) his trial attorney provided ineffective counsel because the attorney failed to request the personnel records of the arresting officer, failed to present the rock-cocaine and fingerprint analysis at trial, and did not adequately present evidence and/or emphasize facts which showed Petitioner's innocence; and, (2) there is insufficient evidence to support the conviction.

This Report and Recommendation is submitted to United States District Judge Dana M. Sabraw pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule H.C.2 of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. After reviewing the Petition, Respondent's Answer and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in support thereof ("Answer"), and all the supporting documents submitted by the parties, the Court recommends that the Petition be DENIED for the reasons stated below.

  II. STATE COURT PROCEEDINGS

  On May 31, 2002, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office filed an Information in the San Diego Superior Court charging Thomas with one count of Possession of Cocaine Base for Sale (Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 11351.5). The Information also alleged that Thomas had a prior "strike" conviction (Cal. Penal Code §§ 667(b)-(i), 668, 1170.12). (Lodgment 1 [Clerk's Transcript ("CT")] at 1-2.)

  On July 30, 2002, Thomas admitted that he had been previously convicted of armed robbery and thus had a prior strike. (Id. at 108.) On August 2, 2002, the jury convicted Thomas of Possession of Cocaine Base in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11350(a), a lesser included offense within the crime of Possession of Cocaine Base for Sale charged as Count One of the Information. (Id. at 77.) On August 30, 2002, the court sentenced Thomas to a total of three years and eight months in state prison. (Id. at 101.)

  On February 20, 2003, Thomas's appellate attorney filed Appellant's Opening Brief in the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One. In addition, Thomas filed an appellate brief on his own behalf claiming there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction and that his conviction by an allegedly all white jury violated his right to equal protection under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986). (Lodgment 4).

  The California Court of Appeal affirmed Thomas's conviction on June 3, 2003, concluding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction and that Thomas failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination under Batson. (Lodgment 5.) No petition for review of the appellate decision was filed.

  On March 18, 2003, Thomas filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the California Court of Appeal, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel based on his trial attorney allowing him to be tried by an all white jury. On July 7, 2003, the court denied Thomas's petition for writ of habeas corpus, concluding that there was no record of the race of the jurors and that the claim had not been raised in the trial court. (Lodgment 6 [Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus]; Lodgment 7 [Denial of Petition].)

  On October 1, 2003, Thomas filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the California Supreme Court claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and insufficient evidence. (Lodgment 8.) The California Supreme Court rejected Thomas's petition for writ of habeas corpus without written analysis or citation of authority on February 18, 2004. (Lodgment 9.)

  III. FEDERAL COURT PROCEEDINGS

  Thomas filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Pet.") in this Court on March 16, 2004. Respondent filed an Answer to the petition ("Ans.") on May 5, 2005. Petitioner did not file a Traverse.

  IV. STATEMENT OF FACTS

  Title 28, United States Code § 2254, subsection (e)(1) provides: "[A] determination of a factual issue made by a State court shall be presumed to be correct." 28 U.S.C.A. § 2254(e)(1) (West Supp. 2005). The petitioner has "the burden of rebutting the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence." Id.; see also Jeffries v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1484, 1499 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) overruled on other grounds by Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997) (stating that federal courts must "give great deference to the state court's factual findings.") The following facts are taken from the court of appeal's opinion in Thomas's direct appeal (Lodgment 5).

  At approximately 2:00 a.m. on May 7, 2002, San Diego Police Officer Matthew Novak was in the area of the "C Street corridor" in downtown San Diego. At the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.