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Bernal v. Woodford

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 27, 2006

RUBEN BERNAL, PETITIONER,
v.
JEANNE WOODFORD, ET AL., RESONDENTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz United States District Judge

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION AND ISSUING IN PART A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

Ruben Bernal was convicted by a jury of first degree murder, attempted premeditated murder, and related offenses. He appealed his conviction raising six different claims of error. In an unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal rejected five of Petitioner's claims. The appellate court found in favor of Petitioner on his claim that the trial court improperly required him to wear a leg shackle during trial, but determined that the error was harmless and affirmed the conviction and sentence. Petitioner filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court raising three of his claims, including the impropriety of the required leg shackle. The California Supreme Court denied review.

Following the denial of his state petitions, Petitioner filed this federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus raising two of these same claims: (1) violation of his due process and confrontation rights based on the trial court's unjustified decision that he wear a legal shackle during his trial, and (2) violation of his due process rights based on the trial court's abuse of discretion in admitting firearms evidence unrelated to the crimes charged. The magistrate judge filed a Report and Recommendation recommending that the petition be denied. Bernal did not file any objections. The Court has considered the Report and Recommendation and the relevant record and concludes that the Report and Recommendation correctly applied the law to the facts of this case. The Court agrees that Petitioner has failed to show that the state court's determinations were objectively unreasonable. Therefore, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED and the Petition is DENIED.

The Court issues a certificate of appealability on the issue of whether Petitioner's shackling should result in the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. The Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability on the remaining claim regarding introduction of the allegedly unrelated gun evidence.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20061127

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