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.

Hunt v. Finn

December 2, 2009

RICHARD DEWAYNE HUNT, PETITIONER,
v.
CLAUDE FINN, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Fred Van Sickle Senior United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Petitioner's Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Ct. Rec. 1). Petitioner is proceeding pro se. Respondent is represented by Amy Daniel, a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California.

BACKGROUND

At the time his petition was filed, Petitioner was in the custody of the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California, pursuant to his December 10, 1990, conviction in Trinity County Superior Court for Second Degree Murder. (Ct. Rec. 1). Petitioner is currently serving a sentence of 15-years-to-life with the possibility of parole. He has not been found suitable for parole. Petitioner does not challenge the validity of his conviction or sentence but instead challenges the September 22, 2005, denial of parole by the Board of Parole Hearings of the State of California (the "BPH"). (Ct. Rec. 1). Petitioner also requests that the Court take judicial notice of a Santa Clara County Superior Court Order entered in an unrelated state habeas case. (Ct. Rec. 11).

I. Factual History

On April 1, 1987, Petitioner began participating in a marijuana-growing operation in Trinity County in exchange for ten percent of the profits from the crop. (Ct. Rec. 1, Exh. A at 11-12). On June 22, 1987, Petitioner was checking marijuana gardens with another ranch worker, Carl Rogers, when they discovered that an underground water tank was empty. (Ct. Rec. 1, Exh. A at 12). Rogers became irate and ordered Petitioner to fix the waterline and finish the work in the garden. (Id.) Petitioner was afraid of Rogers, who was always armed with a.30 caliber revolver. (Id.) After working on the waterline and garden, Petitioner returned to the house due to the heat. (Id.) Inside the house, Petitioner told a witness that he thought Rogers was going to physically assault him for not finishing his work in the garden. (Id. at 12-13). Petitioner then armed himself with a.12 gauge shotgun and loaded it with five shells. (Id. at 13). When Rogers returned to the house, Petitioner confronted him. (Id.) The two men began cursing at each other. (Id.) Without warning, Petitioner shot at Rogers, who sought shelter behind a pickup truck. (Id. at 13). A shootout ensued. (Id.) When Petitioner ran out of ammunition, he heard Rogers yell either "you got me, it's over," or "I'll give up, you got me." (Id.) Petitioner entered the house, reloaded his shotgun, and returned to the truck where he observed Rogers lying face down with his gun in his hand. (Id.) Petitioner shot Rogers again at point-blank range. (Id.) Petitioner then dragged the body behind the house and buried it on the property the next day. (Id. at 14).

II. Procedural History

Petitioner pled guilty to second degree murder in Trinity County Superior Court on December 10, 1990, and began serving his sentence of 15-years-to-life with the possibility of parole on February 1, 1991. Petitioner has thus been incarcerated for the past 19 years. His minimum eligible parole date was November 4, 2000. (Ct. Rec. 1, Exh. A).

The parole denial which is the subject of this petition took place after a parole hearing held on September 22, 2005. After the September 22, 2005 denial, Petitioner filed petitions for a writ of habeas corpus with the Trinity County Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, and the California Supreme Court, all of which were denied. (Ct. Rec. 8, Exh. 4-6).

On March 9, 2007, Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court. Petitioner contends the BPH violated his due process rights by denying him parole on September 22, 2005. (Ct. Rec. 1). Respondent filed a response to the petition on June 8, 2007. (Ct. Rec. 8). Petitioner filed a traverse to the response on June 18, 2007. (Ct. Rec. 10).

Petitioner's petition (Ct. Rec. 1) is now before the Court.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

Under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"), a federal court may grant habeas relief if a state court adjudication 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, or resulted in a decision that was based upon an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d); see Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 399, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000). "Clearly established federal law" consists of "the governing legal principle or principles set forth by the Supreme Court at the time the state court render[ed] its decision." Anderson v. Terhune, 516 F.3d 781, 798 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63, 70-73, 123 S.Ct. 1166, 155 L.Ed.2d 144 (2003)). A decision is "contrary to" clearly established federal law in two circumstances. First, a state court decision is contrary to clearly established federal law when "the state court applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in [Supreme Court] cases." Williams, 529 U.S. at 405, 120 S.Ct. at 1519, 146 L.Ed.2d at 425. Second, a state court decision is "contrary to" clearly established federal law when the state court "arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the Supreme] Court on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than this Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts." Id. at 412-413, 120 S.Ct. at 1523, 146 L.Ed.2d at 430. A state court unreasonably applies clearly ...


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.