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Cardoso v. Soto

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 21, 2014

JOEL SOSA CARDOSO, Petitioner,
v.
J. SOTO, Warden, Respondent

Joel Leal Cardoso, Petitioner, Pro se, Lancaster, CA.

For J Soto, Warden, Respondent: Angela M Borzachillo, CAAG - Office of Attorney General, San Diego, CA.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

HON. MICHAEL R. WILNER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

This Report and Recommendation is submitted to the Honorable Beverley Reid O'Connell, United States District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

I. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATION

This is a state habeas action. Petitioner contends that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for attempted murder. However, the state court decision denying this claim was neither contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law. As a result, the Court recommends that the petition be denied.

II. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case involves a dispute between drug dealers. The two victims failed to pay Petitioner, their distributor, for cocaine that they intended to resell to others. For this reason (or others proffered by the prosecution at trial), Petitioner confronted the victims at gunpoint and pursued them in a high-speed chase through the streets of Indio. The chase ended after Petitioner shot an assault rifle through the windows of the victims' car.

A jury convicted Petitioner of attempted murder and related weapons and drug charges. Because the jury concluded that Petitioner committed the attempted murder in a willful, deliberate, and premeditated fashion, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to a term of life in state prison. The appellate court affirmed Petitioner's conviction in a reasoned, unpublished decision. (Lodgment # 7.) The state supreme court denied review without comment. (Lodgment # 9.) This federal action followed.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review Under AEDPA

Petitioner's claims are subject to the provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). Under AEDPA, federal courts may grant habeas relief to a state prisoner " with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings" only if that adjudication:

(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; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the ...

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