United States District Court, C.D. California
Kelsie James Palmer, Petitioner, Pro se, Corcoran, CA.
For M. D. Biter, Respondent: Erika D Jackson, CAAG - Office of Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Los Angeles, CA.
ORDER ACCEPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
BEVERLY REID O'CONNELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Court has reviewed the First Amended Petition, records on file, and Report and Recommendation of the U.S. Magistrate Judge. On December 5, 2014, Petitioner filed objections to the R& R. For the most part, Petitioner simply repeats arguments in his FAP and reply. One of his objections warrants a response, however.
Petitioner argues at length that the trial court violated Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123, 88 S.Ct. 1620, 20 L.Ed.2d 476 (1968), and the Confrontation Clause in admitting into evidence at trial a nontestifying codefendant's statement implicating Petitioner. (Objections at 2-4.) But the Magistrate Judge agreed with Petitioner and found that the California Court of Appeal was objectively unreasonable in concluding otherwise. (See R& R at 28-34.) Although Petitioner argues in relation to this claim -- as well as his claim that the trial court should have severed the trial of one of his codefendant's unrelated charges -- that the evidence against him was weak and therefore he was prejudiced by the trial court's rulings, in fact it was quite strong, as the Magistrate Judge recounted in finding that the Bruton error did not have a substantial and injurious effect on the verdicts. (R& R at 34-35.)
Having made a de novo determination of those portions of the R& R to which Petitioner objected, the Court accepts the findings and recommendations of the Magistrate Judge.
IT THEREFORE IS ORDERED that the First Amended Petition is denied, Petitioner's request for an evidentiary hearing is denied, and Judgment be entered dismissing this action with prejudice.
Pursuant to the Order Accepting Findings and Recommendations of U.S. Magistrate Judge, IT IS HEREBY ADJUDGED that this ...