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RAMOS v. WALKER

August 3, 1990

EDGAR RAMOS, PETITIONER,
v.
HANS WALKER, SUPERINTENDENT, AUBURN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wexler, District Judge.

  MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Petitioner Edgar Ramos ("petitioner" or "Ramos"), appearing pro Se, petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, petitioner's application is denied.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner was indicted for the murder of Manuel Vidal, Sr., who had been found dead in his home on July 2, 1981, in Brentwood, New York. Ramos and another individual, Manuel Martinez, had been renting rooms in the victim's home. It was the prosecution's theory at trial that petitioner, along with Martinez, fatally stabbed Vidal following an argument which occurred when petitioner and Martinez returned home intoxicated. The prosecution established its case, in part, by evidence of certain oral admissions by petitioner. On April 21, 1982, following a jury trial, Ramos was convicted of murder in the second degree. N.Y.Penal Law § 125.25 (McKinney 1990). Thereafter, petitioner was sentenced to an indeterminate term of incarceration of twenty-five years to life.

On May 18, 1987, the appellate division affirmed the conviction, 130 A.D.2d 688, 515 N.Y.S.2d 610; leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals was subsequently denied. Petitioner then brought a motion to reargue his direct appeal to the appellate division, which was denied. Lastly, petitioner brought a motion to vacate judgment, pursuant to § 440.10 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law ("CPL"), asserting that his conviction was based on the perjured testimony of an expert witness. The New York Supreme Court, Special Term, denied the motion, and the appellate division denied leave to appeal.

Respondent contends that the petition should be dismissed on the ground that petitioner failed to exhaust the remedies available to him in the state court system, in that the petitioner's claims were not presented as constitutional claims to the state court. For the reasons set forth below, this Court holds that although petitioner has exhausted his state remedies, all of the claims asserted in support of the petition are without merit.

I. EXHAUSTION OF STATE REMEDIES

A federal court may grant a writ of habeas corpus only when a petitioner has exhausted the available remedies in the state court system. 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (b). The petitioner must have "fairly presented" every one of his federal claims to the highest state court possible. Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 92 S.Ct. 509, 512, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971); Daye v. Atty. Gen. of New York, 696 F.2d 186, 191 (2d Cir. 1982) (en banc), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1048, 104 S.Ct. 723, 79 L.Ed.2d 184 (1984). In order to have "fairly presented" his federal claim to the state courts, the petitioner must have informed the state court of both the factual and legal premises of the claims asserted in the federal habeas petition. Daye, 696 F.2d 186, 191. Furthermore, a federal district court is precluded from entertaining a "mixed" habeas corpus petition, i.e., one that includes both exhausted and unexhausted claims. Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 102 S.Ct. 1198, 71 L.Ed.2d 379 (1982).

In Daye, the Second Circuit described several methods by which a petitioner could sufficiently alert the state courts to the constitutional nature of a claim. These include:

  (a) reliance on pertinent federal cases employing
  constitutional analysis, (b) reliance on state cases
  employing constitutional analysis in like fact
  situations, (c) assertion of the claim in terms so
  particular as to call to mind a specific right
  protected by the Constitution, and (d) allegation of a
  pattern of facts that is well within the mainstream of
  constitutional litigation.

Daye, 696 F.2d at 194.

The present petition contains a constitutional claim which was made on direct appeal, as well as several other claims made by petitioner on the collateral attack of his conviction ("the § 440 motion"). For the reasons set forth below, this Court finds that petitioner has exhausted his state remedies.

A. Claim Addressed on Direct Appeal

On direct appeal, petitioner argued that his oral confession was involuntary and thus should have been inadmissible at trial. In his appellate brief, petitioner relied on two federal cases, Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 99 S.Ct. 2248, 60 L.Ed.2d 824 (1979), and Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 69 S.Ct. 1302, 93 L.Ed. 1879 (1949). Since both cases employ a constitutional analysis, reliance upon these cases is an acceptable method of alerting the state court to the constitutional ...


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