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HOOKS v. GREENE

September 14, 2005.

WILLIAM HOOKS, Petitioner,
v.
GARY GREENE, Superintendent of Great Meadow Correctional Facility, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHIRA SCHEINDLIN, District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

  William Hooks, proceeding pro se, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to section 2254 of Title 28 of the United States Code ("section 2254"). In his petition, Hooks claims that: (1) it was reversible error for the trial court to admit his Inmate Prison Card into evidence;*fn1 (2) the trial court should have terminated deliberations once the jurors had declared that they were deadlocked;*fn2 and (3) he was deprived of his state and federal rights to effective assistance of counsel.*fn3 For the following reasons, the petition is denied.

  II. BACKGROUND

  A. Factual Background

  On July 3, 1997, two police officers were canvassing the area of the Sherman Hotel, in New York City, in the course of an investigation into the murder of a prostitute.*fn4 They found Carla Renee Burdette, a prostitute who used the name Kelly Ann Parker, and questioned her about the murder. Burdette began to cry in the course of this questioning and stated that she knew who had killed the other prostitute.*fn5 She claimed that she had been raped and robbed the week before by a man who had used his Inmate Identification Card ("Prisoner ID") to register in the hotel.*fn6

  According to the Police Report, Burdette met Hooks at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on June 20, 1997.*fn7 To allay her concerns that he might be an undercover officer, Hooks showed her his Prisoner ID.*fn8 He paid $50 and they went to the Elk Hotel, on 42nd Street and 9th Avenue, where Burdette administered oral sex to him.*fn9 She left the hotel and went back to 8th Avenue, where he subsequently approached her again. This time he suggested that they split expenses and stay at a hotel together for the night.*fn10

  Burdette took Hooks to the Sherman Hotel and they registered using his Prisoner ID.*fn11 She left the hotel for some time and when she returned to the room he was using crack cocaine.*fn12 She asked him to leave. He stole some money from her and then he left and she went to sleep. Subsequently, he returned to the room where he choked, bound and gagged Burdette before raping and sodomizing her. Then he removed the gag and demanded that she tell him where to find some drugs. At knife-point, he led her out of the room and through the hotel. When a security guard asked if everything was alright, Burdette ran and hid behind the guard and Hooks fled.*fn13 The police obtained Hooks's name and inmate identification number from the hotel registry and then used this information to locate and arrest him.*fn14

  B. Procedural Background

  On February 25, 1998, Hooks was convicted of first degree sodomy and second degree robbery, for which he was sentenced to concurrent terms of twenty-five and fifteen years respectively. Hooks filed a motion to vacate the conviction, which was denied after a hearing. An application to appeal the decision to the Appellate Division, as well as a motion for reconsideration, was denied. Hooks filed a direct appeal and on May 8, 2003, the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed Hooks' conviction. Finally, on May 28, 2003, Hooks requested leave to appeal the Appellate Division's decision; and, on June 26, 2003, the Court of Appeals denied his leave application.

  Hooks now petitions for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to section 2254 of Title 28 of the United States Code, which provides that a district court may entertain a petition for habeas corpus on "behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States."*fn15

  III. LEGAL STANDARD

  Section 2254 permits a federal court to grant a writ of habeas corpus to a state prisoner only if the state court's denial of relief "was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States."*fn16

  As explained by the Supreme Court, a state court decision is "contrary to" clearly established federal law if: (1) the state court reaches a different result than that mandated by the Supreme Court when presented with facts that are "materially indistinguishable from a relevant Supreme Court precedent"; or (2) the state court "applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in Supreme Court cases."*fn17 ...


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