The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Larimer United States District Judge
Petitioner, Willie Walker ("Walker"), filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his conviction in Erie Supreme Court of first degree assault and third degree criminal possession of a weapon. Walker was sentenced as a persistent felony offender to 20 years to life on the assault conviction.
On direct appeal, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, unanimously affirmed the conviction, People v. Walker, 275 A.D.2d 1009 (2000). Thereafter, Walker moved to vacate the judgment of conviction pursuant to N.Y.C.P.L. § 440.10. The petition was denied in all respects, and leave to appeal to the Appellate Division was also denied.
Walker now sets forth numerous claims in his habeas corpus petition in this Court. This Court referred the petition to United States Judge Magistrate Judge Victor E. Bianchini, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for a Report and Recommendation. Magistrate Judge Bianchini considered the petition and the supporting documentation and issued a lengthy, detailed 97-page Report and Recommendation, recommending that the petition be dismissed. (Dkt. # 20). Walker duly filed objections to the Report and Recommendation (Dkt. # 23).
Magistrate Judge Bianchini covered the facts supporting the conviction in exhaustive detail in the Report (pp. 2-15). Nothing need be added by this Court to that summary. In sum, the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, demonstrated that during an altercation, Walker repeatedly stabbed an acquaintance, multiple times in the back, left hand and face. I see no basis to modify or change any of the factual summary set forth by Magistrate Judge Bianchini.
B. Standards Concerning Review of Habeas Corpus Petitions
Magistrate Judge Bianchini also carefully set forth the standards for granting habeas corpus relief subsequent to the 1996 Enactment of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") and the Amendments to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Habeas relief may not be granted unless the state court's decision and rulings were contrary to, or constituted an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law as determined by the United States Supreme Court. The statute has significantly limited the power of federal courts to grant habeas corpus relief. Magistrate Judge Bianchini also set forth the general requirements for exhaustion of claims and considerations of whether the state courts denied relief based on an adequate and independent state ground.
Walker sets forth a spate of matters which he claims constitute so-called police misconduct. Magistrate Judge Bianchini discussed these issues both procedurally and substantively (p. 23-31). Although Magistrate Judge Bianchini did not so rule, there certainly appears to be a basis that the state court denied relief based on an independent and adequate state remedy. The Magistrate Judge decided to address the merits of Walker's claims. I agree with Magistrate Judge Bianchini's assessment that under any standard of review, "Walker's claim of police misconduct is plainly insufficient to provide a basis for habeas corpus relief." (P. 27). Much of what Walker alleges constitutes nothing more than pure ...