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Edell v. James

August 11, 2010

DANIEL EDELL, PETITIONER,
v.
RANDY JAMES, SUPERINTENDENT, CAMP GEORGETOWN, RESPONDENT.



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

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

On June 12, 2008, Daniel Edell ("Petitioner" or "Edell"), pro se, petitioned this Court for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking resentencing under the 2005 amendments to the New York Drug Law Reform Act ("DLRA"). For the reasons set forth below, Edell's petition is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On November 29, 2000, Petitioner was indicted under Indictment No. 2612N/00 for a total of twelve indictments: one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree; two counts in the Second Degree; one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree; two counts in the Second Degree; five counts in the Third Degree; and one count in the Fourth Degree. (Habeas Pet. 1, D.E. 1.)

Petitioner pled guilty to one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony. (Id.) On June 21, 2001, Petitioner was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of six years to life, in satisfaction of the Indictment. (Id.) On October 7, 2005, Petitioner filed a motion with the Nassau County Supreme Court to be resentenced under DLRA Chapter 643. (Id. Ex. C at 56.) On February 10, 2006, the County Court denied Petitioner's motion. (Id. Ex. B at 53.) The Court found that Petitioner did not qualify for resentencing since he was more than three years away from parole release eligibility. (Id.)

Petitioner was granted leave to appeal by the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department. (Id. Attach. Appellant Br. 31.) On appeal, Petitioner argued that he was eligible for resentencing under the DLRA, or in the alternative, that DLRA Chapter 643 violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. (Id. at 33, 44.) The Second Department affirmed the County Court's judgment, and denied Petitioner's resentencing motion. See People v. Edell, 853 N.Y.S.2d 896, 896 (2d Dep't 2008). In so ruling, the Second Department rejected Petitioner's argument that the DLRA violated the Equal Protection Clause, finding instead that the DLRA's "disparate treatment of inmates with different parole eligibility dates 'is rationally related to the achievement of the valid state objective of ameliorating the conditions of those A-II offenders facing the longest prison time.'" Id.

Petitioner then applied for leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals. (Habeas Pet. 6, D.E. 1.) His appeal was dismissed on May 23, 2008. People v. Edell, 10 N.Y.3d 862 (2008). Petitioner now seeks federal habeas corpus relief on the same two grounds he raised in the state courts.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard for Federal Habeas Review of State Convictions

The Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") provisions apply to this case.*fn1 See Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 402, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 1518, 146 L.Ed. 2d 389, 423 (2000). AEDPA provides that:

(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim--

(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 facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. ยง 2254(d). AEDPA deference applies only if (1) a state court disposed of the federal claim on the merits, and (2) reduced that disposition to a judgment. Besser v. Walsh, 601 F.3d 163, 179 (2d Cir. 2010). But, "a state court decision need not mention a particular argument or explain the ...


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