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Bobby Koonce v. Susan A Connell

April 1, 2011

BOBBY KOONCE, PETITIONER,
v.
SUSAN A CONNELL, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR E. Bianchini United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Proceeding pro se, Bobby Koonce ("Koonce" or "Petitioner") has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the constitutionality of his state custody as the result of a judgment of conviction entered against him following a bench trial on charges of sexual abuse in the first degree (New York Penal Law ("P.L.") § 130.65(3)) and endangering the welfare of a child (P.L. § 260.10(1)). He was subsequently sentenced as a second violent felony offender to a five-year determinate term of imprisonment on sexual abuse conviction, and a one-year definite term on the child endangerment conviction. Both terms were set to run concurrently with each other. The court also imposed a mandatory five-year period of post-release supervision.

Petitioner's conviction was unanimously affirmed on March 16, 2007. People v. Koonce, 38A.D.3d 1286 (App. Div. 4th Dept. 2007). Leave to appeal was denied on July 3, 2007. People v. Koonce, 9 N.Y.3d 866 (N.Y. 2007).

This timely habeas petition followed in which Koonce raises the following grounds for habeas relief: (1) denial of due process because the conviction was not based upon legally sufficient evidence and (2) denial of the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. Respondent answered the petition, arguing that Koonce's claims do not warrant habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1).

The parties have consented to disposition of this matter by a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1).

For the reasons that follow, the petition is dismissed.

II. Standard of Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as Amended by AEDPA

When a petitioner "in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court" seeks habeas review of "any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court," a habeas writ may issue only if the state court adjudication:

(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. § 2254(d)(1), (2). A state court decision is "contrary to" federal law as determined by the Supreme Court if either (a) "the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by the Supreme Court on a question of law," or (b) "the state court considers facts that are materially indistinguishable from a relevant Supreme Court case and arrives at an opposite result." Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405 (2000)). An "unreasonable application" of clearly established federal law occurs if (a) "'the state court identifies the correct governing legal rules from the [Supreme] Court's cases but unreasonably applies it to the facts of the particular state prisoner's case,'" or (b) the "state court invokes a Supreme Court case and unreasonably extends its legal principle to a new context where it should not apply, or fails to extend it where it should apply."

Williams, 529 U.S. at 407.

Factual findings by a state court are entitled to a presumption of correctness, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), which the habeas applicant bears the burden of overcoming by clear and convincing evidence, id.

III. Discussion

A. Ground One: Insufficiency of ...


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