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Ragland v. Graham

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 10, 2015

KIM RAGLAND, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD D. GRAHAM, Respondent.

Kim Ragland Avenel, N.J., Petitioner (Pro Se).

Carrie A. Ciganek, Senior Assistant District Attorney, Rockland County, New City, New York, for Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioner Kim Ragland brings this pro se habeas corpus petition pursuant to section 2254 of Title 28 of the United States Code challenging his state court conviction following a jury trial in New York County Court, Rockland County.[1] After being convicted of Burglary in the Second Degree[2] and Possession of Burglary Tools, [3] Ragland was sentenced to a determinate term of thirteen years for his burglary conviction and a concurrent one-year definite term for possession of burglar's tools.[4]

On November 19, 2009, Ragland filed the instant Petition, challenging his conviction on the following grounds: (1) the trial court violated Ragland's Fourteenth Amendment rights because the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction on an uncharged, unfiled misdemeanor; (2) the trial court lacked jurisdiction because Ragland was never arraigned on the uncharged, unfiled misdemeanor; (3) the prosecutor failed to disclose Rosario and Brady material; (4) the prosecutor violated New York Criminal Procedure Law ("C.P.L.") section 170.65; (5) the prosecutor knowingly presented false evidence before the grand jury and at trial, in violation of Ragland's Fifth Amendment rights; (6) the prosecutor violated his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself; (7) the trial court erred in imposing a determinate term; and (8) the New York burglary statute is unconstitutional. For the following reasons, the Petition is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

A. The Offending Conduct

The crimes underlying Ragland's conviction occurred on April 12, 2002.[5] At approximately 11:40 a.m., Michael and Roberta Katz arrived at their home at 6 King's Gate Road and noticed an unfamiliar green car in their driveway.[6] Michael Katz then entered his home and saw Ragland running out of the house.[7] Ragland entered the green car that had been parked in the driveway and fled.[8] After Michael Katz informed police that his home had been burglarized and a report was issued to that effect over police radio, a police officer drove in Ragland's direction and observed a car matching the description that Katz had provided to the police.[9] Ragland exited the vehicle and attempted to hide from the police.[10] Police subsequently found Ragland hiding under a porch and arrested him.[11]

B. Procedural History

On January 17, 2003, Ragland was convicted by a jury of second degree burglary and possession of burglar's tools.[12] Ragland appealed his conviction to the Appellate Division, Second Department, raising the following claims: (1) the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction on an uncharged, unfiled misdemeanor; (2) the trial court lacked jurisdiction because Ragland was never arraigned on the uncharged, unfiled misdemeanor; (3) the prosecutor failed to disclose Rosario and Brady material; (4) Ragland did not waive his right to be prosecuted by an information; (5) the prosecutor knowingly presented false testimony; (6) the prosecutor violated his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself; and (7) the trial court erred in imposing a determinate sentence.[13]

On January 30, 2007, the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed Ragland's conviction.[14] Ragland then submitted a letter seeking leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals.[15] On September 7, 2007, leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals was denied.[16] The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on April 14, 2008.[17]

III. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Deferential Standard for Federal Habeas Review

This petition is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (the "AEDPA"). The AEDPA provides that a federal court may not grant a writ of habeas corpus to a prisoner in custody[18] pursuant to the judgment of a state court with respect to any claim, unless the state court's adjudication on the merits of the claim: "(1) was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;"[19] or (2) "was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding."[20]

A state-court decision is contrary to clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court, in the following two instances:

First, a state-court decision is contrary to this Court's precedent if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by this Court on a question of law. Second, a state-court decision is also contrary to this Court's precedent if the state court confronts facts that are materially indistinguishable ...

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