United States District Court, W.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
MICHAEL A. TELESCA United States District Judge
se petitioner Kadeem Harris (“Petitioner”)
seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 alleging that
his judgment of conviction of Robbery in the First Degree,
N.Y. Penal L. § 160.15(2), entered in Erie County Court
(Pietruszka, J.), was unconstitutionally obtained.
Factual Background and Procedural History
was charged by a Superior Court Information in Erie County
Court with Robbery in the First Degree, see N.Y.
Penal L. § 160.15(2). The single charge served as a plea
package that encompassed eight felony charges incurred in
three separate incidents between the months of April and
July, 2009, including Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Felony
Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Possession of Stolen
Property, and Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. On October 8,
2009, Petitioner entered a plea of guilty to Robbery in the
First Degree. Plea Tr. 10/8/2009 at 2-12.
record further reflects that the bargained-for plea
negotiated by Petitioner's counsel at the time was
pursuant to People v. Farrar, 52 N.Y.2d 302 (1981),
with an agreed-upon determinate term of imprisonment of nine
and one-half years followed by five years of post-release
supervision. Sentencing Tr. 5/17/2010 at 3-4. Petitioner
retained new counsel for his sentencing proceedings.
appealed the judgment of conviction to the Appellate
Division, Fourth Department, on the grounds of: ineffective
assistance of counsel at sentencing; invalid waiver of
appeal; and harsh and excessive sentence. Pet'r App. Br.
(Resp't Ex. B). On April 27, 2012 the Appellate Division
unanimously affirmed the judgment of conviction, and leave to
appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals was denied on
June 22, 2012. People v. Harris, 94 A.D.3d 1484 (4th
Dept.); lv. denied, 19 N.Y.3d 961 (2012).
instant petition (“Pet.”) followed, raising two
grounds for relief: ineffective assistance of counsel and
invalid waiver of appellate rights. Pet. at 6-8. For the
following reasons, Petitioner's request for habeas relief
instant petition is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as
amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
of 1996 (“AEDPA”). AEDPA “revised the
conditions under which federal courts may grant habeas relief
to a person in state custody.” Kruelski v. Conn.
Superior Ct. for Jud. Dist. of Danbury, 316 F.3d 103,
106 (2d Cir. 2003) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254). Under
AEDPA, a federal court may grant a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 only if the state court's
adjudication of the petitioner's claim on the merits
ruling is “contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established Federal law, as
determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, ”
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), or involved an
“unreasonable determination of the facts” in
light of the evidence presented, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2).
Habeas petitioners have “the burden to show by clear
and convincing evidence that the state court's decision
was defective in some way.” Smith v. Sullivan,
1 F.Supp.2d 206, 211 (W.D.N.Y. 1998).
Ineffective Assistance of Sentencing Counsel
support of his habeas petition, Petitioner argues that his
attorney during the sentencing proceeding was ineffective for
failing to request youthful offender status. Pet'r Mem.
(Dkt. # 23) at 7-8. The Appellate Division found that,
“to the extent that defendant's contention that he
was denied effective assistance of counsel survives his
guilty plea and valid waiver of the ...