United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney, Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court upon Respondents’
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 5) seeking denial of
Petitioner Jairus Tyrone Henley’s pro se
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Amendment to the
Petition, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. Nos.
1, 2). Also before the Court is Petitioner’s Motion to
Strike Respondents’ Second Brief (Doc. No. 13).
is a prisoner of the State of North Carolina. On September
19, 2013, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
(“CMPD”) sought to question him about a burglary
and homicide that occurred the night before. Through an
informant, the police located Petitioner and detectives
brought him to the station for questioning. After speaking
with detectives on-and-off for several hours, Petitioner
confessed to his involvement in the burglary and homicide.
State indicted Petitioner for first degree murder, burglary,
and various related crimes. Petitioner moved to suppress his
confession and related statements to the detectives, arguing
that the State violated his Miranda rights. The
trial court denied the motion.
20, 2016, a Mecklenburg County Superior Court jury found
Petitioner guilty on all charges. The trial court sentenced
him to consecutive sentences of life in prison without parole
for the murder conviction, and 60 to 84 months in prison for
burglary and robbery.
appealed, and on July 5, 2017, the North Carolina Court of
Appeals (NCCOA) filed an unpublished opinion finding no error
in the denial of Petitioner’s motion to suppress.
State v. Henley, 801 S.E.2d 393, 2017 N.C.App. LEXIS
506, 2017 WL 29458 ( N.C. Ct. App. 2017) (Table). The North
Carolina Supreme Court (NCSC) denied his petition for
discretionary review (“PDR”) on September 28,
2017. State v. Henley, 804 S.E.2d 527 (2017) (Mem).
August 20, 2018, Petitioner filed the instant habeas petition
(Doc. No. 1) alleging a violation of his rights under
Miranda v. Arizona. He filed an amended petition on
October 22, 2018 (Doc. No. 2), adding a claim of seizure in
violation of the Fourth Amendment. Respondents filed a Motion
for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 5) and Petitioner has
responded (Doc. No. 9). Respondents filed a Reply (Doc. No.
11) and Petitioner has filed a Motion to Strike the Reply
(Doc. No. 13).
habeas statute at 28 U.S.C. § 2254 states that a
district court “shall entertain an application for a
writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody
pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground
that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). “[I]t is not the province of a federal
habeas court to reexamine state-court determinations on
state-law questions.” Estelle v. McGuire, 502
U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991). Absent violation of a Federal
constitutional right, a habeas petitioner fails to state a
cognizable claim for relief. Wilson v. Corcoran, 562
U.S. 1, 14 (2011) (“Federal courts may not issue writs
of habeas corpus to state prisoners whose confinement does
not violate federal law.”).
Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), limits the
federal court’s power to grant habeas relief:
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.
§ 2254(d). The “contrary to” and
“unreasonable application” clauses contained in
§ 2254(d)(1) are to be given independent meaning-in
other words, a petitioner may be entitled to habeas corpus
relief if the state court adjudication was either contrary to
or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal
standard is intentionally “difficult to meet.”
White v. Woodall, 572 U.S. 415, 419 (2014) (internal
quote and citation omitted). “‘[C]learly
established Federal law’ for purposes of §
2254(d)(1) includes only ‘the holdings, as opposed to
the dicta, of th[e Supreme] Court's decisions.’
” Id. (quoting Howes v. ...