Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. Martinez

February 9, 2010

CRAIG ALLAN WILLIAMS, PETITIONER,
v.
R. MARTINEZ ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ellen Segal Huvelle United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This application for a writ of habeas corpus has been remanded to this court with instructions to "consider the merits component of the COA [Certificate of Appealability] question, an evaluation that the court should undertake in light of the standard set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2254." Williams v. Martinez, 586 F.3d 995, 1002 (D.C. Cir. 2009). Because "'an overview of the claims in the habeas petition and a general assessment of their merits,'" id. at 1001 (quoting Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003), leads to the conclusion that "all reasonable jurists would conclude that the habeas statute bars relief," id. at 1002 (citing Miller-El, 537 U.S. at 349-50) (Scalia, J., concurring), this court will decline to issue a certificate of appealability.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner Craig Allan Williams was convicted in 1990 by a District of Columbia Superior Court jury, and sentenced to serve one year for a firearms violation and 20 years to life for first degree murder. Pet. at 1. After his direct criminal appeal and multiple state collateral challenges and appeals therefrom, Williams filed a federal habeas petition asserting two claims. See id. at 2-21; Williams, 586 F.3d at 997. Relying on D.C. Code § 23-110(g), this court dismissed Williams' petition for lack of jurisdiction, without reaching the merits of his claims. Williams v. Martinez, 559 F. Supp. 2d 56 (D.D.C. 2008). Williams appealed. The Circuit Court reversed this court's decision, ruling that D.C. Code § 23-110(g) did not deprive this court of jurisdiction over one of Williams' claims -- a claim for ineffective assistance of appellate counsel on his first direct criminal appeal of right. Williams v. Martinez, 586 F.3d 995, 1001 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (identifying "Ground two" as containing a cognizable claim on federal habeas review); see also 28 U.S.C. § 2254(i) (disallowing federal habeas relief for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel during collateral post-conviction proceedings). Accordingly, the Circuit Court remanded the case with instructions to "consider the merits component of the COA question, an evaluation that the court should undertake in light of the standard set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2254." Id.

DISCUSSION

Williams' Claim of Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel

Williams alleges that his counsel on direct criminal appeal was ineffective because he failed "to argue that the government violated [Williams'] right to due process when it knowingly permitted false or misleading evidence to go uncorrected before the trier of fact." Pet. at 19.5 ("Ground two"). The allegedly false or misleading evidence that the government allowed "to go uncorrected" is the testimony from Sandra Plummer, the government's key witness, which Williams claims is at odds with certain receipts from the Parkway Guest House from October 23 and 24, 1988.

Plummer testified to many things. A witness to the shooting, she identified Williams as the shooter. She also provided testimony about events before and after the shooting. Among other things, she testified that after the murder on October 22, 1988, she, Williams and another person checked into a Days Inn Hotel that same day. App. to Pet. at 168-69, 175.*fn1 The next morning, at around 7 a.m. on October 23, the three of them left Days Inn after Williams paid the hotel bill. Id. A short time later that same morning, she and Williams checked into the Parkway Guest House together. Id. at 175-78. At trial, Plummer responded to the prosecutor's questions as follows:

Q: How long were you at that guest house on the 23rd?

A: Into the morning Monday, the 24th.

Q: And what did you do on the 23rd at the guest house?

A: We slept practically all day.

Q: On the morning of the 24th, did you go anywhere ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.