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Riley v. Smith

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 6, 2014

Adrian Dominic Riley, also known as Amiri Rasheed-El, Petitioner,
v.
Michelle Smith, Respondent.

Adrian Dominic Riley, Bayport, pro se Petitioner.

Matthew Frank and Michael T. Everson, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, Suite for Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the undersigned United States District Court Judge for consideration of Petitioner Adrian Riley's Objections [Doc. No. 20] to United States Magistrate Judge Jeanne J. Graham's December 17, 2013, Report and Recommendation ("R&R") [Doc. No. 19]. The Magistrate Judge recommended that: (1) the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [Doc. No. 1] be denied; (2) the Motion for New Trial [Doc. No. 2] be denied as moot; (3) no certificate of appealability be issued; and (4) judgment be entered accordingly. For the reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Petitioner's objections and adopts the R&R in its entirety.

II. BACKGROUND

The Magistrate Judge's R&R thoroughly describes the factual and procedural background of Petitioner's case, and the Court incorporates it here by reference. On April 25, 1996, Petitioner was convicted by a jury of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder. The state trial court sentenced Petitioner to three consecutive life sentences for the first-degree murder convictions, which the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed. State v. Riley , 568 N.W.2d 518 (Minn. 1997).

Petitioner then filed three post-conviction petitions in state court. The first, filed on July 30, 2007 and requesting additional fingerprint and forensic testing, was abandoned by Petitioner on or before August 24, 2007, before the trial court issued an order. The second, filed on November 9, 2009, was summarily denied without an evidentiary hearing by the trial court, and the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed. Riley v. State , 792 N.W.2d 831 (Minn. 2011). The third, filed on June 20, 2011, claimed that Petitioner was entitled to an evidentiary hearing or a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, and it requested additional fingerprint and forensic DNA testing. The trial court concluded that the third petition was time-barred and not supported by adequate proof, and the appellate courts affirmed. Riley v. State , 819 N.W.2d 162 (Minn. 2012).

On March 25, 2013, Petitioner filed the instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on the following grounds: (1) ineffective assistance of counsel, (2) prosecutorial misconduct, and (3) wrongful admission of fingerprint and ballistics evidence. (Pet. [Doc. No. 1].) Petitioner also challenges the state courts' reliance on Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4, in denying his third post-conviction petition. (Id. at 7.)

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

A party "may file and serve specific written objections to a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations." D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). The district court will review de novo those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which an objection is made, and it "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b)(3); D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). Ordinarily, the district judge relies on the record of proceedings before the magistrate judge. D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3).

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, federal court habeas review of state court criminal convictions resulting in incarceration is limited:

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 ...

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