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Davis v. Pierce

United States District Court, D. Delaware

January 20, 2017

CAMERON DAVIS, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.

          Cameron A. Davis. Pro se Petitioner.

          Karen V. Sullivan, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Presently pending before the Court is Petitioner Cameron A. Davis' Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Petition"). (D.I. 1) The State filed an Answer in opposition. (D.I. 7) For the reasons discussed, the Court will dismiss the Petition.

         I. BACKGROUND

In July 2010, a series of three armed robberies took place in the Bear, Delaware area. The police identified Robert Williams of 709 Sandburg Place as a person of interest. At approximately midnight on July 23, 2010, police arrived at 709 Sandburg Place, secured the apartment, and did not permit anyone, including [Petitioner], to leave or enter the residence until a warrant was obtained. Police obtained a warrant the next day and executed it at approximately 11:05 a.m. [Petitioner] was then transported to police headquarters and interviewed from approximately 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. [Petitioner] ultimately admitted to participating in the three robberies. The videotape of [Petitioner's] confession was shown to the jury at trial.
[Petitioner] later testified that he confessed to participation in the three robberies because he wanted the questioning to cease. He testified, "I felt as though, once again, it would have went on forever. The questioning would have never stopped until he would have got what he wanted."

Davis v. State, 38 A.3d 278, 279 (Del. 2012).

         Petitioner was indicted on five counts of first degree robbery, second degree assault, three counts of second degree conspiracy, six counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony ("PFDCF"), and three counts of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited ("PFBPP"). (D.I 7 at 3; D.I. 9-17 at 11-21) A Delaware Superior Court jury found him guilty of three counts of first degree robbery, three counts of PFDCF, three counts of PFBPP, and two counts of second degree conspiracy. The Superior Court granted Petitioner's motion for judgment of acquittal for one count of first degree robbery and one count of PFDCF. The Superior Court sentenced Petitioner to a total of thirty-four years of incarceration at Level V, suspended after eighteen years of minimum mandatory time for decreasing levels of supervision. Petitioner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed his convictions and sentence. See Davis, 38 A.3d at 281.

         In May 2012, Petitioner filed apro se motion for post conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"). (D.I. 9-18 at Entry No. 61) The Superior Court appointed counsel to represent Petitioner, and counsel filed an amended Rule 61 motion. After conducting an evidentiary hearing and permitting counsel to provide further evidence, the Superior Court issued a letter order denying the Rule 61 motion. See State v. Davis, 2015 WL 3539794, at *1 (Del. Super. Ct. May 18, 2015). The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that judgment. See Davis v. State, 127 A.3d 1171 (Table), 2015 WL 6954840, at *1 (Del. Nov. 9, 2015).

         II. EXHAUSTION AND PROCEDURAL DEFAULT

         Absent exceptional circumstances, a federal court cannot grant habeas relief unless the petitioner has exhausted all means of available relief under state law. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b); O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842-44 (1999); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971). The AEDPA states, in pertinent part:

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 ...

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