United States District Court, D. Delaware
Miller. Pro se petitioner.
Elizabeth R. McFarlan, Delaware Department of Justice,
Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Respondents.
before the court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by petitioner Malik
X. Miller ("Miller"). (D.I. 1; D.I. 6) For the
reasons discussed, the court will deny the petition.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
2009, Miller pled guilty to one count of first degree
assault. See Miller v. State, 47 A.3d 972 (Table),
2012 WL 2580186, at *1 (Del. July 3, 2012). The Delaware
Superior Court sentenced him to a total period of twenty-five
years at Level V incarceration, suspended after serving three
years for twenty-two years at Level IV work release,
suspended after serving eight months at work release for
twenty-one years and four months at Level IV home
confinement, suspended after serving six months for eighteen
months at Level III probation. Id. Miller did not
appeal his conviction or sentence.
November 2011, Miller was charged with violating his
probation after becoming involved in a fight at the Level IV
Plummer Center. See Miller, 2012 WL 2580186, at *1.
Miller admitted the violation at his violation of probation
("VOP') hearing, and the Superior Court sentenced
him to six months at Level V incarceration or VOP Center and,
upon completion, a restart of the Level IV portion of his
original sentence. Id. The Delaware Supreme Court
affirmed that judgment on appeal. Id.
November 2012, Miller was charged with his second VOP for
failing to report to his probation officer and for possessing
drugs and a firearm. See Miller v. State, 69 A.3d
371 (Table), 2013 WL 3488268, at *1 (Del. July 8, 2013).
Following a VOP hearing, the Superior Court found that Miller
had violated his probation, and sentenced him to twenty-two
years at Level V incarceration, suspended after serving eight
years in prison for eighteen months at Level II probation.
Id. Miller appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court
affirmed the Superior Court's adjudication of
Miller's second VOP and sentence on July 8, 2013.
Id. at *2.
GOVERNING LEGAL PRINCIPLES
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
1996 ("AEDPA") "to reduce delays in the
execution of state and federal criminal sentences . . . and
to further the principles of comity, finality, and
federalism." Woodford v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202,
206 (2003). Pursuant to AEDPA, a federal court may consider a
habeas petition filed by a state prisoner 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). AEDPA imposes procedural requirements and
standards for analyzing the merits of a habeas petition in
order to "prevent federal habeas 'retrials' and
to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to
the extent possible under law." Bell v. Cone,
535 U.S. 685, 693 (2002).
Exhaustion and Procedural Default
exceptional circumstances, a federal court cannot grant
habeas relief unless the petitioner has exhausted all means
of available relief under state law. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b); O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838,
842-44 (1999); Picardv. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275
(1971). 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 granted unless it appears that -
(A) the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the
courts of the State; or
(B)(i) there is an absence of available State corrective
(ii) circumstances exist that render such process ineffective
to protect the ...