United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Honorable Ronald E. Bush Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Petitioner Daniel Lee Dixon's federal
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. The merits of Claims 1(L)
and 1(M) are now ripe for adjudication, as are
Petitioner's Motion for Application for Martinez v.
Ryan (Dkt. 18), and Respondent's three Motions for
Extension of Time. (Dkts. 19, 21, 22.)
named parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a United
States Magistrate Judge to enter final orders in this case.
(Dkt. 8.) See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. Having completed a careful review of the
record, and having considered the arguments of the parties,
the Court enters the following Order.
2006, Dixon was convicted of lewd conduct with a minor under
sixteen, first degree kidnapping, misdemeanor possession of
drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor malicious injury to
property, after a jury trial in the First Judicial District
Court in Kootenai County, Idaho. The incident occurred at a
Coeur d'Alene beach park. Petitioner was accused of
grabbing and restraining a twelve-year-old girl, placing her
on his lap, and touching her vagina. Petitioner has always
contended that he is actually innocent.
judgment of conviction was entered on July 19, 2006. After
his conviction, Petitioner filed a direct appeal and three
state post-conviction actions, none of which provided relief
on his convictions or sentences.
brings the following claims in his federal Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus:
is a Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of trial counsel
claim, consisting of the following subparts:
A. failure to file a notice of appeal, despite
Petitioner's specific request;
B. failure to call witnesses including: (1) Megan Griffitts,
(2) the owner of Funtastic Foods, (3), Reuben Rodriguez, (4)
Russell Giles, and (5) six employees of Diamond Parking and
the City Park (Brian, Curtis, Jake, Heather, Tag, and Marie);
C. (i) failure to request a second evidentiary hearing after
the first one was cancelled in February 2006, and (ii)
failure to have Petitioner's clothing and telephone
records admitted as evidence at trial;
D. failure to use a recorded interview to impeach witness
E. failure to poll the jury after the guilty verdict;
F. failure to inform Petitioner of his right to file an
G. wrongly informing Petitioner that he had no Fifth
Amendment right to refuse to take a psychosexual evaluation;
H. failure to file a motion for change of venue; I. failure
to object to the prosecutor vouching for the credibility of
two witnesses during closing argument;
J. failure to file a post-conviction appeal (post-conviction
K. (i) failure to have Petitioner's clothing examined for
DNA evidence; (ii) failure to have his clothing submitted to
the jury, so they could see the clothing did not fit the
description of the witnesses (duplicative of (C)(ii) above);
L. failure to request a change of location from the jail
building to a regular court room;
M. failure to have his medical records and arm examined by an
expert to show that he had an injury so severe that it was a
factual impossibility for him to have committed the crime;
N. failure to spend adequate time to effectively represent
Petitioner, including failure to prepare for trial, and
failure to prepare Petitioner for his testimony at trial.
is that Petitioner was denied the right to a fair trial when
the trial court refused to allow Petitioner to call witnesses
during trial. Claim 3 is that he was denied the right to a
fair trial when the prosecutor refused to give Petitioner
exculpatory evidence. Claim 4 is denial of the right to a
fair trial under a cumulative error theory.
in this matter, the Court denied Claims 1(A), 1(F), and 1(J)
on the merits.(Dkt. 17.) The Court also granted
Respondent's Motion for Summary Dismissal on procedural
default grounds on Claims 1(B), 1(C), 1(D), 1(E), 1(G), 1(H),
1(I), 1(K), 1(N), 2, 3, and 4. Petitioner was permitted to
make a Martinez v. Ryan cause and prejudice argument
to excuse the procedural default of the ineffective
assistance of trial counsel claims only, which are Claims
1(B), 1(C), 1(D), 1(E), 1(G), 1(H), 1(I), 1(K), and 1(N).
Petitioner has filed his briefing (Dkt. 18), which the Court
Court permitted Petitioner to proceed to the merits of Claims
1(L) and 1(M). (Dkt. 17.) Respondent has filed an Answer and
Brief in Support of Dismissal of the Petition (Dkt. 24), and
Petitioner has elected not to file a Reply.
OF MERITS OF CLAIMS 1(L) and 1(M)
Standard of Law
Federal habeas corpus petitions that challenge a state court
judgment are governed by the strict requirements of Title 28
U.S.C.§ 2254(d), as amended by the Anti-terrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”).
Title 28 U.S.C.§ 2254(d) limits relief to instances
where the state court's adjudication of the
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;
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.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
source of clearly established federal law must come only from
the holdings of the United States Supreme Court. However,
circuit court precedent may be persuasive authority for
determining whether a state court decision is an unreasonable
application of Supreme Court precedent. Duhaime, 200
F.3d at 600-01.
v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 689 (1984), is
clearly-established law governing ineffective assistance of
counsel claims, and the Supreme Court in Strickland
made clear that judicial scrutiny of defense counsel's
performance must be highly deferential. Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 689 (1984). There is a strong
presumption that counsel rendered adequate assistance and
exercised reasonable professional judgment. Id. To
prevail on a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, the
petitioner must show that (1) the attorney's performance
was unreasonable under prevailing professional standards, and
(2) a reasonable probability that but for counsel's poor
performance, the results would have been different.
Id. at 687-94. Strickland defines
reasonable probability as “a probability sufficient to
undermine confidence in the outcome.” Id.
the Supreme Court has cautioned that “every effort be
made to eliminate the distorting effects of hindsight, to
reconstruct the circumstances of counsel's challenged
conduct, and to evaluate the conduct from counsel's
perspective at the time.” Id. at 689.
petitioner shows that counsel's performance was
deficient, the next step is the prejudice analysis. “An
error by counsel, even if professionally unreasonable, does
not warrant setting aside the judgment of a criminal
proceeding if the error had no effect on the judgment.”
Id. at 691. To satisfy the prejudice standard, a
petitioner “must show that there is a reasonable
probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional
errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
different.” Id. at 694. To constitute
Strickland prejudice, ...