United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
FREDERICK C. WEST, Petitioner,
BRIGHAM SLOAN, Warden, Respondent.
OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING DOC. 1]
S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
C. West petitions for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. He alleges three grounds for
relief. After considering West's arguments,
Magistrate Judge Kathleen B. Burke filed a Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”). She recommends
that the Court dismiss in part and deny in part West's
petition. Petitioner objects to the
following reasons, the Court OVERRULES Petitioner's
objections to the R&R, ADOPTS the R&R, and DENIES
Petitioner's § 2254 petition.
December 2013, a Summit County Grand Jury indicted West for
one count of aggravated robbery, one count of obstructing
official business, and one count of illegal use or possession
of drug paraphernalia. Ohio later added two repeat violent
offender specifications were later added to the
April 2014, West moved to dismiss the case. He argued that
the State of Ohio violated his right to a speedy
trial. The trial court denied the
10, 2014, the jury found West guilty of aggravated robbery
and illegal use or possession of drug
paraphernalia. On August 5, 2014, the trial court found
West guilty of the repeat violent offender
specifications. The Ohio trial court sentenced West to
12 years' incarceration.
West raised five arguments on direct appeal:
1. West was denied his rights to a speedy trial pursuant to
the 6th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; Article
I, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution; and the Ohio Revised
2. West's aggravated robbery conviction was not supported
by sufficient evidence, which violated his rights to due
process under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and
Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution, and therefore
his conviction on that count and the attached repeat violent
offender specification must be vacated.
3. West's aggravated robbery conviction was against the
manifest weight of the evidence, and must be reversed.
4. Introducing evidence of a suggestive and unreliable
“show up” identification violated West's due
process rights under the 14th Amendment, meriting reversal of
5. During West's sentencing hearing, the trial court did
not enunciate any sentence for West's misdemeanor drug
paraphernalia charge, mandating reversal and a new
22, 2015, the Ninth District Court of Appeals affirmed in
part and reversed in part the trial court's
judgment. The appellate court agreed with
West's fifth argument, finding that the trial court erred
by sentencing West to serve thirty days' imprisonment on
the drug paraphernalia count without addressing that charge
in open court. The appellate court remanded the case to
the trial court for resentencing on the drug paraphernalia
remand, the prosecutor recommended dismissing the drug
August 24, 2015, West filed a pro se notice of
appeal in the Ohio Supreme Court.West re-asserted the four
arguments denied by the Ninth District Court of
October 28, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court declined
April 22, 2016, West filed his pro se federal habeas
petition. West argues (1) his right to speedy
trial under the Sixth Amendment and Ohio state law was
violated; (2) his aggravated robbery conviction was not
supported by sufficient evidence; and (3) a suggestive and
unreliable “show up” identification violated his
due process rights.
April 19, 2017, Magistrate Judge Kathleen B. Burke filed an
R&R. She recommends that the Court (1)
dismiss in part and deny in part West's speedy trial
argument; (2) deny West's insufficiency of evidence
argument; and (3) dismiss West's due process
objects to all three recommendations in the R&R.
Federal Magistrates Act requires a district court to conduct
a de novo review only of those portions of the R&R to
which the parties have properly objected.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”) controls habeas review of state court
proceedings. AEDPA generally requires that a petitioner
exhaust all of his available state court remedies before
seeking habeas relief. To satisfy the exhaustion
requirement, the state courts must have “one full
opportunity to resolve any constitutional
issues.” A district court will not consider a
habeas petitioner's “contentions of federal law . .
. not resolved on the merits in the state proceeding due to
[a petitioner's] failure to raise them there as required
by state procedure.”
West first argues that his speedy trial right was violated.
The Court agrees with the R&R that to the extent
Petitioner raises a speedy trial argument under the Ohio
Constitution and the Ohio Revised Code, the claim is not
argues that the violation of his rights under Ohio law
creates a federal due process violation. This Court
relief may be available if an alleged error of state law
subjected the petitioner to a “fundamentally
unfair” criminal process. Only when a state ruling
“offend[s] some principle of justice so rooted in the
traditions and conscience of our people” does it
constitute fundamental unfairness.
state appellate court provided thorough analysis in denying
Petitioner's claim under Ohio law. This Court
finds neither the state appellate court's process nor its
decision to be “fundamentally unfair.”
Petitioner's due process rights were not violated.
also argues that his federal speedy trial right was violated.
This claim also fails.
argues that federal law requires a trial within 90 days of
his arrest. Federal law has no such requirement. Rather,
courts weigh four factors in determining whether the speedy
trial right has been violated.
Supreme Court articulated four factors that must be
considered in determining whether the right to a speedy trial
has been violated: (1) whether the delay was uncommonly long;
(2) the reason for the delay; (3) whether the defendant
asserted his right to ...