United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
reasons explained in this Entry, the petition of Frank Greene
for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the action
dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the court finds that a
certificate of appealability should not issue.
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
Indiana jury convicted Frank Greene of Criminal Confinement,
a Class B felony, Criminal Confinement, a Class D felony,
Intimidation, a Class D felony, and Domestic Battery, a Class
A misdemeanor. It also found Greene to be a Habitual
Offender. Greene was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of 50
years. These convictions were affirmed in Greene v.
State, 915 N.E.2d 1049 (Ind.Ct.App. 2009), decision
clarified on reh'g, 923 N.E.2d 29 (Ind.Ct.App.
2010). The trial court's grant of Greene's petition
for post-conviction relief as to the Class B felony criminal
conviction was reversed State v. Greene, 16 N.E.3d
416 (Ind. 2014). Greene now seeks a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).
§ 2254 proceedings, federal courts are foreclosed from
fact-finding. We therefore defer to the findings of the
[state] court, which have not been challenged and are
presumed to be correct unless rebutted by clear and
convincing evidence.” Jones v. Butler, 778
F.3d 575, 578 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
2254(e)(1) and Harris v. Thompson, 698 F.3d 609, 613
(7th Cir. 2012)). A state court's factual finding is
unreasonable only if it “ignores the clear and
convincing weight of the evidence.” Taylor v.
Grounds, 721 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2013) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). Greene has not shown
the factual findings of the Indiana state courts to be
unreasonable. The Court therefore looks to the summary of the
evidence made in his direct appeal:
In 2008, Brenda Johnson lived with Greene, her boyfriend, in
Indianapolis. On Friday, November 15, 2008, Johnson and
Greene began arguing at 8:00 a.m., when Johnson intended to
go buy dog food. When she attempted to leave, Greene grabbed
her arm and throat and forced her into a bedroom, where he
threw her on the bed. Greene took Johnson's cell phone.
Several times, Johnson attempted to lift herself off of the
bed, but Greene told her, “[b]itch, you are not leaving
the house.” Tr. p. 14. He threw her back down onto the
bed each time she attempted to leave, at one point climbing
on top of her and holding her on the bed with his knees.
Greene held Johnson in the bedroom for most of the day. He
even escorted her to the bathroom and sat on her lap while
she used the facilities. Greene refused to allow Johnson to
eat, though he forced her to prepare food for him that he ate
in her presence.
Johnson eventually slept. When she awoke on Saturday morning,
she again attempted to leave the home. Greene still refused
to allow her to leave, grabbing her, slapping her in the face
several times, and kicking her. Then, Greene placed his hands
around her throat and strangled her until she lost
consciousness. When she regained consciousness, she was on
the couch in the living room. Shortly thereafter, at
approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, the authorities
arrived. Johnson had bruises on her face, neck, arms, and
chest, and broken blood vessels on her neck.
Greene v. State, 915 N.E.2d 1049, *1 (Ind.Ct.App.
2009), decision clarified on reh'g, 923 N.E.2d
29 (Ind.Ct.App. 2010).
now seeks a writ of habeas corpus, presenting the following
claims: (a) the evidence was insufficient to support
Greene's conviction for Class B felony criminal
confinement; and (b) his trial and appellate counsel were
federal court may grant habeas relief only if the petitioner
demonstrates that he is in custody "in violation of the
Constitution or laws . . . of the United States." 28
U.S.C. § 2254(a). Federal habeas review exists only
“as ‘a guard against extreme malfunctions in the
state criminal justice systems, not a substitute for ordinary
error correction through appeal.'” Woods v.
Donald, 135 S.Ct. 1372, 1376 (2015) (per curiam)
(quoting Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102-03
(2011)). Greene's habeas petition is governed by
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
its terms § 2254(d) bars relitigation of any claim
'adjudicated on the merits' in state court, subject
only to the exceptions in §§ 2254(d)(1) and
(d)(2).” Harrington, 562 U.S. at 98. The three
exceptions are: (1) the state court's decision was
contrary to clearly established federal law; or (2) there was
an unreasonable application of clearly established federal
law; or (3) the decision was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts. Id. at 100 (citing 28
U.S.C. §§ 2254(d)(1), (2)); see also
O'Quinn v. Spiller, 806 F.3d 974, 977 (7th Cir.
2015)(“We ask only whether the [state court's]
decision was ‘contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established Federal law, as
determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, '
or ‘was based on an unreasonable determination of facts
in light of the evidence presented in the State court
proceeding.'”)(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1),
the “unreasonable application” prong of the AEDPA
standard, a habeas petitioner must demonstrate that although
the state court identified the correct legal rule, it
unreasonably applied the controlling law to the facts of the
case. Williams, 529 U.S. at 407; see also
Badelle v. Correll, 452 F.3d 648, 653 (7th Cir. 2006).
The Seventh Circuit Ahas defined >objectively
unreasonable' as lying well outside the boundaries of
permissible differences of opinion and will allow the state
court's decision to stand if it is one of several equally
plausible outcomes.” Burgess v. Watters, 467
F.3d 676, 681 (7th Cir. 2006) (international citations and
“prevents federal habeas ‘retrials'”
and ensures that state court convictions are given effect to
the extent possible under the law. Bell v. Cone, 535
U.S. 685, 693-94 (2002). The requirements of AEDPA
“create an independent, high standard to be met before
a federal court may issue a writ of habeas corpus to set
aside state-court rulings.” Uttecht v. Brown,555 U.S. 1, 10 (2007) (citations omitted). “AEDPA thus
imposes a ‘highly deferential standard for evaluating
state-court rulings, ' Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S.
320, 333 n.7 (1997), and ‘demands that state-court