Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Aldrich v. Maceachern

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

January 23, 2018

ROBERT ALDRICH, Petitioner,
v.
PAMELA MACEACHERN, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DENISE J. CASPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Petitioner Robert Aldrich (“Aldrich”), acting pro se, has filed a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus (“Petition”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. D. 1. Respondent Pamela MacEachern (“MacEachern”), the Superintendent of the Pondville Correctional Center, opposes the Petition on the bases that Aldrich's grounds for habeas relief either have been waived or fail on the merits. D. 77 at 11.[1] For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES the Petition, D. 1.

         II. Standard of Review

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), this Court may grant a writ of habeas corpus if the state court adjudication “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.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1). “AEDPA erects a formidable barrier to federal habeas relief for prisoners whose claims have been adjudicated in state court.” Burt v. Titlow, ___U.S.___, 134 S.Ct. 10, 16 (2013). Federal courts are thus highly deferential to state courts when reviewing claims of legal error. See id. at 15.

         A state court decision is “contrary to” clearly established federal law “if the state court either ‘applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in [Supreme Court] cases, ' or ‘confronts a set of facts that are materially indistinguishable from'” a Supreme Court precedent and arrives at an opposite conclusion. Penry v. Johnson, 532 U.S. 782, 792 (2001) (quoting Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000)). A state court decision is an “unreasonable application” of clearly established federal law “if it correctly identifies the governing legal rule but applies that rule unreasonably to the facts of a particular prisoner's case.” White v. Woodall, ___U.S.___, 134 S.Ct. 1697, 1706 (2014). In sum, “a state prisoner must show that the state court's ruling on the claim being presented in federal court was so lacking in justification that there was an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement.” Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 103 (2011).

         III. Factual and Procedural Background

         A. Trial

         The following facts are primarily drawn from the Middlesex Superior Court's denial of Aldrich's motion for post-conviction relief and motion for an evidentiary hearing, S.A. at 130-40, [2]which were included in Defendant's supplemental answer, D. 58. A burglary occurred in Cambridge on January 6, 2008. S.A. at 131. The homeowner noticed the intrusion, called 911 and the police arrived and apprehended Aldrich. Id. The officers searched Aldrich and found the homeowner's property and a screwdriver. S.A. at 131-32.

         Aldrich was indicted for eight charges on February 7, 2008 including unarmed burglary, but not armed burglary. S.A. at 1-2. Aldrich acted pro se, as he had before, and was appointed standby counsel. S.A. at 132. On December 15, 2009, following a jury trial, the Clerk asked the jury foreman if the jury had reached a verdict:

Clerk: Mr. Foreman, as to Indictment number 2008-164-001, charging the defendant, Robert Aldrich, with armed burglary, what say you, Mr. Foreman; is the defendant guilty or not guilty?
Foreman: Guilty.
Clerk: Guilty as to what, sir?
Foreman: Guilty as charged.

S.A. at 144. Aldrich did not object. See S.A. at 144-46. On the same day, the jury also returned a verdict slip as to the unarmed burglary charge, signed by the jury foreperson, in which “Guilty - offense as charged” is selected. S.A. at 163. The court sentenced Aldrich to twenty years in state prison on that charge. S.A. at 149. Aldrich was also convicted of three other ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.