United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ASIM AMRAN, Petitioner.
COMMISSIONER OP CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge.
July, 2015, petitioner Asim Amran ("petitioner" or
"Amran") filed his petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Magistrate
Judge to whom the matter was referred entered a Report and
Recommendation ("R&R") (Docket No. 52) in
December, 2017, recommending that this Court deny Amran's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
filed timely objections to the R&R (Docket No. 54). After
considering those objections and carefully reviewing the
R&R de novo, for the following reasons the Court
will overrule petitioner's objections, accept and adopt
the report and recommendation of the Magistrate Judge and
dismiss the petition.
habeas petition arises from Amran's conviction for murder
in the first degree in Worcester Superior Court in December,
2012. The Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC") affirmed
Amran's conviction in April, 2015 and Amran filed the
instant habeas corups petition three months later.
petition, Amran contends that (1) the trial court abused its
discretion in failing to grant a mistrial after the trial
court told the jury this was a homicide case (where the
defense was that it was a suicide), (2) the defendant's
redacted statement should not have been allowed into
evidence, (3) the admission of photographs of the
victim's body was prejudicial and (4) the trial court
erred in failing to conduct voir dire of the jury
after its exposure to extraneous evidence on two occasions.
Magistrate Judge entered the R&R recommending that this
Court deny the petition in December, 2017. In the R&R,
the Magistrate Judge determined that Claims One, Two and
Three were waived because Amran failed to address them in his
memorandum of law in support of the petition. Furthermore,
those claims relate to issues of state law not cognizable on
habeas review. The Magistrate Judge held that, although Amran
had exhausted Claim Four, he had failed to show he was
entitled to habeas relief on that ground. Amran timely filed
his objections, contesting the SJC's findings of fact and
the R&R's treatment of those findings.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). A federal court sitting in habeas
corpus is not obliged to re-examine state-court
determinations of state-law issues but rather "is
limited to deciding whether a conviction violated the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."
Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991).
Factual findings made by state courts on direct review are
therefore entitled to a presumption of correctness and
interpretations of state law are binding. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(e)(1); Bradshaw v. Richey, 546 U.S. 74, 76
the basis for a petitioner's application for a writ of
habeas corpus was adjudicated on the merits in state court,
the petition will be granted only if the state court
(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