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.

James v. Goguen

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 4, 2019

STEVEN JAMES, Petitioner,
v.
COLLETTE GOGUEN, Respondent.

          ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY (DOCKET NO. 27)

          TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Steven James (“James”) filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with this Court in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket No. 1). He asserted the following grounds of relief:

Ground One: The Massachusetts gatekeeper provision is an unfair roadblock that deprived James of post-Miller review, violating his Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Two: Newly discovered juvenile brain science is material to the Commonwealth's burden, and the state judgments and decisions violate James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Three: Based on Miller and new juvenile brain science, the jury instructions violated James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Four: James' trial attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel.
Ground Five: The mandatory nature of the two life sentence judgments, i.e. his original sentence without the possibility of parole and his current sentence with the possibility of parole, without an individual sentencing hearing for juvenile defendants or an evidentiary hearing or consideration of Miller factors or any appeal to a full appellate court, is contrary to and an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent and violates James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Six: The state court's decision to deny an evidentiary hearing was contrary to and an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent and violated James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Seven: In light of Miller and the new scientific evidence of the under-developed juvenile brain, a new trial is required because the statutory law at the time of James' 1995 trial - which automatically sent 17-year-old juveniles to adult Superior Court without any judicial mitigation review or a juvenile transfer hearing - is unconstitutional as applied to 17-year-old juveniles, and violated James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Eight: In light of Miller and pre-existing Supreme Court jury instruction precedent and the new scientific evidence of the under-developed juvenile brain, a new trial is required because a jury must determine whether James' adolescent brain formed the necessary intent for murder, yet the jury was not presented with evidence regarding James' juvenile mitigation and unreasonably was not instructed on James' juvenile mitigation issues as they related to the Commonwealth's burden of proof, in violation of James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ground Nine: At the time of James' trial there was no way to present an exculpatory juvenile mitigation defense based on the inadequate state of the law and science, such that a true and just verdict was never reached, in violation of James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the state court decisions are contrary to and an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent and based on an unreasonable determination of the facts.
Ground Ten: The Massachusetts murder statute used to indict, convict and sentence James is unconstitutional as applied to juveniles because, after striking the unconstitutional portions of the statute, the remaining statutory language is incapable of functioning independently and is therefore void for vagueness and violates James' Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the state court decisions are contrary to and an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent and based on an unreasonable determination of the facts.
Ground Eleven: Because evidence about James' mental disorders in DSM-V is both new and material to the verdict and contradicts the Commonwealth's trial expert witness on issues relevant to the degree of guilt, the trial without this evidence and the resulting conviction and sentences violated James' Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the state court decisions are contrary to and an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent and based on an unreasonable determination of the facts.
Ground Twelve : The state court decision declining to hold that seventeen-year-old James had a right to consult in person with an interested and informed adult before any interrogation or waiver of rights (despite applying that right to other juvenile defendants), and holding that a juvenile's initial request not to speak to police does not need to be scrupulously honored, is contrary to and an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent, an ...

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.