Post details: CA7 explains a Stone v. Powell denial of a "full and fair hearing"

04/06/13

Permalink 09:45:20 pm, by fourth, 550 words, 546 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA7 explains a Stone v. Powell denial of a "full and fair hearing"

While the trial court erred in determining the probable cause question, the appellate court did not. Any error that allegedly qualified as a denial of a full and fair hearing for Stone v. Powell purposes was corrected by the appellate court. This case is an interesting attempt at explaining the law on denial of a full and fair hearing. Monroe v. Davis, 712 F.3d 1106 (7th Cir. 2013):

[More:]

Much ink has been spilled over what exactly constitutes a full and fair hearing for purposes of Stone. See Cabrera v. Hinsley, 324 F.3d 527, 530-31 (7th Cir. 2003). Our decisions in Cabrera and Hampton make clear that it means more than just the opportunity to present one's Fourth Amendment claim to the state court. Id. at 531-32; Hampton, 296 F.3d at 563-64. A state court process that amounts to a sham would not constitute a full and fair hearing even though the petitioner had his day in court on the claim. Cabrera, 324 F.3d at 531-32; Hampton, 296 F.3d at 563-64. Evaluating the adequacy of the hearing thus requires us to give at least "some attention to how the state court dealt with the merits" of the claim. Id. at 564 (emphasis in original). But not too much attention, as we added in Cabrera. 324 F.3d at 531. Our role is not to second-guess the state court on the merits of the petitioner's claim, but rather to assure ourselves that the state court heard the claim, looked to the right body of case law, and rendered an intellectually honest decision. See Hampton, 296 F.3d at 563-64; see also Miranda v. Leibach, 394 F.3d 984, 997 (7th Cir. 2005).

Here, Monroe contends that a threshold error made by the trial judge in resolving his motion to quash his arrest reveals that the hearing he received was neither full nor fair. It takes more than an error in the state court's analysis to surmount the Stone bar to collateral relief, however. Id. at 998; Cabrera, 324 F.3d at 532; Hampton, 296 F.3d at 564; see also Watson v. Hulick, 481 F.3d 537, 542 (7th Cir. 2007).

. . .

Monroe thus received a full and fair hearing on the merits of his Fourth Amendment claim in the Illinois courts. Both the trial court and the Illinois Appellate Court entertained and reached the merits of his claim. The appellate court looked to the appropriate body of case law in resolving the claim, citing state precedents which set forth the relevant Fourth Amendment principles (for example, People v. Kidd, 675 N.E.2d 910, 920 (Ill. 1996), which in turn relied on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 91, 85 S. Ct. 223, 225-26 (1964)); and the court correctly set forth the standard for evaluating probable cause. R. 20 at 85-86. Both the trial and appellate courts took the claim seriously, and although the trial court, in resolving the claim, committed a significant error as to the timing of Monroe's arrest, the appellate court's analysis did not repeat the error. Its analysis was consistent with the parties' stipulation that Monroe was handcuffed (and thus arrested) at his home; and the court cited and relied upon evidence which, in its view, established probable cause to believe Monroe had committed a crime and which was known to the police at the time of Monroe's arrest. Stone therefore precludes us from reaching the merits of Monroe's Fourth Amendment claim.

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