Lee v. Culliver, 111708 FED11, 07-15682

Docket Nº:07-15682
Party Name:COREY L. LEE, Petitioner-Appellant, v. GRANT CULLIVER, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA, THE, Respondents-Appellees.
Case Date:November 17, 2008
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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COREY L. LEE, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

GRANT CULLIVER, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA, THE, Respondents-Appellees.

No. 07-15682

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

November 17, 2008

         DO NOT PUBLISH

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, D. C. Docket No. 05-02034-CV-JFG-NW

         Before BLACK, BARKETT and MARCUS, Circuit Judges.

         PER CURIAM

         Corey Lee, a state prisoner acting pro se, appeals the district court's denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging a 2002 conviction and life sentence for burglary and attempted murder. We granted a certificate of appealability on the issue of "[w]hether the district court properly concluded that Lee was not denied the right to testify on his own behalf at his criminal trial." After thorough review, we affirm.

         We review the district court's denial of a § 2254 petition de novo but we are "highly deferential" to the state court's decision. Davis v. Jones, 506 F.3d 1325, 1331 (11th Cir. 2007). Pursuant to § 2254(d), federal courts may only grant habeas relief on claims previously adjudicated in state court, as in this case, if the adjudication "(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; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). A state court's summary rejection of a claim, without discussion, qualifies as an adjudication on the merits under § 2254(d) and, thus, warrants deference. Wright v. Sec'y for Dep't of Corr., 278 F.3d 1245, 1253-54 (11th Cir. 2002).

         A criminal defendant has a fundamental constitutional right to testify on his own behalf at trial, and this right cannot be waived by defense counsel. Gallego v. United States, 174 F.3d 1196, 1197 (11th Cir. 1999). "A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is the proper framework to analyze defendant's allegation that his attorney has violated his right to testify." Id. To demonstrate ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant must prove that (1) counsel's performance was deficient, and (2) the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. Strickland v. Washington...

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