Smith v. Campbell

Decision Date16 December 2020
Docket NumberCase No. 2:20-cv-11525
PartiesHENRY VICTOR SMITH, Petitioner, v. SHERMAN CAMPBELL, Respondent.
CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)


Case No. 2:20-cv-11525


December 16, 2020

Honorable Sean F. Cox


This matter initially came before the Court on petitioner Henry Victor Smith's pro se habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1.) After the Court ordered the State to file a responsive pleading, Petitioner asked the Court to hold his habeas petition in abeyance while he sought relief in state court. (ECF No. 4.) For the reasons stated below, the Court will deny the motion.

I. Background

In 2014, following a jury trial in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court, Petitioner was convicted of armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529. (ECF No. 1, PageID.1.) The trial court sentenced Petitioner as a habitual offender to a term of twenty-five to fifty years in prison. Id.

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Petitioner alleges that he filed a timely appeal of right, raising the following claims: (1) the admission of evidence about his drug use violated the Michigan Rules of Evidence and his right to a fair trial; (2) the prosecutor erred and violated his right to due process by eliciting evidence of heroin use; (3) trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to file a timely alibi notice and failing to call the alibi witness at trial; (4) he was denied a fair trial because the jurors were allowed to see him outside the courtroom in handcuffs; and (5) the trial judge prevented him from pursuing a defense and acted partially in preventing defense counsel from asking a police officer about the appearance of Petitioner's hands when he was arrested. Id. at PageID.2 The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected these claims and affirmed Petitioner's convictions. See People v. Smith, No. 322745, 2015 WL 6438294 (Mich. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 2015). Petitioner states that he raised the same claims in the Michigan Supreme Court, which denied leave to appeal on June 28, 2016. See People v. Smith, 499 Mich. 968; 880 N.W.2d 573 (2016).

On or about May 7, 2017, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment in which he argued that: (1) his trial attorney was constitutionally ineffective for failing to (a) reasonably investigate an alibi witness until the day before trial, (b) reasonably advise Petitioner about his right to testify, and (c) move to dismiss the untimely habitual-offender notice; (2) the habitual-offender notice was filed before the mandatory 21-day statutory period; and (3) appellate counsel was

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constitutionally ineffective for failing to raise these claims. (ECF No. 1, PageID.2-3.) The trial court denied Petitioner's motion, and the state appellate courts denied leave to appeal. Id. at PageID.3.

On June 2, 2020, Petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition. His grounds for relief, as set forth in his supporting brief, read as follows:

I. The trial court admitted evidence regarding Petitioner's heroin addiction, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

II. The prosecutor elicited testimony regarding Petitioner's heroin addiction and argued that he was guilty because he was a heroin addict, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

III. Trial counsel as constitutionally ineffective for failing to (A) file a timely alibi notice, (B) call the

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