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Trina and this man, whom she did not know, went to a bar and to his parents' house, and then he took her to Walker's home around - a.m. That review must be based solely on the record before the state court and must give the state court's decision the benefit of the doubt, unless it "was so lacking in justification that there was an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement." Richter, 131 S. The jury convicted Walker of murder in the course of committing sexual battery, thus satisfying the elements of capital murder. In his opening statement, one of the prosecutors told the jury that a witness would testify that the event supporting the sexual battery charge occurred at "a point in all probability that there is death, which is the capital murder charge, or one part of it. The State argued that the issue had already been decided by the Mississippi Supreme Court in West v. In closing argument, the prosecution stated again that the stick was placed in Konya's vagina "probably after death. She's probably dead, but in the instructions it says dead or alive. Reciting all of the acts that Walker committed against Konya, the court stated, "Walker's contention that he did not form the intent to commit the act until after Edwards' death is not supported by the series of acts penetrated [sic] over an approximate two hour period immediately prior to the killing." Id. Based on this evidence, the court concluded, "Walker was unsuccessful for obvious reasons in convincing the jury that he formed the intent to commit the sexual battery only after killing Edwards." Id. After reviewing the record in this case, this Court cannot say that the Mississippi Supreme Court's decision misapplied clearly established federal law, or was contrary to it. 2008), after a careful review of Crawford, the court specifically overruled its prior cases that permitted the introduction of hearsay based on the reliability test of Ohio v. Riser testified and was subject to a thorough cross-examination about the differences between his trial testimony and his earlier confession. Willie Harper was unable to comprehend the trial judge's questioning as to her other responsibilities — first announcing that she could serve, then declaring, "I don't see no way possible. In this Court's opinion, the only close call is the strike of Pauline Lewis. Where, however, the record indicates that the trial judge accepted the prosecutor's assessment, even if the judge did not personally see the behavior that prompted it, the ruling should not be overturned unless it was clearly erroneous. During the guilt phase, the prosecutor stated that Riser "told you how the shirt got ripped, and that is the only testimony — the only reliable information beyond inference and guess. During his closing argument there, the prosecutor stated, "If all he had to say was what he said in those less than two minutes he stood here before you, I can see why he hasn't bothered until now. He thought that his brother's difficulties with Ronald were caused by Ronald's failure to express emotion.
On Sunday afternoon, they called the police in Long Beach to report Konya missing. The prosecution challenged Rush for cause, arguing, "This juror under questioning indicated repeatedly that she did not want to serve, and she felt as though sympathy would influence her and she could not reach a decision." The judge refused to strike Rush for cause, saying "I have the note here that she said that she could be fair on death even if capital murder; would prefer not to serve on a capital murder case. The trial judge was not in error in allowing Rush to be peremptory. That perhaps would have been the basis of it." Defense counsel named several other jurors, whom the State had accepted, who had teenaged children. Lewis responded affirmatively when the jury was asked whether anyone had a daughter at least of teenage years or older. Lewis gave the following view of the death penalty on her questionnaire: "If any one comiats `a crying' of killing I thank thay shell get the death penalty." Based on that answer, she was also questioned during the individual voir dire. Thus, the court held, no error was made in permitting this challenge. I don't think he was leaving a full closet, and while it would — may have looked like modest attire to others, it was better than he had. He told how the shirt got ripped, and that is the only testimony — the only reliable information beyond inference and guess and just trying to avoid our duty, that is your certain guide to the correct conclusion. Walker was given the opportunity to address the jury, and he said, in part: The only really reason I've come up here to talk to you guys is because I've wanted to say something for 11 months now, and I haven't been able to say it. You know, when you ask for mercy, first you have to be contrite. If you saw a repentant man standing before you, you'd take the easy way out and you would give him life. Additionally, the court noted that the trial court had given a cautionary instruction, which read, "The jury must not consider the fact that the Defendant did not testify as evidence against him and no inference of any kind may be drawn from the fact that the Defendant did not testify in this case." Even if the argument had been improper, the court ruled, the court's instruction remedied the error. As the Supreme Court explained in Robinson, it is permissible for a prosecutor to advert to a defendant's silence when it fairly responds to an argument proffered by the defendant. The Mississippi Supreme Court's decision on this issue is not grounds for habeas relief. The district attorney showed him a photograph of Konya's body, as it was discovered, and asked him to describe the scene. That being the case, Walker's argument is reduced to the claim that the evidence was insufficient to satisfy the jury's finding on this aggravator. After Konya was dead, Walker burned her body, paying special attention to areas from which law enforcement might be able to identify her or him, and hid her clothing. Malice is implied "whenever a death occurs as a result of some willful act by the accused under circumstances where he knows the act is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury." Id. As the state court recognized in this case, "There is not a shred of testimony or other evidence which might allow a reasonable juror to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Walker did not intend to kill Konya Edwards." 671 So. Even without Riser's testimony, the condition of Konya's body when it was discovered, as well as the results of the medical examiner's autopsy, preclude any suggestion that her death was other than intentional. Because Walker was not entitled to a manslaughter instruction under § 97-3-27, his attorney was not ineffective in failing to request it. Mississippi's homicide statutes use the terms "design," "malice," and "intent" interchangeably. In concluding, Walker's attorney asked Anita whether there was anything else she wanted to tell the jury. I guess everybody loves their own kids, and I do mine, because Alan — I grew up with Alan from a child. The evidence that Walker seeks to add would give more background information about his family and the environment in which he was raised. I did not go to their homes to interview them, and I don't recall contacting any other friends or relatives who lived out-of-state. However, I do not recall seeking the assistance of an expert to help prepare for the penalty phase or to help develop mitigating evidence. He also located a non-family witness, Mike Maniscalco, to give positive testimony about Walker's work habits.
On Monday, September 10, a man out swimming in a pond just outside of Long Beach that local residents called Crystal Lake, or the Blue Hole, found Konya's wallet. When a Batson challenge is considered in the context of habeas review, the federal court cannot reject the state court's determination on the issue unless it was "an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding." Rice, 546 U. The prosecutor responded, "All of whom responded in a manner that allayed whatever concerns the State had. Lewis did not satisfy that." The trial judge ruled, "All right; I'm going to accept the State's statement as to their reasons. When asked by defense counsel to explain whether she thought that everyone convicted of capital murder should be sentenced to death, she said, "No. When Willie Ann Harper's name was raised during jury selection, one of the prosecutors said that he thought she had already been struck. In analyzing these remarks, the Court must ask two questions: (1) whether the prosecutor's manifest intent was to comment on the defendant's failure to testify; and (2) whether the jury would necessarily have construed the remark as such a comment. I just wanted to tell the victim's family that I was sorry for what has happened. The Mississippi Supreme Court held that the prosecutor could comment on Walker's statement, to the extent that he argued that his statements were not sufficient mitigation to sway the jury against sentencing Walker to death. Walker's claim is predicated on a statement that the prosecutor made during his closing argument on the sentencing phase: [T]he constitution also permits death penalty [sic] in capital cases, and the State of Mississippi has required it. Another reason that the jury should take full responsibility for this decision is that the appellate court must review the trial court's sentence with a presumption of correctness. Burriss reported that Konya's fingers were burned off, making it impossible to obtain fingerprints. The Court conducts its review of that argument under the familiar rationale of Jackson v. A reasonable juror could have found that the acts that Walker undertook to avoid arrest began with his announcement to Riser that they were going to have to kill Konya — if not earlier — and continued post-mortem to destroying her body and hiding her personal effects. The existence of malice may be inferred from the manner in which the victim was killed. She began by attacking Riser's testimony, and an objection to that statement was sustained. Well, all I've got to say is if — what Alan did and what Jason did, they should get the same. I didn't just come up with him when he was little, and like Alan was mine. Much of the information contained in the affidavits offered would have been excluded as hearsay if it had been offered at trial. Walker argues that his attorneys' preparation fell below the standard established by the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases ("ABA Guidelines"). Although Stegall admits that he did not seek the assistance of an expert to help him prepare the case; whether an expert would have been expected, given the facts of this case and under prevailing professional norms, is simply unknown.
Trina Perry, a young waitress who was also at the Fiesta Lounge on September 8, recognized Konya as the young woman who had left the club that night with Trina, her boyfriend Alan Dale Walker, and his friend, Jason Riser. Even if the prosecutor's reasons are frivolous or nonsensical, the analysis does not end, it merely proceeds to the third step. Rush was removed because her voir dire responses indicated that she would have a hard time making a decision in this case, because she had daughters near the age of the victim and sons near the age of the accused. The Mississippi Supreme Court rejected that argument, holding, "[W]ithin the broad definition of a killing committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest are included those killings committed in order to conceal the killer's identity, to cover his tracks, and to avoid detection or arrest." 617 So. Burriss's testimony and the photograph of Konya's body were admissible because they "revealed the extent of the victim's burns and illustrated that the areas most likely to reveal the killer's identity were crudely destroyed." Id. He argued that a limiting instruction should have been given. Walker choked Edwards to the point that she was left gasping for breath, then "stomped" the back of her head and neck seven or eight times. Riser discovered Edwards was still breathing, so Walker put her face under water again. The case is not that old, and I'm sure it's fresh in the Court's mind; and I potentially felt the two strongest potential chances of reversing the case, at least as far as the guilt phase is concerned, the first was the failure to grant a continuance after the State over the weekend — or to at least sustain our motion in limine as to the testimony after the State over the weekend decided to use the testimony of the codefendant and worked a plea arrangement out with the codefendant; and that put us in the position of going to — having to change our defense, so to speak, at the last moment. "Not every restriction on counsel's time or opportunity to investigate or to consult with his client or otherwise to prepare for trial violates a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel" Id. Explaining the problems inherent in "assembling the witnesses, lawyers, and jurors at the same place at the same time," the Court held that trial courts must be granted "broad discretion" on the decision to grant or deny a continuance. That discretion is abused only when the refusal to grant a justifiable request for delay is "unreasoning and arbitrary." Id. As that court has held, "[T]he accused is entitled to a lesser offense instruction only where there is an evidentiary basis in the record therefor." Mease v. After Anita married Ronald Walker and moved away, Nellie only saw her sister once a year.
Trina went to the Long Beach Police Department and told Officer Linda Atterbury that she believed that Walker and Riser were responsible for Konya's death. The prosecution had attempted to have her removed for cause for this reason. Walker also argued that the instruction on the aggravator was unconstitutionally vague and that, because every murder necessarily eliminates a witness to a crime, it failed to adequately channel the jury's consideration of the death penalty. Citing earlier precedent, the court held that a limiting instruction was not necessary. Walker then decided the body would have to be burned, to the extent that the men left the scene, located a gas can, parked their car in a friend's driveway and waited to make certain no one was there before returning with the gas can to the site of the body. While it's true that obviously that when you have a codefendant, particularly in capital murders, you frequently expect deals to work out; that is, plea bargains to be made for testimony of the one that's less culpable, perhaps; but in this particular case, Friday afternoon of that week at that last moment Mr. However, she has provided information about that marriage that she apparently gained through conversations with her sister.
Walker told Trina that he was going to ride with Riser and Konya, so that he could show Riser "a hut that his brother had built for them to be together, Konya and Jason." Before he left, Walker took off his shirt and left it in Trina's car. In another statute, "sexual penetration" is defined as "cunnilingus, fellatio, buggery or pederasty; any penetration of the genital or anal openings of another person's body by any part of a person's body, and insertion of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person's body." In this case, despite evidence that Konya was forced to perform fellatio and may have been sodomized, the prosecution chose to base its argument on Walker's insertion of a stick into her vagina. Establishing a pattern or practice of strikes against black jurors is one means of establishing a prima facie case, but it is not the only way in which it may be established; showing that jurors of different races were questioned differently may also infer a discriminatory motive. A prima facie case can be established by a showing that peremptory strikes were used to remove black jurors from the venire "and any other relevant circumstances" raise an inference purposeful discrimination. In sum, this Court, like the Mississippi Supreme Court, is limited in the analysis that it can conduct. Walker offers only the fact that the prosecution struck four jurors as the basis for his claim that a prima facie case had been established. Lewis Burke's service as director of an organization that assists attorneys representing defendants charged with capital crimes created an obvious belief that Burke would be biased in Walker's favor. Lewis presents the closest Batson-related issue; however, on the record presented to this Court, it cannot be said that the demeanor-based strike was contrary to, or a misapplication of, clearly established federal law. Walker's attorneys did not object to this argument at trial, and the Mississippi Supreme Court initially noted that it "applies the procedural bar to all instances where Walker failed to object at trial. One of the boys told me about a time that Winfred was abusive and Anita had to intervene." He thought Walker did better in Alaska, but noticed that, as he got older, he drank a lot and used drugs.
Her lungs were full of fluid, and the condition of her inner organs, as well as hemorrhages in the vessels in the brain, suggested that Konya was unable to breath just before her death. The Mississippi Supreme Court reviewed this testimony and repeated that employment was a valid, race-neutral reason for a peremptory strike. Because no record is presented upon which the ultimate composition of the jury can be learned, it cannot be determined how many black persons served on the jury. In his closing argument, the prosecutor said: What about the prevention of the lawful arrest? Burriss came back to testify, because we believe that the burning of that body was to impede law enforcement. Ultimately, Riser informed the court that he did not wish to speak to defense counsel. ." The trial court denied the motion, based on the length of time that counsel had possessed Riser's statement, stating: That being given, even though it's not necessary that counsel would in every event expect that there would be a sudden change from that of the defendant to a cooperating witness, I still feel that that was probably something that was considered from the very beginning, that either one of the defendants could very well change their position if offered an opportunity to do so. There, the defendant and his older brother were involved in the deaths of a man and wife. The jury was not told of those tests, and Lankford was convicted of two counts of first degree murder. The Court concluded that the judge's failure to announce his consideration of the death penalty "had the practical effect of concealing from the parties the principal issue to be deciding at the hearing." Id. He has not established that there is a reasonable probability that the verdict in this case would have been different if his counsel had been given additional time to "obtain information to impugn Riser's credibility, find impeaching background information, or investigate Riser's limited mental capacity." Absent a showing of prejudice, Walker cannot show ineffectiveness. Code § 97-3-27 (1972), which provides: The killing of a human being without malice, by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, while such other is engaged in the perpetration of any felony, except rape, burglary, arson, or robbery, or while such other is attempting to commit any felony besides such as are above enumerated and excepted, shall be manslaughter. Likewise, such an instruction should not be granted indiscriminately or on the basis of speculation. Quoting from an earlier case, the court set out its evidentiary standard: [A] lesser included offense instruction should be granted unless the trial judge—and ultimately this Court—can say, taking the evidence in the light most favorable to the accused and considering all reasonable favorable inferences which may be drawn in favor of the accused from the evidence, that no reasonable jury could find the defendant guilty of the lesser included offense (and conversely not guilty of at least one essential element of the principal charge). Shavers has submitted an affidavit to confirm this.
It was not until Tuesday morning that the family determined where the wallet had been found and went to look for her in that area. With all the questioning, the record will speak to that. ." The prosecution responded, "We just add to what's already in the record, the surprise that we had by our earlier mistake of her disposition yesterday." The Mississippi Supreme Court reviewed this testimony and concluded that Ms. In the opinion of that court, "she was validly subjected to the State's challenge." Id. Lewis Burke was the final black juror challenged by the State. Burke responded early in the voir dire, when the prosecutor asked whether anyone's employment would affect his ability to serve on a sequestered jury. He also stated: [B]ut I also want to bring out something else, too, that the DA probably doesn't know and the Court doesn't. Given the decision in Sochor, the Fifth Circuit held that similar language used by the Texas courts "must be viewed as signaling an alternative holding independent of federal law, not as an indication that the state court is excusing the procedural default." Amos v. The State had originally submitted four aggravating circumstances: (1) that the murder was committed while the defendant was committing the crime of sexual battery; (2) that the murder was committed for pecuniary gain; (3) that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel; and (4) that the murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding a lawful arrest. There are no grounds for habeas relief in this issue. Beyond that, she described her marriage to her second husband, his drinking, his infidelity, and his general disinterest in her children.Although Trina understood that they were taking Konya home, they drove instead to the area where Trina and Walker lived. In fact, one discriminatory act in jury selection may be sufficient to establish a Batson violation. Williams was ultimately struck for cause by the trial judge. The opponent of the strikes has the burden of presenting evidence to the trial court that would raise that inference. There is no suggestion that the prosecution removed all of the black jurors from the venire; indeed, the record shows that defense counsel removed a black juror, and the prosecution objected. The trial court found no evidence to support a prima facie case, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed that decision, and this Court cannot say that the affirmance was the product of an unreasonable application of, or was contrary to, clearly established federal law. Citing earlier cases, the court held that the issue was whether counsel had a reasonable opportunity to prepare to confront the evidence at issue, which depends upon the facts or circumstances of each case. Riser and Walker offered to take Trina by a fire that was burning at the same spot where Konya's body was found, although they did not want to get too close to it. Additionally, the question is not whether the state court's opinion was "unreasonable," but whether it unreasonably applied, or was contrary to, clearly established federal law. As recognized by Walker in his argument, the Court held that there was "no mechanical tests for deciding when a denial of a continuance is so arbitrary as to violate due process." Id. There, the defendant was given five days' notice of his contempt trial, which the Court held "was not a constitutionally inadequate time to hire counsel and prepare a defense to a case in which the evidence was fresh. He "understood" that one of the reasons that the boys wanted to stay with him was that Winfred mistreated them.At Walker's direction, Trina stopped in front of the house of another friend, Dwayne Maloney, on Bosarge Road, which is one block east of where Trina lived. The first step in the Batson analysis is the establishment of a prima facie case of purposeful discrimination. There is no evidence upon which the Court can make a comparative analysis as to the situation of white and black jurors. Alternatively, Walker could have supported his claim by a showing that race was an issue in his case. Even if a prima facie case had been made, the prosecutor gratuitously offered race-neutral reasons for the strikes. A state court may make an alternative merits ruling on an issue without waiving its holding that the issue is barred. Walker cites four Supreme Court cases on the issue of a continuance. According to Ronald, "It is my understanding that he was verbally and physically abusive.She spotted Riser's truck at the Fiesta and met them there at about - . Defense counsel did not argue, and the record doesn't show, that these jurors were white. During the discussion on for-cause strikes, Joseph Williams was identified by defense counsel as black. There is no evidence, however, of any other relevant circumstances that support Walker's claim of discriminatory intent. While the grounds he argued in the trial court are detailed above, at the supreme court, he argued that he needed additional time to gather information to impeach Riser or reveal inconsistencies in his story and to study his mental capacity. The Mississippi Supreme Court began its discussion by noting that, in its earlier opinion, it found the substantive claim barred, but continued, alternatively, to address it on the merits, quoting as follows: Under the facts presented: where no discovery violation occurred, where the defense was afforded two days to review the fifty five minute videotape and accompanying typed transcript of Riser's statement (provided two months before trial); where extensive cross examination was conducted, and where there is no indication the case would have been handled differently had more time been allowed, the denial of a continuance was not in error. Walker took his shirt off and left it in Trina Perry's truck. The Court recognized that the issue was "arguable;" however, it held, "But the fact that something is arguable does not make it unconstitutional. He thought Anita let the boys do whatever they wanted, and he thought Anita let Walker come live with him so he would stay out of trouble.Trina also met Konya Edwards at the Fiesta, and, at about - a.m., Trina and Walker left the Fiesta in Trina's car, while Riser and Konya left in Riser's truck. Defense counsel asked that he be excused, and the prosecutor objected to the strike. This crime involved a white defendant and a white victim. Since both he and his victim were white, he could not have made that showing, either. Here, the Mississippi Supreme Court stated twice that defense counsel had not objected to the arguments at issue and indicated that it would review the merits "without relaxing the procedural bar." Walker argues that the state court's ruling was based on the merits of his claim, citing earlier cases for the proposition that "the Mississippi Supreme Court had a specific rule allowing appellate review of comments on a defendant's failure to testify. (At trial, Riser testified that he was a slow learner, and this fact was mentioned by the prosecution in closing argument as support for Walker's role as the ringleader.) Having made that ruling, however, the court also addressed the merits. This assignment of error is procedurally barred and alternatively without merit. Konya's body was found a short distance from the place where Trina left them, which was also close to where both Riser and Walker lived. 575 (1964), the Court denied relief on the direct appeal from a criminal contempt conviction in which the defendant had sought a continuance before his contempt trial. Given the deference necessarily due a state trial judge in regard to the denial or granting of continuances, we cannot say these denials denied Ungar due process of law." Id. Ronald met Winfred once when he came to Mississippi to pick up the boys.Trina said that she waited a long while, perhaps as long as an hour, when she accepted a ride from another man. The Supreme Court's interpretation of federal habeas law compels this Court to undertake a rigorous examination of habeas claims, with an eye to avoiding federal interference in the state court's judgment. This is the standard with which this Court has reviewed Walker's claims in this case, and, based on this standard, and for the reasons that follow, this Court finds that he is not entitled to habeas relief. The Court instructs the Jury that each person present at the time and consenting to or encouraging the commission of a crime, and knowingly, wilfully and feloniously doing any act which is an element of the crime or immediately connected with it, or leading to its commission, is as much a principal as if he had with his own hands committed the whole offense; and if you believe from the evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Defendant, ALAN DALE WALKER, did wilfully, unlawfully, knowingly and feloniously do any act which is an element of the crime with which he is charged, namely Capital Murder, or immediately connected with it, or leading to its commission, then and in that event, you should find the Defendant, ALAN DALE WALKER, Guilty of Capital Murder. Mc Garry, the medical examiner, the prosecution attempted to establish the time that the stick was inserted: A. The stick was burned on the outside, not on the inside. At the close of the prosecution's case, Walker's attorney moved the court to dismiss the sexual battery charge, on grounds that Konya was dead when the stick was placed in her vagina and the State had failed to prove that Walker formed the intent to commit that act before she died. Although the judge believed that West was not entirely on point with the allegations in Walker's case, he denied Walker's motion. ." Later, however, he argued: If you're going to convict him of sexual battery, you've got to find some things, and that is is that he — sometime out there he and Jason are dragging the body up. 56, 66 (1980), the test that was rejected in Crawford. Analyzing footnote 9 of the Crawford opinion, which is quoted above, the court held that the use of the statement violated the Confrontation Clause, because the witness could not "defend or explain it" at trial. Riser's statement, and the accompanying video tape, were offered into evidence only after his credibility had been attacked by Walker, and both the prosecution and Riser's attorney requested their admission to show that his testimony was consistent with his earlier statements to the police. The defendant must show that a discriminatory intent motivated the strikes; it is not enough to show that the strikes disproportionately impacted jurors of one race. As stated earlier, the demeanor of counsel is often the best indicator of whether his strikes are motivated by a discriminatory intent, which is best evaluated by the trial judge. Lillian Rush's statement regarding the problems she would have reaching a decision in the case because of the similarities between the victim, the defendant, and her children also created a legitimate concern. ." A juror with other pressing concerns would have likely been inattentive, and her ability to understand the court's instructions on the law would have been questionable. Even if a prima facie case had been proved, however, the state court's opinion affirming the strikes of Burke, Harper, Lewis, and Rush does not offend clearly established federal law. Walker actually complains of two statements made by the prosecutor during his trial: one during the guilt phase and one during the sentencing phase. ." At the sentencing phase, Walker made a statement to the jurors. ." Walker claims that these statements were improper comments on his failure to testify and that the Mississippi Supreme Court's failure to reverse on this issue was contrary to Griffin v. I would have been happy to talk to them and do anything to help out." Terry Walker, Walker's brother, testified that life was better in Alaska than in Mississippi, where they did not receive many gifts at Christmas.