W.D. Tex. Notes Split Re AEDPA Provision

Per Jasper v. Thaler, Slip Copy, 2011 WL 186976 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 19, 2011):

The AEDPA also significantly restricts the scope of federal habeas review of state court fact findings. Section 2254(d)(2) of Title 28, United States Code provides federal habeas relief may not be granted on any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in the state courts unless the state court's adjudication of the claim resulted in a decision based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding. Wood v. Allen, --- U.S. ----, 130 S.Ct. 841, 849, ---L.Ed.2d ---- (2010) (“[A] state-court factual determination is not unreasonable merely because the federal habeas court would have reached a different conclusion in the first instance.”); Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. at 410, 120 S.Ct. at 1522 (“[A]n unreasonable application of federal law is different from an incorrect application of federal law.”). Even if reasonable minds reviewing the record might disagree about the factual finding in question (or the implicit credibility determination underlying the factual finding), on habeas review, this does not suffice to supersede the trial court's factual determination. Wood v. Allen, --- U.S. at ----, 130 S.Ct. at 849; Rice v. Collins, 546 U.S. 333, 341-42, 126 S.Ct. 969, 976, 163 L.Ed.2d 824 (2006).

In addition, Section 2254(e)(1) provides a petitioner challenging state court factual findings must establish by clear and convincing evidence the state court's findings were erroneous. Schriro v. Landrigan, 550 U.S. at 473-74, 127 S.Ct. at 1939-40 (“AEDPA also requires federal habeas courts to presume the correctness of state courts' factual findings unless applicants rebut this presumption with ‘clear and convincing evidence.’ ”); Rice v. Collins, 546 U.S. 333, 338-39, 126 S.Ct. 969, 974, 163 L.Ed.2d 824 (2006) ( “State-court factual findings, moreover, are presumed correct; the petitioner has the burden of rebutting the presumption by ‘clear and convincing evidence.’ ”); Miller-El v. Dretke, 545 U.S. 231, 240, 125 S.Ct. 2317, 2325, 162 L.Ed.2d 196 (2005) (“[W]e presume the Texas court's factual findings to be sound unless Miller-El rebuts the ‘presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence.’ ”); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). It remains unclear at this time whether Section 2254(e)(1) applies in every case presenting a challenge to a state court's factual findings under Section 2254(d) (2). See Wood v. Allen, --- U.S. at ----, 130 S.Ct. at 849 (choosing not to resolve the issue of Section 2254(e)(1)'s possible application to all challenges to a state court's factual findings); Rice v. Collins, 546 U.S. at 339, 126 S.Ct. at 974 (likewise refusing to resolve the Circuit split regarding the application of Section 2254(e)(1)).


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