United States District Court, D. South Carolina
F. Anderson, Jr. Judge
Chase Alley (“Petitioner” or
“Alley”), a prisoner proceeding pro se,
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus seeking relief
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He plead guilty, but mentally
ill in state court to the murder charge and is serving a
thirty-seven year sentence. Petitioner alleges ineffective
assistance of plea counsel.
Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment on August 10,
2017. Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309
(4th Cir. 1975), this Court advised Petitioner of the summary
judgment and dismissal procedures and the possible
consequences if he failed to adequately respond to the
Respondent's motion. Petitioner filed a response on
September 15, 2017. Respondent filed a reply on September 22,
Magistrate Judge assigned to this action prepared a
thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and
opines that this Court should grant Respondent's Motion
for Summary Judgment and dismiss Alley's Petition. (ECF
No. 23). The Magistrate Judge determined that the state
court's dismissal of Petitioner's ineffective
assistance of counsel claims did not involve an unreasonable
application of federal law. The Report sets forth, in detail,
the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter, and
this Court incorporates those facts and standards without a
was advised of his right to object to the Report, which was
entered on the docket on September 25, 2017. (ECF No. 23).
Petitioner filed objections to the Report on October 23,
2017, (ECF No. 26), and Respondent filed a response to
Petitioner's objections on November 20, 2017. (ECF No.
52). Thus, this matter is ripe for the Court's review.
his petition for writ of habeas corpus, Alley asserts one
ground for relief. Petitioner argues that his Sixth Amendment
rights to the effective assistance of counsel were violated
when defense counsel failed to call Petitioner's aunt,
Joyce Means, as a witness at the Jackson v.
Denno hearing. The Magistrate Judge's Report
thoroughly outlines the applicable legal standards and
properly analyzes the claims for relief before concluding
that summary judgment should be granted and the petition
should be dismissed. (ECF No. 23).
Magistrate Judge addressed Petitioner's ground for relief
on the merits under Strickland v. Washington, 466
U.S. 558 (1984). The Magistrate Judge, agrees with the PCR
court's finding that the plea counsel did not err by
failing to call Petitioner's aunt as witness at the
Jackson v. Denno hearing. The Magistrate Judge
opines that trial counsel's performance was not deficient
Magistrate Judge further finds that Petitioner knowingly,
voluntarily, and intelligently plead guilty to the state
charges. Although not raised as a separate ground by
Petitioner, the Magistrate correctly determined that the plea
court conducted a thorough colloquy and closely examined
Petitioner's understanding of the charges and his
available constitutional rights.
the Magistrate Judge concludes that the state courts'
decisions did not result “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” nor were they “based
on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the
evidence presented in the State court proceeding.” 28
U.S.C. § 2254.
has submitted a four-sentence response to the Report. (ECF
No. 26). Petitioner makes two general and conclusory
objections to the Magistrate's Report. Petitioner first
asserts that “the R&R erred when it found that
trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance of
counsel pursuant to Strickland v. Washington, 466
U.S. 668 (1984), when he failed to call Petitioner's
aunt, Joyce Means to testify on his behalf during the
Jackson v . Denno hearing.” Id. at 1.
Then Petitioner asserts that the “R&R also erred
when it found that Petitioner's guilty plea was
voluntarily entered.” Id. Petitioner's
Objections to the Report are largely verbatim recitations of
his arguments previously made to and considered by the
Magistrate Judge. Petitioner does not specifically point to
how the Magistrate erred in making these findings.
review is not required for general, nonspecific objections.
“Generally stated, nonspecific objections have the same
effect as would a failure to object.” Staley v.
Norton, C/A/ No. 9:07-cv-0288-PMD, 2007 WL 821181, at *1
(D.S.C. Mar. 2, 2007). Thus, a de novo review of the
Magistrate Judge's Report is unnecessary “when a
party makes general and conclusory objections that do not
direct the court to a specific error in the Magistrate's
proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 48 (4th Cir. 1982).
previously stated, in the absence of specific objections to
portions of the Report, the Court is not required to give an
explanation for adopting the recommending and must
“only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on
the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.” Diamond v. Colonial Life &