The opinion of the court was delivered by: A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge
Petitioner, Christopher William Reed, an inmate at the Rockview State Correctional Institution in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, commenced this action with a petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In accordance with United States v. Miller, 197 F.3d 644 (3d Cir. 1999), and Mason v. Meyers, 208 F.3d 414 (3d Cir. 2000), an Order was issued advising the Petitioner that: (1) he could have the document ruled on as filed, or (2) withdraw his petition and file one, all-inclusive § 2254 petition. Petitioner responded by submitting a Notice of Election in which he opted to have his petition considered as filed. A show cause order was issued, a response was filed, and Petitioner did not file a traverse. The petition is presently ripe for disposition, and for the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.
Petitioner pled guilty to second degree murder in the Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas. (Doc. 1 at 2.) As a result of his plea, Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment on January 9, 2004. (Id.) Although no direct appeal was filed, Petitioner filed a petition for relief under Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. C. S. A. § 9541 et seq. (Id. at 3.) After a hearing, the petition was denied on August 5, 2004. (Id.) The instant petition followed. Petitioner claims that his guilty plea is void because Petitioner was not indicted pursuant to a grand jury proceeding, thereby depriving the trial court of jurisdiction. Respondents claim that Petitioner was not entitled to a grand jury proceeding, and his claims are meritless. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.
A. Scope of Habeas Review
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, enacted on April 24, 1996, revised the standard of review for cases challenging state convictions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Dickerson v. Vaughn, 90 F.3d 87, 89 (3d Cir. 1996) citing Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub.L. 104-132, Title I, sec. 104, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996) ("AEDPA"). Section 2254(d), as amended, states as follows:
(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court, shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim--
(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.
In regard to the "contrary to" provision contained in Section (d)(1), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has stated:
[T]he inquiry must be whether the Supreme Court has established a rule that determines the outcome of the petition. Accordingly, we adopt O'Brien's holding that 'to obtain relief at this stage, a habeas petitioner must show that Supreme Court precedent requires an outcome contrary to that reached by the relevant state court.' In other words, it is not sufficient for the petitioner to show merely that his interpretation of Supreme Court precedent is more plausible ...