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Mann v. Giroux

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 20, 2014

LOUIS MICHAEL MANN, BG-2742, Petitioner,
v.
NANCY GIROUX, et al.,

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER

ROBERT C. MITCHELL, Magistrate Judge.

Louis Michael Mann, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Albion has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be dismissed and because reasonable jurists could not conclude that a basis for appeal exists, a certificate of appealability will be denied.

Mann is presently serving a twenty to forty year period of imprisonment following his conviction, by a jury, of third degree murder and criminal conspiracy at No. CP-02-CR-9922-2005 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This sentence was imposed on May 16, 2007.[1]

An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the issues presented were:

I. When the Commonwealth has no actual new evidence and has offered no reasons for why it waited nearly nine years to charge Mr. Mann and when crucial evidence was lost or destroyed during those nine long years, does this unjustified pre-arrest delay violate Mr. Mann's constitutional rights to due process and to present a defense?
II. Is a defendant entitled to an instruction on involuntary manslaughter when the evidence shows that the cause of death was "pressure on the neck" and that the decedent was carried ninety feet by his neck, which could have been found by a properly-instructed jury to be reckless or grossly negligent conduct?
III. When a prison inmate dies while locked in his cell and the defendants have no access to him when he died, did the Commonwealth prove with sufficient evidence the identity of the person who killed him.[2]

On October 19, 2009, the judgment of sentence was affirmed.[3]

On January 22, 2010, a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was filed in which the issue presented was:

I. Should this Court grant allowance of appeal to grant appellate review of a murder conviction that was affirmed due to a mistake by the Superior Court?[4]

On June 23, 2010 leave to appeal was denied.[5]

On July 16, 2010, Mann submitted a post-conviction petition which was dismissed on February 27, 2010.[6]

An appeal was filed in the Superior Court in which the issues presented were:

1. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's PCRA petition since trial counsel Foreman was ineffective for not responding in closing argument to the testimonial and photographic evidence regarding a cut on appellant's finger, and for not obtaining an expert to rebut the Commonwealth's inference that the cut was occasioned during an assault upon the victim. Appellant also requested, in the PCRA petition, the funds ($2, 000) for the appointment of an expert, and the trial court erred in failing to grant same?
2. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's PCRA petition since trial counsel was ineffective for failing to call Donald Rusch to testify at appellant's January 2007 jury trial?
3. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's PCRA petition since appellant possessed newly discovered evidence, in the form of an affidavit from George Tobin that revealed information that would have caused a different verdict at his jury trial?
4. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's PCRA petition since trial counsel was ineffective for failing to call John Laskaris to testify at appellant's jury trial, and Mr. Laskaris also presented an affidavit with newly discovered evidence that would have resulted in an acquittal for appellant if it had been presented to the jury?
5. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's petition since appellant possessed newly discovered evidence, in the form of an affidavit from Nuno H. Pontes, that revealed information that would have caused a different verdict at his jury trial?
6. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's PCRA petition since trial counsel was ineffective for coercing appellant not to testify at his jury trial, after appellant "demanded" to testify, especially to explain the origin of the cut on his finger?[7]

On November 7, 2012, the denial of post-conviction relief was affirmed.[8] Leave to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was denied on May 15, 2014.[9]

In the instant petition, executed on March 24, 2013, Mann contends he is entitled to relief on the following grounds:

I. The state court's decision that no prejudice resulted from the nine year delay in prosecution is contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.
II. The state court's decision that the trial court did not commit plain error when it refused to give jury charge to a lesser offense is contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.
III. The state court's decision that the verdict did not violate petitioner's constitutional right is contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.
IV. Was petitioner denied due process of law and the right to a speedy trial?
V. Was petitioner denied due process of law when trial counsel failed to properly prepare for trial thereby permitting the introduction of improper evidence?
VI. Was petitioner denied due process of law when trial counsel failed to object to instances of ...

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