The Federal Judge, Orlando Garcia, DENIED my federal appeal, procedurally barring all my innocence-claims my state habeas attorney (Scott Sullivan) refused to file at the prior state habeas stage of my appeal (the federal court will not entertain any claims unless previous courts—which in my case is the state habeas court—had a chance to entertain them). The Honorable Judge Orlando Garcia ran from the underlying reason my claims were never filed to the state court by my legal representative (Scott Sullivan), refusing to address how LAW officers no remedy for appellants, like myself, diligently seeking to have critical claims filed in their own appeal but are ignored not only by their so-called legal "representative" but by the very court in which their appeal is pending. Then, as if mockingly, the Honorable Judge Garcia opined, "Unfortunately for petitioner [me] the malfeasance [wrongdoing or misconduct!] or nonfeasance of his state-court-appointed state habeas counsel does not excuse petitioner's failure to exhaust available [there are none] state habeas corpus remedies on his unexhausted fourteenth through seventeenth claims herein' (see, "Additional Claims" my federal habeas attorney attempted to file to Judge Garcia's court), before denying me federal relief, justice...:
My Federal court-appointed-attorney and I were essentially arguing to Judge Garcia's court that since I would be blamed for my legal-representative's "wrongdoing" I have an obligation to notify the court when my so-called legal representative decides, on his own accord (outside of my assent), to not file something critical in my case, opening me to a possible procedural bar, wherewith my claims will be lost forever. However, though the Honorable Judge Garcia's procedural barring of my claims relegates our rationale to absurdity, later in his 200 pg. ruling, in justifying the denial of a completely different claim, he said, "petitioner [me] wholly failed to interrogate his former state appellant counsel during his state habeas corpus proceeding regarding her reasoning for the manner in which she chose to present petitioner's Batson claim [against racial discrimination] addressing the peremptory strike of Ms. Johnson [an African American] from the jury venire on direct appeal. This court has concluded that failure precludes petitioner from establishing his state appellant counsel's performance was objectively unreasonable."
Since that "failure" precluded me from establishing that my state appellate counsel's performance was "objectively unreasonable," why didn't my extensive interrogation of my state appellate counsel concerning the claims Judge Garcia procedurally barred conclude that Mr. Scott Sullivan's performance was objectively unreasonable?
The Honorable Orlando Garcia's contradictory jurisprudence led to a final ruling contradictory to my due process rights (14th Amendment).
The only good thing that came out of the Honorable Judge's ruling concerned my claim that prosecutors (both of which are white) racially excluded African Americans from my jury (see, "The Ongoing Investigation into the Reginald W. Blanton Case"). In Judge Garcia's "prejudice analysis", he said the following:
"The Supreme Court's opinion in Miller-El I and Miller-El II [Miller-El was a former Death row prisoner from Dallas who had his conviction "The Supreme Court's opinion in Miller-El I and Miller-El II [Miller-El was a former Death row prisoner from Dallas who had his conviction overturned because Dallas D.A.'s kept African Americans from serving on his jury.] make clear the significance a showing the prosecution utilized a racially-discriminatory jury shuffle can have in the context of Batson analysis. Petitioner [me] correctly argues the circumstances surrounding the prosecution's request for a jury shuffle in his case raise significant suspicions regarding whether the prosecution's motive for its requested jury shuffle was racial. Three of the five black member of petitioner's jury venire were located in the first twenty venire members of the initial venire panel; the prosecution's jury shuffle removed all black venire members from the first 63 members of the new panel. Further, petitioner correctly points out the prosecution's proffered race-neutral explanation for its jury shuffle request, given years later after petitioner's trial, does not withstand even casual scrutiny."
Above, Judge Garcia is basically saying my prosecutor's legal excuses for keeping African Americans off my jury has no bases. Further, in a footnote, Judge Garcia said:
"During her testimony at petitioner's state habeas hearing, petitioner's former lead prosecutor stated she exercised peremptory challenges based on the venire members' occupations, preferring to move teachers and social workers toward the back of the venire panel while moving venire members with ties to law enforcement, the military, and accountants toward the front. However, the teachers in petitioner's jury venire were spread out fairly evenly throughout petitioner's initial venire panel, with six teachers among the first fifty and five in the latter half of the venire panel."
Finally, Judge Garcia goes on to say:
"Having independently reviewed all the applicable evidence, this court finds no correlation whatsoever between the occupation-related concerns voiced by the lead prosecutor during her testimony at petitioner's state habeas hearing and the composition of petitioner's initial venire panel. There was no concentration of venire members serving in any of the occupations the prosecutor found offensive among those persons seated in the front half of petitioner's initial venire panel. Thus, a valid argument could be made the prosecution's request for a jury a shuffle was race-based and the prosecution's proffered race-neutral reasons for same a mere post facto pretext. Moreover, as explained above, the prosecution's questioning of venire member Michelle Johnson was significantly different in scope of character from its voir dire questioning of non-black venire members. Viewing the entire factual scenario surrounding the prosecution's exercise of its…peremptory strike against venire member Michelle Johnson, this court independently concludes the prosecution's proffered race-neutral reasons for striking Michelle Johnson were more rationalization than rationale."
However, again, the Honorable Judge had to contradict justice by denying this claim because of a technicality.
My appeal is now due for September 7th 2007 in the notorious 5th circuit court of appeals, which systematically denies appeals 99% of the time. If they deny my appeal, a state-sanctioned-murder date could be set for me at any time.
What can be done? Maybe somebody knows a good law firm that will fight wholeheartedly, my case in the Supreme Court, should I become part of the 5th circuit court of appeal's 99%. Other than this, all I can say is stand by for the petition DRIVE. And please don't let my plight go unheard. Tell everyone you know… and don't know, THIS IS AMERICAN JUSTICE!!!
"…only with the power of the people are we able to achieve justice or receive justice…It is not because of the justice of the court."
--Huey P. Newton
With all the love of my BEing,
Comrade and brother,
Reg "Omari Huduma" Blanton