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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit posts two today

Faiz-Mohammad, Khali v. Ashcroft, John (On Review of a Final Order of the Immigration and Naturalization Service)

Before POSNER, RIPPLE and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
RIPPLE, Circuit Judge. Khalid Faiz-Mohammad, a native of Pakistan, applied to the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) for an adjustment of status based on his marriage to a naturalized United States citizen. Without fully adjudicating Mr. Faiz-Mohammad’s application, the INS reinstated a prior deportation order and directed that Mr. Faiz-Mohammad be removed. Mr. Faiz-Mohammad timely appealed this final order of removal. We now reverse and remand for further proceedings.
Hinton, Leonard v. Hinsley, Charles (ND Ill.)
Before BAUER, COFFEY, and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
COFFEY, Circuit Judge. On September 13, 1985, Leonard Hinton was convicted of murdering John Durham, Dorothy McDaniel, and Edward Bradley and sentenced to life in prison. The Illinois Appellate Court, on direct appeal, up held Hinton’s conviction on three counts of murder. Hinton responded with the filing of a pro se post-conviction petition in the circuit court alleging a laundry list of constitutional violations, which was denied and affirmed by the Appellate Court of Illinois. Thereafter, Hinton filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court alleging that the police obtained his signed confession through physical coercion, abuse and police brutality and claimed that the admission of his confession at trial was a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights. The district court ruled that Hinton’s Fifth Amendment claim did not warrant habeas relief; concluding that any error arising from the admission of his confession was harmless when one considers that the State produced an overwhelming amount of evidence of his guilt separate and distinct from the confession. We affirm. * * *

WOOD, Circuit Judge, concurring. While I agree that the district court correctly denied Leonard Hinton’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, given the stringent standards for relief that apply to such claims, I see this as a much closer case than the majority does. Hinton raised a serious challenge to his conviction. He loses, however, because the state court’s conclusion that the tainted confession did not affect the outcome of Hinton’s trial was not downright unreasonable. Nevertheless, the claim Hinton has made regarding his confession illustrates dramatically the high price our system of criminal justice pays when police abuse runs rampant: a cloud hangs over everything that the bad actors touched, whether or not they did anything wrong on a particular occasion. * * *

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 26, 2005 01:10 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions