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Jackson v. Cain

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

April 8, 2019

EDWARD C. JACKSON
v.
N. BURL CAIN, et al.

          JUDGE DRELL

          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This case was remanded by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for consideration of a post-trial affidavit from the victim, Kenneth Williams (“Williams”), submitted by Petitioner Edward Jackson (“Jackson”). Because Williams's post-trial affidavit does not indicate or show there was prosecutorial misconduct or that Jackson had ineffective assistance of trial counsel, Jackson's habeas petition should be DENIED.

         I. Background

         In 2006, after a bench trial, Jackson was convicted of armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, adjudicated as a fourth felony offender, [1] and sentenced to a total of 99 years.

         Jackson initially presented Williams's 2008 affidavit[2] to the state courts in a Motion for New Trial (Doc. 22, pp. 39, 44). Jackson's Motion for New Trial was denied as untimely by the trial court (Doc. 2, p. 41). On direct appeal, both the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit and the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the motion for new trial on the ground that it was untimely. (Doc. 23-2, 24-3). See State v. Jackson, 09-45 (La.App. 3d Cir. 10/7/09), 19 So.3d 631, reversed, 2009-2406 (La. 1/19/11), 55 So.3d 767. The Supreme Court noted that Jackson had not sought review of courts' denial of his motion for new trial on the basis of any grounds other than its untimeliness. See Jackson, 55 So.3d at 770, n.2.

         Also on direct appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the armed robbery conviction, finding the evidence was unclear as to whether Jackson took $300 or only $9.00 from Williams. See State v. Jackson, 09-45 (La.App. 3d Cir. 10/7/09), 19 So.3d 631, reversed, 2009-2406 (La. 1/19/11), 55 So.3d 767. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal and reinstated the armed robbery conviction (and habitual offender sentence), holding that regardless of the amount taken, Jackson admitted pointing a gun at Williams and demanding payment for the haircut he had given him. See Jackson, 55 So.3d at 772-73.

         Jackson next presented Williams's 2008 affidavit to the state courts in his application for post-conviction relief (“PCR”) (Docs. 24-25). The district court summarily denied PCR. (Doc. 24, p. 96). The Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of PCR for ineffective assistance of counsel, stating Jackson had admitted to the police that he had used a gun to collect money from Williams. (Doc. 25, p. 66). The Louisiana Supreme Court summarily denied PCR. (Doc. 25, p. 86). Those rulings did not mention the victim's 2008 affidavit, although they appear to have considered it.

         Jackson then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this Court (Doc. 50). Jackson claims in part, based on the affidavit, that the prosecutor “knowingly” presented false testimony at trial, and that he had ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to interview the victim prior to trial and “obtain” Williams's affidavit or statement showing Jackson had not committed armed robbery.

         This Court denied Jackson's petition. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit remanded the case to this Court for consideration of how Williams's 2008 affidavit affects Jackson's claims of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Fifth Circuit stated it was unable to properly determine Jackson's appeal without that analysis.

         II. Law and Analysis.

         A. Jackson has not shown there was prosecutorial misconduct.

         Jackson contends the prosecutor knowingly presented false testimony from Williams at trial. Jackson appears to contend that Williams's 2008 affidavit recanting his trial testimony proves the prosecutor engaged in misconduct.[3]

         The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids the State from knowingly using perjured testimony. See Beltran v. Cockrell, 294 F.3d 730, 736 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 270 (1959)). In order for an allegation of perjured testimony to constitute a due process violation, a petitioner must show that the prosecution knowingly presented materially false evidence to the jury. See Koch v. ...


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