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Allen v. Warren

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 4, 2014

YUSEF ALLEN, Petitioner,
v.
CHARLES WARREN, Respondent.

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioner, Yusef Allen, is a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Mr. Allen has requested a stay of these proceedings so that he can exhaust three unresolved claims in the state courts. For the following reasons, the request for a stay will be denied and the Respondent will be ordered to answer the original habeas petition.

II. BACKGROUND

Mr. Allen challenges his 1999 state conviction for first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He raises the following claims in his petition:

1. The prosecutor transgressed all limits of propriety throughout the entire trial, denying the defendant his federal and state constitutional right to a fair trial.

2. The trial court erred in failing to grant a judgment of acquittal as no reasonable jury could have found that the State had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt based on the admissible evidence.

3. Defendant was denied his right to a fair trial and his right to due process of law when the trial court denied his motion for a mistrial.

4. Defendant was denied his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of trial counsel: (A) Defense counsel failed to accept a mistrial after the trial court had conceded to granting defendant's request for a mistrial after numerous prejudicial events had transpired at trial; (B) Counsel failed to investigate and call as a witness, Mr. John Korman, who would have testified that defendant was not the person he saw shoot Mr. Lannie Silver; (C) Counsel failed to request a mistrial for the Brady violation; and (D) Counsel failed to call an expert witness to testify to the effects cocaine can have on a person's perception.

5. Defendant was denied effective assistance of appellate counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

6. The jury's general verdict of murder must be vacated because one of the predicates for conviction (knowingly causing serious bodily injury, which resulted in death) is indistinguishable from the conduct proscribed by the statute defining aggravated and reckless manslaughter.

7. The prosecutor's misconduct was so heinous it violated defendant's federal and state right to a fair trial.

8. An evidentiary hearing should be granted to determine the effect of the newly discovered evidence.

9. Trial attorney was ineffective in not bringing in a witness to show effects of cocaine on a ...


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