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Federal Habeas: Procedure — Appellate — Standard of Review, Generally

Alphonso Hubanks v. Frank, 392 F. 3d 926 (04-1043, 12/22/04)
For Hubanks: Robert J. Dvorak


Habeas relief is appropriate pursuant to § 2254(d)(1) if the state court identified the right legal principle as determined by the Supreme Court but unreasonably applied that principle to the facts of the case. The standard for proving an unreasonable application of federal law, however, is more demanding than for proving an erroneous application of that law. Schaff v. Snyder, 190 F.3d 513, 523 (7th Cir. 1999). We review legal questions and mixed questions of law and fact de novo, but uphold decisions that are either “minimally consistent with the facts and circumstances of the case” or “one of several equally plausible outcomes.” Id. at 522-23. A state court’s findings of fact are presumed correct. Sanchez v. Gilmore, 189 F.3d 619, 623 (7th Cir. 1999). The reasonableness of these findings can be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).



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