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Habeas – Procedural Bar, Guilty Plea (IAC Claim)

Marilyn Mulero v. Thompson, 7th Cir No. 10-3875, 2/7/12

seventh circuit decision

Habeas – Procedural Bar 

Muleros’ failure to present various claims “through one complete round of state court review” operates as procedural default; citing, Smith v. McKee, 598 F.3d 374, 382 (7th Cir. 2010).

… While Mulero did present numerous other claims of ineffective assistance of counsel to the Illinois state trial court and in her petition for review to the Illinois Supreme Court, those other claims were not developed in her briefs to the Illinois appellate court challenging the denial of her petition for post-conviction review. Accordingly, only the three issues noted above are preserved for our habeas review.2

Habeas – Review – Guilty Plea (IAC Claim) 

Muleros’ challenge to her guilty plea on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel falls short, because she can’t show that the alleged deficiencies of performance would have altered her decision to plead guilty, Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 59 (1985):

Nearly twenty years ago, Mulero pleaded guilty in Illinois state court to two counts of murder and received a sentence of life imprisonment. Even assuming her attorney was deficient in failing to further investigate inconsistencies or a motive to lie in statements by two witnesses, or was deficient in failing to obtain psychological or IQ evidence to challenge Mulero’s confession, the state court did not err in concluding that Mulero suffered no prejudice. The evidence against Mulero was overwhelming and there is no reasonable likelihood that, in light of this overwhelming evidence, any further investigation would have convinced Mulero to instead plead not guilty and then alter the outcome of the proceedings, i.e., her conviction on two counts of murder and life sentence. Accordingly, Mulero is not entitled to habeas relief. We AFFIRM.

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