United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division
JEFFREY L. VIKEN, CHIEF JUDGE.
James Duane Riley, an inmate at the Mike Durfee State Prison
in Springfield, South Dakota, filed an amended petition for
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
(Docket 16). The matter was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy under 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B). Judge Duffy issued a report recommending the
court dismiss Mr. Riley's habeas petition with prejudice.
(Docket 32 at p. 66). Mr. Riley timely filed his objection.
court reviews de novo those portions of the report
and recommendation which are the subject of objections.
Thompson v. Nix, 897 F.2d 356, 357-58 (8th Cir.
1990); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court may then
“accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Mr. Riley's
objection is overruled and the report and recommendation is
adopted in full.
Riley's objection to the report and recommendation is
limited to Claim 3 of the amended petition. (Docket 34 at p.
1). Petitioner's objection is that his “right to
due process was violated when he was convicted on
insufficient evidence. . . . [And] [t]he magistrate erred in
finding that the South Dakota Supreme Court's decision
was not objectively unreasonable.” Id. at pp.
1 & 5.
acknowledges the magistrate judge “correctly noted the
applicable legal standards for federal review of a state
court conviction being challenged on insufficiency
grounds.” Id. at p. 1 (referencing Docket 32
at p. 59) (“When a federal court reviews a sufficiency
of the evidence claim as to a state court conviction, the
appropriate standard to apply is ‘whether, after
viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have
found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable
doubt.' ”) (citing Jackson v. Virginia,
443 U.S. 307, 319 & 324, (1979) (emphasis in original).
Petitioner also acknowledges the magistrate judge
“correctly noted the deference given to the underlying
state court determination that the evidence in a particular
case was sufficient to sustain the conviction.”
Id. at p. 2 (referencing Docket 32 at p. 60)
(“[W]hen a federal habeas court reviews a state court
decision, it may not overturn that decision rejecting a
sufficiency of the evidence challenge simply because the
federal court disagrees with the state court. The federal
court instead may do so only if the state court decision was
‘objectively unreasonable.' ”) (citing
Coleman v. Johnson, 566 U.S. 650, 132 S.Ct. 2060,
2062 (2012) (some internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). Mr. Riley claims the magistrate judge “erred
in applying these principals to the facts of the case.”
Id. at p. 2.
Riley was convicted by a jury in state court of count I of a
two-count indictment charging “possession of child
pornography in violation of SDCL 22-24A-3(3).”
South Dakota v. Riley, 841 N.W.2d 431, 434-35 (S.D.
2013) (“Riley I”). Count I was
associated with what the court identified as “the full
video, ” and Count II was associated with “the
partial video.” Id. at 435. The jury failed to
reach a verdict as to Count II. Id.
magistrate judge noted the South Dakota Supreme Court found
the prosecution “relied entirely on circumstantial
evidence to convict Mr. Riley of possessing the [full]
video.” (Docket 32 at p. 62) (referencing Riley
I, 841 N.W.2d at 436) (“Here, the State presented
no direct evidence that Riley possessed the full video, but
rather relied on circumstantial evidence to convict
Riley.”). The South Dakota Supreme Court identified the
circumstantial evidence presented at trial and the reasonable
inferences from the evidence as follows:
[Agent] Kuchenreuther testified that he downloaded the full
video from the IP address leased to Riley. Riley I,
841 N.W.2d at 437;
[T]he video file was located in a shared folder within the
LimeWire file-sharing program that was using Riley's IP
Riley admitted that he used LimeWire and introduced no
evidence that someone else was using his IP address.
Riley's girlfriend testified that he used LimeWire and
that he was the only one who used the computer and the