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Date: Filed /
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
Before BRISCOE, EBEL, and McCONNELL,
Petitioner-Appellant William Ray Pratt seeks a certificate of appealability
("COA"), see 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c), that would permit him to appeal the district
court's denial of his habeas petition asserted under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.(1) Through
his habeas petition, Pratt challenged his five Oklahoma convictions for first
degree rape by instrumentation and one conviction for child sexual abuse, all
committed after former conviction of a felony, as well as the forty-five-year
sentences imposed for each conviction to run consecutively. In this § 2254
proceeding, Pratt asserts a number of grounds for relief, arguing: the trial court
erred in admitting, and defense counsel was ineffective for failing to object to,
evidence of other crimes involving Pratt's sexually abusing two other girls
several years earlier; the cumulative effect of several improper prosecutorial
comments and other trial errors deprived Pratt of a fundamentally fair trial; his
trial attorney was ineffective for failing to file a speedy trial motion, failing to
assist Pratt in his defense, failing to obtain full discovery from the State, failing
to assist Pratt with motions he was filing pro se, failing to request that Pratt's
sentences run concurrently, and failing to investigate and present additional
evidence in Pratt's defense; and the trial court abused its discretion in denying
Pratt the opportunity to make a record before the jury of the witnesses and
evidence Pratt wanted defense counsel to present in his defense.
Pratt will be entitled to a COA if he can make"a substantial showing of the
denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). Pratt can make such a
showing by establishing that "reasonable jurists could debate whether (or, for
that matter, agree that) the petition should have been resolved in a different
manner or that the issues presented were adequate to deserve encouragement to
proceed further." Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000) (quotations
omitted). However, for substantially the reasons stated in the magistrate judge's
report and recommendation, adopted by the district court, we conclude Pratt has
failed to make this showing. We, therefore, DENY his motion for a COA and
DISMISS this appeal. In light of that, Pratt's motions for abeyance and rehearing
en banc of his request for oral argument and appointment of counsel are DENIED
ENTERED FOR THE COURT
David M. Ebel
Click footnote number to return to corresponding location in the text.
1.The district court granted Pratt's motion to
proceed on appeal in forma
pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
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