Hanson v. Beth, No. 13-1535 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Klinkhammer initiated a traffic stop after he clocked Hanson speeding. Hanson got out and Klinkhammer told Hanson to get back into his car. He later testified that Hanson was yelling and acting bizarrely. Hanson testified that Klinkhammer was screaming. Klinkhammer extended his baton and Hanson returned to the car. Klinkhammer approached, took Hanson’s license, and walked toward his cruiser, Hanson left the car again. Klinkhammer brandished his baton and eventually stated that Hanson was under arrest. Hanson ran for his car. Klinkhammer grabbed at Hanson’s shirt and struck him with the baton. Hanson got into his car, drove off and called 911, stating that Klinkhammer was endangering his life. The dispatcher told him not to move because backup was on the way, but Hanson drove to the police station. Another police car tried to block Hanson, but Hanson navigated around it. Hanson stopped at a red light; police surrounded his car with guns drawn. Hanson turned off his engine and put his hands up, but would not move, so the officers smashed a window to pull him out. Charged with felony fleeing‐and‐eluding, Hanson was not allowed to introduce testimony from a school principal with whom Klinkhammer had worked that Klinkhammer had a reputation as confrontational, aggressive and hot‐tempered. The court concluded that this was a “victimless crime” to which the exception for propensity evidence did not apply. Sentenced to 60 days in jail, Hanson petitioned for habeas corpus, claiming that the ruling abridged his right to present an effective defense. The Seventh Circuit affirmed denial, finding that the last state‐court decision addressing this claim was not contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, Supreme Court precedent.