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Before Lipez, Stahl and Howard, Circuit Judges.

Following a jury trial in Massachusetts Superior Court, Derek Glacken (“Glacken”) was convicted of first degree murder by reason of extreme atrocity or cruelty in the June 1996 stabbing death of Francis Sullivan. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. After Massachusetts’ highest court affirmed his conviction*fn1 , Glacken sought habeas corpus relief in federal district court. In his state-court appeal and in the federal court, Glacken argued that the trial court erroneously instructed the jury and that his attorney’s performance was constitutionally inadequate. Ruling from the bench after a hearing in which only Glacken presented argument, the district court denied the petition.*fn2 Although we employ a different route to reach the same destination, we affirm the judgment of the court below.

I.

 
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