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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that Appellant’s attempt to waive his right to counsel and represent himself at trial was equivocal and the court's decision to proceed with Appellant’s original counsel. After Appellant requested to waive his right to counsel and represent himself at trial, Appellant engaged in multiple instances of uncertainty while being told of the consequences of self-representation. Therefore, the trial court ruled that Appellant’s invocation was equivocal. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that Appellant’s attempt to waive counsel and self-represent was not sufficiently unequivocal. View "Reed v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus to Petitioner, an inmate, to the extent it required Judge Edwin A. Keaton to rule on an outstanding pleading for postconviction relief but denied the request to direct Judge Keaton on how to rule on Petitioner’s claims. Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder. Petitioner later filed a pleading seeking three separate avenues for postconviction relief. Judge Keaton did not rule on the claims. The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s request for a ruling on his claims for postconvicton relief but denied the request to compel Judge Keaton to grant the relief sought in Petitioner’s pleading, as “a motion or case should [not] be delayed beyond a time reasonably necessary to dispose of it.” View "Hill v. Keaton" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s request that that court reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis in his criminal case. Petitioner, who was found guilty of unlawful use of a communication device and delivery of a controlled substance, argued that the writ should issue in his case because the State suppressed exculpatory evidence at the time of his trial. The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding that Petitioner failed to establish that there was a reasonable probability that the judgment of conviction would not have been rendered, or would have been prevented, had the alleged exculpatory evidence been disclosed at trial. View "Grady v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s petition for writ of mandamus alleging that his rights had been violated by the denial of his parole. The circuit court found, among other things, that Appellant failed to establish that he had a right to be paroled, that the Due Process Clause does not create a protected liberty interest for an inmate to have a specific release and parole-eligibility date, and that the denial of Appellant's parole was not a new punishment in violation of double jeopardy. In affirming, the Supreme Court held that Appellant failed to establish a right or a performance of a duty for which the writ should issue. View "Warren v. Felts" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of circuit court denying Petitioner’s second pro se petition for writ of error coram nobis. In the petition, Petitioner alleged that his guilty plea was obtained by coercion and intimidation and that the prosecution violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by withholding material evidence. The Supreme Court held that the trial court did not err in finding that Petitioner failed to demonstrate that a writ of error coram nobis should be issued because his guilty plea was appropriately entered and because Petitioner failed to meet his burden that there was a reasonably probability that the judgment of conviction would not have been rendered, or would have been prevented, had the information at issue been disclosed at trial. View "Smith v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s order dismissing Appellant’s pro se petition for judicial review of an adjudication made by the Arkansas Parole Board pursuant to the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act. In his petition, Appellant alleged that the Board unconstitutionally denied his transfer eligibility to the Department of Community Correction for one year in violation of Arkansas’s parole statutes and the Board’s own regulations. In affirming the dismissal of the petition, the Supreme Court held that Appellant failed to allege sufficient facts that would entitle him to review of the Board’s decision to deny transfer. View "Kennedy v. Arkansas Parole Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se motion seeking permission to proceed with a belated appeal of an order denying a motion for reconsideration of the denial of a postconviction motion that alleged multiple grounds for relief. After Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder, he filed a pro se petition seeking postconviction relief under Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1. In the same petition, Petitioner requested a writ of error coram nobis, a writ of habeas corpus, and other relief. The trial court denied the petition and denied Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Regarding the instant motion for belated appeal, the Supreme Court denied relief because Petitioner failed to establish good cause for his failure to file a timely notice of appeal. View "Griffis v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Petitioner filed in the Supreme Court a pro se petition for writ of mandamus arguing that the circuit judge had not acted in a timely manner on a pro se petition for writ of error cream nobis filed in the circuit court. A different circuit judge filed a timely response to the mandamus petition, noting that Petitioner’s coram nobis petition had been ruled on and denied. The Supreme Court declared the mandamus petition moot because Petitioner received the relief he sought and the subject of the mandamus action had been acted on by the substituted circuit judge. View "Griffin v. Alexander" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s pro se motions seeking reconsideration of Appellant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus that had previously been dismissed by the circuit court. Pending the Supreme Court’s review, Appellant additionally filed motions to have counsel appointed and for judicial notice of adjudicative facts in the court. The Supreme Court declared Appellant’s motions filed in this appeal moot when it dismissed Appellant’s appeal, holding that Appellant failed to demonstrate that the circuit court was required to grant reconsideration of his habeas petition. View "Gonder v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Appellant’s pro se petition filed pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-111 to correct a sentence imposed on him in 2004 on the grounds that the sentence was illegal. The trial court denied relief because the petition was not timely filed under Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.2. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, albeit for different reasons, holding (1) the trial court had authority to grant relief under the statute if the sentence imposed on Appellant had indeed been illegal; and (2) Appellant’s sentence was legal, and Appellant’s additional claims were not timely raised. View "Gardner v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law