Articles Posted in Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court held that the circuit court did not clearly err in denying Appellant’s pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. After Appellant’s convictions were affirmed on appeal, Appellant filed his first petition for habeas relief. The circuit court denied the petition, and the Supreme Court affirmed. Appellant pursued the same issues, without success, in a subsequent petition. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s rejection of the petition. In his present habeas petition, Appellant alleged that the trial court lacked jurisdiction and that he was illegally detained, among other things. In accordance with the Court’s previous rulings, the Supreme Court held that Appellant’s claims were without merit. View "Anderson v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se motion seeking a copy at public expense of all written material pertaining to his 1998 conviction of capital murder, holding that Petitioner failed to show that a copy of material from the direct appeal should be provided to him at no cost. After the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction, Petitioner asked to be provided with a copy of all material from the capital-murder conviction. The Supreme Court denied the motion, holding that Petitioner did not demonstrate a compelling need for the copies as documentary evidence to support an allegation contained in a timely petition for postconviction relief. View "Johnson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis, holding that Petitioner failed to establish either a Brady violation or a fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record. Petitioner was convicted of capital murder, criminal attempt to commit capital murder, and aggravated robbery with a firearm enhancement. Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. In his coram nobis petition, Petitioner alleged that the prosecution withheld material evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding that Petitioner failed to demonstrate a Brady violation or otherwise to establish a basis for coram nobis relief. View "Jackson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of Appellant’s writ of habeas corpus, holding that Appellant failed to state a ground on which the writ could issue. As grounds for the writ, Appellant alleged that he was being illegally subjected to serving seventy percent of a fifteen-year enhancement pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-120. The circuit court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant’s claims regarding the applicability of section 16-90-120 to his parole eligibility were not cognizable in a habeas proceeding; and (2) because Appellant’s challenge was to his parole eligibility, he failed to establish that the writ should issue. View "Watkins v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The trial court did not err in denying Appellant’s pro se petition to reconsider and/or modify sentence, in which Appellant sought postconviction relief from his sentence. The trial court denied relief, concluding that Appellant’s petition was meritless. While Appellant did not invoke either Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1 or Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-111, the circuit court noted that Appellant’s petition was untimely under both of those postconviction remedies. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief under either postconviction remedy. View "Jackson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court held that because the petition that was the subject of the mandamus action in this case was acted on by Respondent, the mandamus action was moot. Petitioner filed a pro se petition or writ of mandamus arguing that a circuit judge had not acted in a timely manner on his petition to correct illegal sentence. The Attorney General filed an amended response noting that a written order denying the petition to correct an illegal sentence was filed. The Supreme Court then held that the petition was moot. View "Thornton v. Guynn" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s pro se petition for relief under Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-111, in which Appellant challenged his convictions in four cases. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal as to two of the four cases and limited Appellant’s appeal to the issue of whether the circuit court had the authority to sign the commitment order and to whether the circuit court erred in imposing a strike under the three-strike rule in Ark. Code Ann. 16-68-607. The Court then held that the circuit court did not clearly err in denying relief under section 16-90-111 because (1) in challenging the judgment-and-commitment order, Appellant challenged the imposition of his sentences rather than the validity of his sentences, and this was not an issue of subject-matter jurisdiction; and (2) to the extent that the circuit court erroneously imposed a strike pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-68-607 based on the denial of Appellant’s petition, the order was void. View "Lukach v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from an order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, rendering moot Appellant’s motion for an extension of time to file his brief-in-chief. In 1995, Appellant pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. As grounds for his habeas petition, Appellant argued that the writ should issue because he understood at the time of the plea that he would be sentenced to thirty-two years’ imprisonment. The Supreme Court held that Appellant’s petition was an attack on his guilty plea and, therefore, his challenge must be filed pursuant to Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1. View "Love v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from an order of the circuit court denying his pro se motion for relief from judgment filed pursuant to Ark. R. Civ. P. 60, thus rendering Appellant’s motions connected to the appeal moot. Appellant’s Rule 60 motion sought relief from an order of the circuit court denying his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus, in which Appellant alleged that the judgment of conviction in his criminal case was illegal on its face. The Supreme Court held that neither Rule 60(b) nor Rule 60(c) are applicable as an avenue for relief from a judgment of conviction or from an order that denies a petition for writ of habeas corpus or other request for postconviction relief. View "Grant v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the trial court’s denial of his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, holding that it was clear from the record that Appellant could not prevail on appeal, thus rendering moot Appellant’s motion for extension of time to file the appellant’s brief. Appellant was found guilt of rape. Appellant later filed a motion for a new trial alleging that the victim recanted her trial testimony about where the rape had occurred. Appellant filed his motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence more than six years after entry of his judgment of conviction. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that Appellant’s motion for new trial was untimely. View "Riley v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law