Articles Posted in Criminal 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

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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 in his criminal case, an amendment to the petition, and Petitioner’s motion for leave to file a response to the State’s response to the petition. In his petition, Petitioner contended that, at trial, the State violated the provisions of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) by presenting false testimony from a certain witness and that the State failed to provide information to the defense concerning the witness’s criminal history, arrest records and rap sheet. The Supreme Court held that Petitioner failed to state a ground for the writ and thus denied the coram nobis petition. View "Chatmon v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from a decision of the trial court that denied Appellant’s pro se petition for declaratory relief. In his petition, Appellant asked the trial court to enforce the terms of an alleged verbal plea agreement concerning his parole eligibility. Because Appellant did not join the director of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) as a party to this action, there was no justiciable controversy as to the rights and obligations of the ADC under this action, and for the same reasons, Appellant’s allegation that the ADC violated his right to due process was not justiciable under the declaratory-judgment statute. View "Brown v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Appellant’s pro se petition filed under Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-111. In his petition, Appellant argued (1) the two sentences of life imprisonment that were imposed on him in 1994 were facially illegal under the Eighth Amendment because the State did not prove in the sentencing proceeding that he was incorrigible and irreparably corrupt; and (2) his sentences were cruel and unusual and violated the Eighth Amendment. The Supreme Court held that the grounds for relief raised in Appellant’s petition were of the type that should have been raised in the trial court. View "Bell 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 in forma pauperis petition. Appellant filed the petition so that he might initiate an action seeking “writs of prohibitory petitions” challenging a risk assessment made under the Sex Offender Registration Act. The circuit court ultimately denied Appellant’s petition to proceed in forma pauperis. The Supreme Court affirmed on the grounds that Appellant failed to state a colorable cause of action warranting the issuance of a writ of prohibition because it failed to present a justiciable issue as a matter of law. View "Ashby v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law