Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s motion seeking leave to proceed with a belated appeal of a circuit court order that dismissed his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus after treating the motion as a motion for rule on clerk, holding that it was clear that Appellant could not prevail on appeal if the appeal went forward. In his habeas petition, Appellant made several contentions, including that the judgment in his case was illegal on its face and that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the judgment. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the habeas court’s denial of his petition, holding that Appellant’s arguments did not establish a ground for the writ. View "Davis v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, holding that charging Appellant in an amendment to the information originally filed in his brother’s case did not deprive the trial court of either subject-matter or personal jurisdiction. Appellant was not personally charged in an original felony information, but, rather, Appellant’s name was added to an amendment to the felony information that originally charged only his brother with the offenses of which Appellant was later convicted. As grounds for issuance of the writ, Appellant argued that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the judgment of conviction because he was charged in an amendment to the felony information that charged his brother. The Supreme Court affirmed the habeas court’s dismissal of Appellant’s petition, holding that charging Appellant in an amendment to the information charging his brother did not deprive the trial court of either subject-matter or personal jurisdiction. View "Anderson v. Kelley" on Justia 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 a writ of error coram nobis, holding that the petition was without merit. As grounds for issuance of the writ, Petitioner alleged that the prosecution withheld evidence that two men pleaded guilty to the murder for which Petitioner had been convicted. The Supreme Court held that because the transcript attached to Petitioner’s coram nobis petition did not contain facts that would have prevented the rendition of the guilty verdict but, rather, confirmed Petitioner’s guilt and because the guilty plea at issue occurred six years after Petitioner was tried for capital murder, Petitioner was not entitled to coram nobis relief. View "Dednam v. State" on Justia 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 demonstrate in the petition that the writ should issue. In his coram nobis petition, Petitioner asserted that the prosecution withheld material evidence during the trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and that his accomplice confessed by pleading guilty. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) Petitioner failed to allege facts sufficient to support his claim of a Brady violation; and (2) the nature of Petitioner’s second argument failed to establish a ground for issuance of the writ. View "Cunningham v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Appellant’s petition for postconviction relief under Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1, holding that none of Appellant’s claims merited postconviction relief under Rule 37. Appellant was convicted of drug-related charges. The Supreme Court affirmed. Appellant then filed his Rule 37 petition, alleging that his attorney provided ineffective assistance and trial error. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in denying relief; and (2) the trial court did not err in denying Appellant’s request for representation in his Rule 37 proceedings. View "Lane v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief challenging the guilty plea that he entered in 1995, holding that there was no ground stated in the petition on which a writ of habeas corpus could be issued. In 1995, Appellant pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment. In his habeas petition, Appellant argued that the writ should issue because, at the time he entered the plea, he understood that he would be sentenced to thirty-two years in prison. The circuit court dismissed the petition. The Supreme Court also dismissed the petition, holding that Appellant’s allegations should have been brought in a timely petition for postconviction relief under Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1. View "Love v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court remanded this matter, in which Appellant appealed the circuit court’s denial of his petition to proceed in forma pauperis with respect to his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus, to the circuit court, holding that further findings from the circuit court were necessary for this Court’s review. Because the circuit court found that Appellant had established that he was indigent but had failed to state a colorable cause of action in the habeas petition Appellant was required to submit the filing fee for the petition. The Supreme Court remanded for the circuit court to make specific findings as to why Appellant’s claim did not state a colorable cause of action and otherwise complied with Ark. R. Civ. P. 72. View "Whitney v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court denying Appellant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding that the circuit court did not err in dismissing the petition. Appellant was convicted for a string of robberies he committed when he was seventeen years old. In his habeas corpus petition, Appellant argued that the 240-year cumulative sentence he was serving was a de facto life sentence in violation of Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010) and that he sentence was grossly disproportionate to his crimes. The circuit court denied the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) where Appellant had multiple sentences and no individual sentence was a life sentence, Graham did not apply; and (2) Appellant’s argument that his sentence was grossly disproportionate to the crimes he committed was not preserved for review. View "Proctor v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s conviction of possession of methamphetamine, holding that the circuit court erred by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress because the search of Defendant’s wallet violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Defendant was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine after the arresting officer discovered the drug in Defendant’s wallet. In his suppression motion, Defendant argued that the officer did not have a reasonable, articulable suspicion to search him for weapons and lacked probable cause or reasonable suspicion to search his wallet. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the officer did not have probable cause to search Defendant’s wallet, and because Defendant did not consent to the search of his wallet, the search violated the Fourth Amendment. View "Shay v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of error coram nobis, holding that the circuit court did not err in dismissing the petition, limiting discovery for the evidentiary hearing, or denying Appellant’s motion for judicial recusal. Appellant was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Appellant later petitioned the Supreme Court to reinvest jurisdiction in the circuit court to allow him to seek a writ of error coram nobis. The Supreme Court revinested the circuit court with jurisdiction to consider Appellant’s claims of Brady violations. After a hearing, the circuit court dismissed Appellant’s petition for writ of error coram nobis. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because Appellant failed to demonstrate Brady violations, the circuit court did not err in dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of error coram nobis; (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in limiting discovery; and (3) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellant’s motion for recusal. View "Isom v. State" on Justia Law