JOHN JACKSON A/K/A JOHN PATRICK JACKSON A/K/A JOHN P. JACKSON, APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/28/2013
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. ROBERT B. HELFRICH, TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JOHN JACKSON (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LAURA H. TEDDER
BEFORE LEE, C.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ.
¶1. On April 1, 2009, John Patrick Jackson pled guilty to the crime of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-139(a) (Rev. 2013), with the charge being enhanced pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-152 (Rev. 2013) for possession of a firearm. The Forrest County Circuit Court sentenced him to serve forty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), to run concurrently with the sentence in a separate charge, with twenty-three years to serve and twenty-two suspended, and with five years of post-release supervision. Jackson filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR), alleging that his guilty plea was involuntarily entered, and that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel. The record reflects that the trial court summarily dismissed Jackson's PCR motion without an evidentiary hearing, despite the affidavits submitted by Jackson and his wife attesting that Jackson's counsel gave erroneous advice.
¶2. Finding error, we reverse and remand this case for an evidentiary hearing.
¶3. On March 9, 2012, Jackson filed a PCR motion in the trial court claiming that his guilty plea w as entered involuntarily. Specifically, Jackson alleged that his counsel gave him erroneous information assuring him that if he pled guilty, he would be eligible for parole. However, Mississippi Code Annotated section 47-7-3 (Rev. 2011) prohibits prisoners convicted as habitual offenders from receiving parole eligibility. Jackson stated that if he had been given correct information and advice as to parole eligibility-that due to his enhanced change, he was ineligible for parole-then he would not have pled guilty. As a result, Jackson asserted that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Jackson claims that after one full year, he failed to receive a ruling on his PCR motion. Jackson wrote a letter to the circuit court clerk inquiring as to the status of Jackson's PCR motion.
¶4. Jackson then filed a request for a writ of mandamus with the Mississippi Supreme Court on March 20, 2013. On April 18, 2013, the trial court sent a letter to the Clerk of Court for the Mississippi Supreme Court explaining that on March 28, 2013, an opinion and order was entered summarily dismissing Jackson's PCR motion. In its order, the trial court explained that after reviewing the record, it found no merit to Jackson's claim that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.
¶5. The trial court's order dismissing Jackson's PCR motion contains an excerpt from the plea-hearing transcript. This excerpt reflects that the State recommended on the record that Jackson be sentenced to serve forty-five years in the custody of the MDOC, with twenty-three years to serve and the remaining twenty-two suspended, and with five years of post-release supervision. Jackson confirmed that he heard the recommendation. The trial court inquired as to whether Jackson understood the minimum and maximum sentences that could be entered on the guilty plea, and Jackson stated, "Yes, sir, I do, Your Honor." The trial court continued to explain that Jackson's sentence for his guilty plea, when combined with his sentence for a separate charge, could amount to "a total of ninety years[.] . . . [D]o you understand that?" Jackson again stated that he did understand.
¶6. The order also reflects that Jackson informed the trial court that he was satisfied with the services of his attorney, and felt that his attorney had properly advised him in his plea and properly represented him in the case. The record reflects, however, that Jackson ...