of Judgment: 01/26/2016
FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. WILLIAM
E. CHAPMAN III TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JUSTIN JOHNSTON (PRO SE).
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE JASON L. DAVIS.
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.
Justin Johnston appeals the circuit court's dismissal of
his petition for a reclassification hearing. We find no error
Johnston was indicted in the Circuit Court of Rankin County,
Mississippi, on the charge of Count I, sexual battery, and
Count II, statutory rape. On March 24, 2008, Johnston entered
a plea of guilty to Count II, statutory rape, and was
sentenced to serve thirty years in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections, with fifteen years
suspended, followed by five years of supervised
On January 21, 2016, Johnston filed a pro se "petition
for re-classification hearing" and requested that his
statutory-rape charge be reclassified as a nonviolent
offense. Johnston further filed a pro se "motion"
wherein he requested parole consideration.
On January 26, 2016, the circuit court found it was without
authority to reclassify Johnston as nonviolent and declined
to recommend to the Mississippi Parole Board that Johnston be
paroled. Thus, the circuit court dismissed the petition for a
reclassification hearing and denied the motion for parole
consideration. Additionally, the circuit court granted
Johnston leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Johnston now appeals and argues the circuit court erred in
failing to grant reclassification.
In reviewing a circuit court's dismissal of a
post-conviction-relief petition, our standard of review is
well established. King v. State, 47 So.3d 746, 747
(¶7) (Miss. Ct. App. 2010). We "will not disturb
the [circuit] court's factual findings unless they are
found to be clearly erroneous." Id.
"However, where questions of ...