United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
matter comes before the court on the pro se petition
of Mississippi state prisoner Darnell Wilson for a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State
has responded to the petition, and Wilson has replied. The
matter is ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth
below, the instant petition for a writ of habeas
corpus will be denied.
Corpus - General Discussion
writ of habeas corpus, a challenge to the legal
authority under which a person may be detained, is ancient.
Duker, The English Origins of the Writ of Habeas Corpus:
A Peculiar Path to Fame, 53 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 983 (1978);
Glass, Historical Aspects of Habeas Corpus, 9 St.
John's L.Rev. 55 (1934). It is "perhaps the most
important writ known to the constitutional law of England,
" Secretary of State for Home Affairs v.
O'Brien, A.C. 603, 609 (1923), and it is equally
significant in the United States. Article I, § 9, of the
Constitution ensures that, " The Privilege of the Writ
of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases
of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
U.S. Const, art. I, § 9, cl. 2, Habeas Corpus,
20 Fed. Prac. & Proc. Deskbook § 56. Its use by the
federal courts was authorized in Sectionl 4 of the Judiciary
Act of 1789. Habeas corpus principles developed over
time in both English and American common law have since been
The statutory provisions on habeas corpus appear as
sections 2241 to 2255 of the 1948 Judicial Code. The
recodification of that year set out important procedural
limitations and additional procedural changes were added in
1966. The scope of the writ, insofar as the statutory
language is concerned, remained essentially the same,
however, until 1996, when Congress enacted the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act, placing severe restrictions
on the issuance of the writ for state prisoners and setting
out special, new habeas corpus procedures for
capital cases. The changes made by the 1996 legislation are
the end product of decades of debate about habeas
Id. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a federal court may
issue the writ when a person is held in violation of the
federal Constitution or laws, permitting a federal court
to order the discharge of any person held by a state
in violation of the supreme law of the land. Frank v.
Mangum, 237 U.S. 309, 311, 35 S.Ct. 582, 588, 59 L.Ed.
and Procedural Posture
petitioner, Darnell Wilson, is in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections and is currently housed
at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian,
Mississippi. On June 29, 2010, Wilson was convicted in the
Circuit Court of Desoto County, Mississippi, of count of
grand larceny, one count of felony fleeing, and one count of
simple assault on a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced
as a habitual offender (under Miss. Code Ann. §
99-19-83) to serve concurrent life terms for each count.
State Court Record ("SCR"), Vol. 2, p. 282-284.
filed an appeal of his convictions and sentences in the
Mississippi Supreme Court. On appeal, Wilson was represented
by counsel through the Mississippi Office of Indigent
Appeals. Appellate counsel filed a brief stating that there
were no arguable issues which could be presented for
appellate review under Lindsey v. State, 939 So.2d
743, 748 (Miss. 2005). The Mississippi Court of Appeals
requested supplemental briefing from both parties regarding
the issue of the constitutionality of Wilson's sentence
and requested that the parties address whether the sentence
reached the threshold to trigger a proportionality analysis
by the trial judge. Both Wilson, through counsel, and the
State filed supplemental briefs on that issue.
January 15, 2013, the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed
the judgment of the circuit court. Wilson v. State,
106 So.3d 853 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013). The court also held that
"[a]fter an examination of Wilson's pro se
supplemental brief and a thorough review of the record in
this case, we find that Wilson raises no arguable issues in
support of his appeal." Id. at 859.
Wilson's motion for rehearing was due in the Mississippi
Court of Appeals on January 29, 2013, within fourteen days of
the direct appeal decision. See Miss. R. App. P.,
Rule 40(a). Wilson filed a motion requesting an extension of
time to file a motion for rehearing, and the court granted an
extension to February 12, 2013. Wilson did not, however, file
a motion for rehearing by that date. On February 19, 2013,
the Mississippi Court of Appeals issued the mandate. On March
4, 2013, Wilson filed another request for an extension of
time to file a motion for rehearing. The Mississippi Court of
Appeals originally granted the motion, but, after review,
filed a corrected order denying the request for an extension.
As Wilson did not file a timely motion for rehearing, he was
barred from filing a petition for writ of certiorari
with the Mississippi Supreme Court. See M.R.A.R 17.
On May 28, 2013, Wilson filed a motion in the Mississippi
Supreme Court asking for an out of time appeal, however, the
court denied the request by Order filed July 18, 2013. On
August 20, 2013, Wilson filed an untimely petition for
certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which
denied the petition on December 9, 2013. See SCR,
Briefs and Pleadings, Miss. S.Ct. Case No. 2010-KA-1276-COA.
December 12, 2013, Wilson filed an Application to Proceed in
the Trial Court with a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief in
the Mississippi Supreme Court. The application was signed on
December 6, 2013. Wilson raised the following issues, pro
Issue One. Right to confront witnesses. Wilson stated that
hearsay evidence was a deciding factor in his trial because a
substantial document which sought payment for damages that
would have ceased the prosecution. The executive assistance
show [sic] have testified at trial but didn't.
Issue Two. Wrongfully amended as a habitual offender under
Issue Three. Equal protection rights: Wilson states that the
state picked the entire jury pool and denied his the exercise
of using any of his 12 strikes to deny or object to any of
the empaneled jurors.
Issue Four. Due Process - Wilson stated that his right to a
fair and impartial trial was denied because a jury
instruction D-l was disregarded and denied to be submitted to
Issue Five. Hearsay Evidence - Wilson stated his rights were
not protected when the judge allowed hearsay evidence from
Mrs. Candance Whisman of Tennessee to attest to his past.
Mississippi Supreme Court dismissed the motion on June 10,
2014. The court found that:
the issues regarding the right of confrontation, admission of
hearsay evidence and denial of a jury instruction are now
waived for Wilson's failure to raise those claims before
the trial court or on direct appeal. Likewise, the claim
regarding the amendment of the indictment to charge Wilson as
a habitual offender was raised on direct appeal and addressed
by the Court of Appeals. Therefore, the claim is now barred
by the doctrine of res judicata.
Wilson v. State of Mississippi, 2013-M-02094 (Miss.
filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus
in this court on August 8, 2014. Doc. 1. On April 28, 2015,
the court ordered the State to file an answer to the
petition. Doc. 13. Wilson has filed at least eleven
amendments to his petition, four of which were filed before
the order to answer, the remainder afterwards. Docs. 9, 10,
11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 29, 32, 34.
filings, Wilson raises the following grounds for relief, pro
se, as summarized and enumerated by the court in the
interest of clarity:
Ground One. Right to confront witnesses. The Petitioner
contests that the state used testimony (hearsay) from an
employee concerning an important document from the Kohl's
department store executive.
Ground Two. Wrongful conviction under 99-19-83 status.
Ground Three. Ineffective assistance of counsel. The
petitioner attorney failed to object to the state having a
second bite at the forbidden apple once the judge allow the
state to re-evaluate his prior convictions.
Ground Four. Misinterpretation of prior convictions (10 pack)
from the state of Tennessee.
Ground Five. Prosecutorial Misconduct.
Ground Six. Wilson argues that a substantial conflict exists
as to whether he is actually a habitual offender under the
statute of 99-19-83.
Ground Six. Wilson states he was severely prejudiced by the
prosecutor when the state superceded the past ruling of a
Tennessee judge by the Miss. Prosecutor separating a
Ground Seven. Wilson states that the trial judge erred by not
allowing a new trial after Petitioner and counsel Mr.
Vandenburg showed sound and sufficient document proof of
evidence as to why Wilson was not a 99-19-83 habitual
Ground Eight. Wilson argues that the indictment failed to
distinguish between simple assault and felony assault.
Ground Nine. Cruel and unusual punishment.
Ground Ten. Due Process - indictment erroneously amended.
Ground Eleven. Equal Protection Rights.
Ground Twelve. Wilson states the court erred by allowed
prosecutor Smith V. Murphy to violate the constitutional
right to a fair and impartial jury.
Ground Thirteen. Wilson states the court erred by allowing
the prosecutor to use misinformation from his pre-sentence
investigative report where as the prior convictions were not
considered violent felonies in the state of Tennessee.
Ground Fourteen. Indictment is defective because it alleged
misdemeanor simple assault rather than felony assault on a
Ground Fifteen. Wilson further states that the court erred by
convicting him under the crime of felony fleeing, when there
was no highspeed chase and the factual crime was resisting
Ground Sixteen. Insufficient evidence for sentencing as a
Ground Seventeen. Insufficient evidence for conviction of
grand larceny and felony fleeing.
Ground Eighteen. Ineffective assistance of counsel for
failure to properly cross examine Kohl's executive office