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Harris v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

December 13, 2018

JOE NATHAN HARRIS Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          ORDER

          JAMES D. MAXWELL II, JUSTICE

         Now before the en banc Court is Joe Nathan Harris's Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court.

         Harris filed this fourth application outside the three-year limitations period. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-5(2) (Rev. 2015). He raises two claims: (1) newly discovered evidence and (2) illegal sentence.

         For claim (1), the procedural bars do not apply if a petitioner can show he or she has "evidence, not reasonably discoverable at the time of trial, that is of such nature that it would be practically conclusive that, if it had been introduced at trial, it would have caused a different result in the conviction or sentence." Underwood v. State, 37 So.3d 10, 12 (Miss. 2010) (quoting Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-27(9) (Supp. 2009)). After due consideration, we find the evidence Harris offers fails to meet that standard.

         As for claim (2), illegal-sentence claims can be excepted from the procedural bars. Rowland v. State, 98 So.3d 1032, 1035-36 (Miss. 2012), overruled on other grounds by Carson v. State, 212 So.3d 22 (Miss. 2016). To warrant waiving those bars, however, the claim must have some arguable basis. Means v. State, 43 So.3d 438, 442 (Miss. 2010). After due consideration, we find that Harris's claim does not.

         For the above reasons, we find the application should be dismissed. In addition, Harris is hereby warned that future filings deemed frivolous may result not only in monetary sanctions, but also in restrictions on his filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief (or pleadings in that nature) in forma pauperis. Order, Dunn v. State, 2016-M-01514 (Miss. Nov. 15, 2018).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the application is dismissed.

         SO ORDERED.

          TO DISMISS: WALLER, C.J., KITCHENS, P.J., KING, COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN AND ISHEE, JJ.

          TO DENY: RANDOLPH, P.J.

          KING, J., OBJECTS TO THE ORDER IN PART WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN STATEMENT JOINED BY KITCHENS, P.J.

          KING, JUSTICE, OBJECTING TO THE ORDER IN PART WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN STATEMENT:

         ¶1. Although Joe Nathan Harris's application for post-conviction relief does not merit relief, I disagree with this Court's warning that future filings which this Court deems frivolous may result in monetary sanctions or restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief in forma pauperis.

         ¶2. This Court seems to tire of reading motions that it deems "frivolous" and imposes monetary sanctions on indigent defendants. The Court then bars those defendants, who in all likelihood are unable to pay the imposed sanctions, from future filings. In choosing to prioritize efficiency over justice, this Court forgets the oath that each justice took before assuming office. That oath stated in relevant part, "I . . . solemnly swear (or affirm) that ...


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