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Alexander v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

March 12, 2019

JOHN P. ALEXANDER A/K/A JOHN PEYTON ALEXANDER II A/K/A JOHN ALEXANDER A/K/A JOHN APPLE Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          EN BANC ORDER

          MICHAEL K. RANDOLPH, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         Now before the Court, en banc, comes the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and the supporting brief filed pro se by John P. Alexander. Petitioner was convicted of murder in the Hinds County Circuit Court. This Court affirmed the conviction and sentence. Alexander v. State, 358 So.2d 379 (Miss. 1978).

         In today's petition, Alexander seeks to have this Court grant a hearing on the legality of his parole revocation. This Court previously affirmed Alexander's parole revocation on appeal. Alexander v. State, 667 So.2d 1 (Miss. 1995). We find the claim to be barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-21(3) (Rev. 2015). Additionally, Alexander has filed numerous petitions for post-conviction relief in the past, and we find the instant petition to be barred by time and as a successive application, without exception. Miss. Code Ann. §§ 99-39-5(2) and 99-39-27(9) (Rev. 2015). Accordingly, the petition should be denied.

         The Court finds also that the instant filing is frivolous. Alexander is warned that future filings deemed frivolous may result not only in monetary sanctions, but also in restrictions on 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 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is hereby denied.

         SO ORDERED.

          TO DENY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS WARNING: RANDOLPH, C.J., COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM, ISHEE, AND GRIFFIS, JJ.

          TO DISMISS AND ISSUE SANCTIONS WARNING: CHAMBERLIN, J.

          TO DENY: KITCHENS AND KING, P.JJ.

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

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

         ¶1. Although John P. Alexander's application for post-conviction relief does not merit relief, I disagree with the Court's finding that the application is frivolous and with the warning that future filings deemed frivolous may result in monetary sanctions or restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief in forma pauperis.[1]

         ¶2. This Court previously has defined a frivolous motion to mean one filed in which the movant has "no hope of success." Roland v. State, 666 So.2d 747, 751 (Miss. 1995). However, "though a case may be weak or 'light-headed,' that is not sufficient to label it frivolous." Calhoun v. State, 849 So.2d 892, 897 (Miss. 2003). In his application for post-conviction relief, Alexander made reasonable arguments seeking to have this Court grant a hearing on the legality of his parole revocation. As such, I disagree with the Court's determination that Alexander's application is frivolous.

         ¶3. Additionally, I disagree with this Court's warning that future filings may result in monetary sanctions or restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief in forma pauperis. The imposition of monetary sanctions upon a criminal defendant proceeding in forma pauperis only serves to punish or preclude that defendant from his lawful right to appeal. Black's Law Dictionary defines sanction as "[a] provision that gives force to a legal imperative by either rewarding obedience or punishing disobedience." Sanction, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) (emphasis added). Instead of ...


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