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Dunn v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

April 10, 2019

GREGORY DUNN A/K/A GREGORY TODD DUNN Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          EN BANC ORDER

          DAWN H. BEAM, JUSTICE.

         This matter is before the Court, en banc, on Gregory Dunn's Motion for Post-Conviction Relief. In 1997, the Court affirmed, among other issues, Dunn's murder conviction and sentence, and the mandate issued on June 5, 1997. Dunn v. State, 693 So.2d 1333 (Miss. 1997). Thus, this filing is time-barred. Dunn has filed multiple applications for post-conviction relief, making the present claim procedurally barred. See Dunn v. State, 2016-M-01514; Dunn v. State, 2006-M-02029.

         Dunn now raises a claim of actual innocence and an illegal-sentence claim, arguing that the trial court was not allowed to impose a life sentence upon him without a jury recommendation. Although the claims may be excepted from the procedural bars, Dunn fails to raise an arguable basis for his claims to justify an exception. See Means v. State, 43 So.3d 438, 442 (Miss. 2010); Kennedy v. State, 732 So.2d 184, 187 (Miss. 1999). Accordingly, we find the motion should be dismissed as procedurally barred.

         In its order denying Dunn's last motion, we warned him that "any future filings deemed frivolous may result not only in additional 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). We find the present filing is frivolous and that Dunn should be restricted from filing further applications for post-conviction collateral relief (or pleadings in that nature) that are related to this conviction and sentence in forma pauperis. See Order, Walton v. State, 2009-M-00329 (Miss. Apr. 12, 2018).

         IT, THEREFORE, IS ORDERED that Gregory Dunn's Motion for Post-Conviction Relief is hereby dismissed.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Dunn is hereby restricted from filing further applications for post-conviction collateral relief (or pleadings in that nature) that are related to this conviction and sentence in forma pauperis. The Clerk of this Court shall not accept for filing any further applications for post-conviction collateral relief (or pleadings in that nature) from Dunn that are related to this conviction and sentence unless he pays the applicable docket fee.

         SO ORDERED.

          TO DISMISS AND ISSUE SANCTIONS: BEAM, CHAMBERLIN AND ISHEE, JJ.

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

          TO DISMISS: 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. Today, this Court prioritizes efficiency over justice and bars Gregory Dunn from its doors. Because the imposition of monetary sanctions against indigent defendants and the restriction of access to the court system serve only to punish those defendants and to violate rights guaranteed by the United States and Mississippi Constitutions, I strongly oppose this Court's order restricting Dunn from filing further petitions 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 I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. . . ." Yet this Court now deems the frequency of Dunn's filings to be too onerous a burden and decides to restrict Dunn from filing subsequent applications for post-conviction collateral relief. See In re McDonald, 489 U.S. 180, 186-87, 109 S.Ct. 993, 997, 103 L.Ed.2d 158 (1989) (Brennan, J., ...


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