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Taylor v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

July 25, 2019

THOMAS TAYLOR A/K/A THOMAS EDWARD TAYLOR A/K/A TINKER Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          ORDER

          JAMES D. MAXWELL II, JUSTICE.

         Before the en banc Court is Thomas Taylor's pro se Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court. In his application, Taylor requests leave from this Court to file a motion for post-conviction relief in the trial court on the ground that there is existing DNA evidence available for testing.

         Taylor was convicted of capital rape and sentenced to life in prison in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and the Court of Appeals affirmed Taylor's conviction and sentence. Taylor v. State, 744 So.2d 306 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999). Since 1999, Taylor has filed approximately thirty petitions in the nature of post-conviction relief petitions, and each has been dismissed or denied. On June 5, 2018, a panel consisting of Chief Justice Waller and Justice Coleman and Justice Maxwell dismissed Taylor's Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court, which requested DNA testing, as time-barred and barred as a successive application. We find that Taylor's instant application raises the identical ground for relief; therefore, the instant application warrants a similar result- deny as time-barred and barred as a successive writ.

         Also in our June 5, 2018 order, Taylor was warned that any future filings deemed frivolous may result in the imposition of monetary sanctions or restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction relief (or pleadings in that nature) in forma pauperis. We find that Taylor's instant application is frivolous; therefore, Taylor should be restricted from filing further petitions for post-conviction relief (or pleadings in that nature) in forma pauperis that are related to this conviction and sentence. See Order, Walton v. State, 2009-M-00329 (Miss. April 12, 2018).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Thomas Taylor's pro se Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court is hereby denied.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Thomas Taylor is hereby restricted from filing further petitions for post-conviction relief (or pleadings in that nature) that are related to his conviction of capital rape and corresponding sentence. The Clerk of this Court shall not accept for filing any further petitions for post-conviction relief (or pleadings in that nature) in forma pauperis from Taylor that are related to his conviction and sentence.

         SO ORDERED

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

          TO DENY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS WARNING: COLEMAN, J.

          TO DISMISS: KITCHENS AND KING, P.JJ.

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

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

         ¶1. Today, this Court prioritizes efficiency over justice and bars Thomas Taylor 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 Taylor 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 deems the frequency of Taylor's filing to be too onerous a burden and decides to restrict Taylor 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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