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Boyd v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

October 9, 2019

TERRENCE O'NEAL BOYD Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          EN BANC ORDER

          T. KENNETH GRIFFIS, JR., JUSTICE

         This matter is before the Court, en banc, on the Application for Leave to Proceed to Trial Court filed by Terrence O'Neal Boyd, pro se. On January 25, 2000, the Mississippi Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed Boyd's conviction and sentence. Boyd v. State, 754 So.2d 586 (Miss. Ct. App. 2000). The mandate issued on February 15, 2000. This Court has subsequently denied or dismissed six petitions for post-conviction collateral relief filed by Boyd.

         In this application, Boyd contends he is entitled to post-conviction collateral relief based upon an alleged Confrontation Clause violation and his claim of actual innocence. After due consideration, the Court finds these claims are time barred, successive-writ barred, and/or waived, and fail to meet any exceptions. Accordingly, the Court finds this application should be denied.

         The Court further finds this application is frivolous. Therefore, Boyd is hereby warned that any 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. See, e.g., En Banc Order, Dunn v. State, 2016-M-01514 (Miss. Apr. 11, 2019) (restricting in forma pauperis status); En Banc Order, Dunn v. State, 2016-M-01514 (Miss. Nov. 15, 2018) (warning of sanctions, including in forma pauperis restrictions).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Application for Leave to Proceed to Trial Court filed by Terrence O'Neal Boyd, pro se, is hereby denied.

         SO ORDERED

          TO DENY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS WARNING: RANDOLPH, C.J., COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN, ISHEE 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. Although Terrence O'Neal Boyd'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, Boyd made reasonable arguments that he was denied his fundamental right to cross-examine witnesses and that he was innocent of the crime charged. As such, I disagree with the Court's determination that Boyd'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 on 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 punishing the defendant for filing a motion, I believe that this Court should simply deny or dismiss motions that lack merit. As Justice Brennan wisely stated,

The Court's order purports to be motivated by this litigant's disproportionate consumption of the Court's time and resources. Yet if his filings are truly as repetitious as it appears, it hardly takes much time to identify them as such. I find it difficult to see how the amount of time and resources required to deal properly with McDonald's petitions could be so great as to justify the step we now take. Indeed, the time that has been consumed in the preparation of the present order barring the door to Mr. McDonald far exceeds that which would have been necessary to process his petitions for the next several years at least. I continue to ...

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