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Davenport v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 29, 2019

CLIFTON DAVENPORT A/K/A CLIFTON D. DAVENPORT A/K/A CLIFF DAVENPORT A/K/A CLIFFORD DAVENPORT APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/23/2018

          WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. MARGARET CAREY-McCRAYTRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CLIFTON DAVENPORT (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: DARRELL CLAYTON BAUGHN

          BEFORE BARNES, C.J., GREENLEE AND LAWRENCE, JJ.

          LAWRENCE, J.

         ¶1. Clifton Davenport filed a motion "to show cause" in the Washington County Circuit Court against the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Davenport's motion argued that MDOC mistakenly calculated his sentence and parole-eligibility date. The circuit court denied Davenport's motion and found that the Parole Board acted within its authority to determine when and if Davenport was parole eligible. After our review, we affirm the circuit court's denial.

         FACTS

         ¶2. Following a three-day crime spree in September 1991, Davenport was convicted of robbery, armed robbery, and murder. In 1992, Davenport was sentenced to serve three years for robbery concurrent with a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery.[1] Additionally, Davenport was sentenced to serve a life sentence for murder to run consecutive to his sentence for armed robbery. While he was incarcerated in June 2000, guards at the Delta Correctional Facility found thirty grams of marijuana in his possession. The conviction for this offense resulted in an additional sentence to serve a consecutive three-year term without eligibility for parole.

         ¶3. Initially, Davenport was set to be eligible for parole on October 24, 2011. The Parole Board, however, deemed Davenport ineligible. He was again denied parole in 2013. Since being incarcerated, Davenport has received thirty-two rule violations. The Parole Board granted Davenport parole from his life sentence on September 26, 2017, but Davenport still had to serve his additional three-year sentence for possession of drugs in prison. It is important to note that Davenport is currently scheduled for release on September 26, 2020. Davenport filed a motion to show cause in the circuit court and argued that he should have been paroled after serving twenty total years for his pre-2000 sentences (robbery, armed robbery, and murder). He blamed this denial of parole on a calculation error by MDOC. The circuit court, however, noted in its order that the Mississippi Parole Board determines parole eligibility, not MDOC. With that in mind, the circuit court denied Davenport's motion and found that the Parole Board's decision was supported by substantial evidence and that it was not arbitrary or capricious.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. "A trial court's dismissal of a motion for post-conviction relief will not be reversed absent a finding that the trial court's decision was clearly erroneous." Dawkins v. State, 991 So.2d 189, 190 (¶3) (Miss. Ct. App. 2008) (citing Williams v. State, 872 So.2d 711, 712 (¶2) (Miss. Ct. App. 2004)). Any issues of law are reviewed de novo. Id. (citing Brown v. State, 731 So.2d 595, 598 (¶6) (Miss. 1999)).

         ANALYSIS

         ¶5. On appeal Davenport argues that MDOC violated his constitutional rights when it did not conduct a parole hearing in 2011. Davenport claims that this decision was arbitrary and superseded MDOC's authority. Because the circuit court denied his motion to show cause that ...


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