Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – Dec. 1 and 2, 2014

Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

Stallworth v. State
Stallworth is a preacher in Jackson, MS. In 2001, he was indicted for five counts of sexual battery in Maryland. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor, sexual offense in the fourth degree. The conviction required that he register in Mississippi as a sex offender.

In 2005, he filed suit in Hinds County arguing that his Maryland conviction was a non-registerable misdemeanor in the State of Maryland and asking that he be relieved from having to register in Miss. The trial court denied relief and the Miss.S.Ct. affirmed. Stallworth v. Miss. Dep’t of Public Safety, 986 So.2d 259 (Miss. 2008).

Stallworth also filed in Maryland to expunge his conviction. This was granted in February 2010.

In December 2012, Stallworth petitioned the Hinds County Circuit Court that he be relieved of the duty to register as a sex offender because his conviction has been expunged. The trial court denied relief based on its finding that “Mississippi case law is silent as to how an expunged conviction would alter the petitioner’s duty to register as a sex offender.”

Stallworth’s brief
State’s brief
Stallworth’s reply brief

Watch it here.  The panel is made up of Justices Dickinson, Lamar and Chandler.

Judge Dickinson asks the parties to address 1) the fact that expungement in Maryland and expungement in Mississippi are different things and 2) which state’s law applies.  According to Justice Dickinson, an expungement in Maryland only hides the records and does not make the conviction itself go away.

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

Kirk v. State
Kirk was convicted of aggravated domestic violence and sentenced to 20 years without parole. Casey claimed Marvin choked her during a domestic dispute. Marvin claims she made this up after he flushed her bag of meth down the toilet and told her he was leaving her. She waited an entire day before reporting the alleged choking. On appeal, MArkin argues that the trial court erred in allowing a sheriff’s deputy to give expert testimony that Casey had strangulation marks on her neck, that the court erred in refusing to allow Marvin to impeach Casey with test messages and letters to the effect that he was a great husband and that she never meant to hurt him, that the evidence did not support the verdict. etc.

Kirk’s brief
State’s brief

Watch it here  Justices Waller, Kitchens and Coleman are sitting.  Justice Waller starts with questions almost immediately asking first  why isn’t the victim’s testimony sufficient with regard to strangulation?  There are also problems with the fact that Kirk’s trial attorney failed to preserve issues on appeal (including the officer’s testimony on strangulation).  J. Waller asks whether some of these  issues might be better off for post conviction. Justice Kitchens notes that the defense attorney cross-examined the officer on the strangulation issue which makes it look like the failure to object was trial strategy.

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