Decisions – COA – Oct. 24, 2017

Eddrick King  v. State of Mississippi voluntariness of plea – Eddrick King and Tywanda
Jackson were indicted for  for capital murder and kidnapping. King later entered guilty pleas to the charges of manslaughter, armed robbery, and kidnapping with 35 years to serve.  Twelve years later he filed a post conviction motion alleging that he was innocent of  armed robbery and that his attorney  induced him to plead guilty by promising
him that he would be eligible for parole after serving ten years.  He attached affidavits from his mother and sister that King was told  that he would become eligible for parole after serving ten years.  The trial court had a hearing.  King’s attorney testified that he never makes statements to his clients about their parole eligibility. The trial court denied relief finding the lawyer’s testimony more credible than King’s.  King appeals and the COA affirms.

London Williams, Jr.  v. State of Mississippiincest –  Williams was convicted of  incest in violation of M.C.A.  § 97-29-5 (Rev. 2014), for engaging in sexual activity with his twenty-year-old daughter.  He was acquitted of sexual battery.  He was sentenced to ten years with four suspended. His conviction was affirmed on appeal. Williams v. State, 89 So. 3d 676 (Miss.  App. 2012).  While serving time. MDOC did not consider him eligible for parole since  no inmate “convicted of a sex crime” is eligible for parole or earned time. M.C.A.  §§ 47-5-139(1)(d) & 47-7-3(1)(b).  Williams challenged the classification administratively and eventually appealed to the circuit court which affirmed MDOC’s decision.  Williams appeals again.  The COA dismisses the case because Williams has been released and the case is moot.

Richard Mason  v. Mississippi Department of Correctionsearned time – Richard Mason was convicted of sexual battery in 2005 and sentenced to thirty years.   Mason contends that he is eligible for meritorious earned time, a conditional reduction in sentence that operates as an “incentive for offenders to achieve positive and worthwhile  accomplishments for their personal benefit or the benefit of others.” M.C.A.  § 47-5-142.  When MDOC disagreed, Mason sued and lost. He appealed.  The COA affirms citing M.C.A.  §  47-5-139(1)(d)  which provides that inmates convicted of a sex crime are not eligible for the earned time allowance.

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