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Jackson v. State

Supreme Court of Minnesota

June 26, 2019

Prentis Cordell Jackson, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

          Hennepin County Office of Appellate Courts

          Prentis Cordell Jackson, Stillwater, Minnesota, pro se. Keith Ellison, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and

          Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Patrick R. Lofton, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent.

         SYLLABUS

         The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel without holding an evidentiary hearing because the petition was filed more than 2 years after the disposition of his direct appeal and the facts alleged in the postconviction petition, if proven at an evidentiary hearing, would not have satisfied any exception to the applicable 2-year statute of limitations.

         Affirmed.

         Considered and decided by the court without oral argument.

          OPINION

          CHUTICH, Justice.

         In this postconviction proceeding we consider whether the postconviction court abused its discretion when it denied appellant Prentis Cordell Jackson's petition for postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. Because the petition was filed more than 2 years after the disposition of his direct appeal and the facts alleged in the postconviction petition, if proven, would not have satisfied any exception to the 2-year statute of limitations, we affirm the postconviction court's decision.

         FACTS

         Following a jury trial in November 2006, Jackson was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder for fatally shooting Michael Anthony Bluntson, Jr.[1] See Minn. Stat. § 609.185(a)(1) (2018). On direct appeal from his conviction, Jackson raised the sole claim that the district court erred when it failed to instruct the jury on the requirement that an accomplice's testimony be corroborated. State v. Jackson (Jackson I), 746 N.W.2d 894, 898 (Minn. 2008). We rejected that claim and affirmed Jackson's conviction by decision filed April 10, 2008. Id. at 900. Under the 2-year statute of limitations governing postconviction petitions, Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(a)(2) (2018), Jackson's conviction became final 90 days after our April decision, that is, on July 9, 2008, because he did not file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States. See Berkovitz v. State, 826 N.W.2d 203, 207 (Minn. 2013).

         Jackson filed his first petition for postconviction relief in January 2013, asserting two claims. First, he sought a new trial because an eyewitness allegedly recanted his trial testimony. Jackson v. State (Jackson II), 883 N.W.2d 272, 275 (Minn. 2016). Second, he claimed that a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of release was unconstitutional because he was a juvenile at the time of the offense. Id. at 276. We rejected the first claim, but ordered that he be resentenced in accordance with the decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016), which was issued during the pendency of Jackson's postconviction appeal. Jackson II, 883 N.W.2d at 282. Jackson was then resentenced to life in prison with the possibility of release after 30 years.

         Jackson filed his current petition for postconviction relief on February 12, 2018, asserting three claims of ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial and direct appeal. First, Jackson claims that his trial counsel was ineffective during plea negotiations. He alleges that, on the cusp of trial, the State offered him a plea deal that would have resulted in a sentence of 30 years in prison with the possibility of release after 20 years. He further alleges that his trial counsel advised him that the State would be unable to prove premeditation because the murder occurred in the "heat of passion." Based on this advice, Jackson rejected the State's offer. Second, Jackson claims that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request a jury instruction on lesser-included offenses. Third, Jackson claims that his appellate counsel was ineffective on direct appeal for failing to raise his trial counsel's ineffectiveness as grounds for reversing his ...


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