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BIRCHETT v. STATE

March 2, 1987

RONNIE LEE BIRCHETT
V.
STATE OF ARKANSAS



Appeal from Pulaski Circuit Court: Floyd J. Lofton, Judge; affirmed.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. CRIMINAL LAW - HABITUAL OFFENDER STATUTE - PRIOR CONVICTIONS ON DIRECT APPEAL MAY BE CONSIDERED IN SENTENCE ENHANCEMENT. - The court declines to modify its prior decisions and hold that prior convictions on direct appeal cannot be considered for the purpose of sentence enhancement.

2. CRIMINAL LAW - HABITUAL OFFENDER STATUTES - ENHANCEMENT OF SENTENCE BASED ON PRIOR CONVICTIONS. - The habitual offender statutes, Ark. Stat. Ann. 41-1001 - 41-1005 (Repl. 1977 & Supp. 1985), provide for the enhancement of sentence based on the number of prior felony convictions or findings of guilt.

3. CRIMINAL LAW - HABITUAL OFFENDER STATUTES - CONVICTION FINAL FOR PURPOSES OF SENTENCE ENHANCEMENT. - For purposes of sentence enhancement, a conviction is final when judgment is pronounced.

4. APPEAL & ERROR - PRECEDENT FOLLOWED, UNLESS INJUSTICE WOULD RESULT. - A prior decision will be upheld unless an injustice would result.

5. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE - RULE 37 PETITION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF - PROCEDURE UNCOMPLICATED - COURT LIBERAL IN ALLOWING FILING OF AMENDMENTS. - While a petitioner has no right to counsel at the time he prepares a Rule 37 petition, the procedure in preparing such a verified petition is uncomplicated, and it is the established practice in Arkansas for the courts to be liberal in allowing amendments to such ...


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