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Henson v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

July 23, 2015

ALLEN HENSON, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

Page 265

NO. 63CR-13-365. HONORABLE BOBBY D. McCALLISTER, JUDGE.

Allen Henson, Pro se, appellant.

Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

OPINION

Page 266

PRO SE APPEAL FROM THE SALINE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

PER CURIAM

In 2012, Allen Henson, whose defense at trial was one of actual innocence, was found guilty by a jury of the rape of his daughter. He was sentenced as a habitual offender to a term of 480 months' imprisonment. The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed. Henson v. State, 2014 Ark.App. 49.

Subsequently, Henson timely filed in the trial court a verified pro se petition and amended petition for postconviction relief pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2012), claiming that he was denied effective assistance of counsel.[1] The trial court denied the relief sought, and Henson brings this appeal.

On appeal, Henson raises some of the allegations that he raised in the trial court as grounds to reverse the trial court's order. The issues that were argued below, but not in this appeal, are considered abandoned. Beverage v. State, 2015 Ark. 112, 458 S.W.3d 243.

We do not reverse the grant or denial of postconviction relief unless the trial court's findings are clearly erroneous. Lemaster v. State, 2015 Ark. 167, 459 S.W.3d 802. A finding is clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence to support it, the appellate court, after reviewing the entire evidence, is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed. Sales v. State, 2014 Ark. 384, 441 S.W.3d 883.

We assess the effectiveness of counsel under the two-prong standard set forth by the Supreme Court of the United

Page 267

States in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). Sartin v. State, 2012 Ark. 155, 400 S.W.3d 694. Under this standard, the petitioner must first show that counsel's performance was deficient. Id. This requires a showing that counsel made errors so serious that the petitioner was deprived of the counsel guaranteed to the petitioner by the Sixth Amendment. Id. Second, the deficient performance must have resulted in prejudice so pronounced as to have deprived the petitioner of a fair trial whose outcome cannot be relied on as just. Wainwright v. State, 307 Ark. 569, 823 S.W.2d 449 (1992). Both showings are necessary before ...


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