FOURTH PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT
TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS [PULASKI
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT NO. 60CR-01-4006]
Anarian Chad Jackson was found guilty, after a jury trial, of
second-degree murder, for which he was sentenced to eighty
years' imprisonment. Jackson's conviction and
sentence were affirmed on appeal. Jackson v. State,
CR-03-1127 (Ark.App. Dec. 1, 2004) (unpublished) (original
docket no. CACR 03-1127). On May 10, 2016, Jackson filed
this, his fourth petition requesting this court to reinvest
jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for
writ of error coram nobis.
function of the writ is to secure relief from a judgment
rendered while there existed some fact that would have
prevented its rendition if it had been known to the trial
court and which, through no negligence or fault of the
defendant, was not brought forward before rendition of the
judgment. Newman v. State, 2009 Ark. 539, 354 S.W.3d
61. The petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a
fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record.
Roberts v. State, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771.
writ is allowed only under compelling circumstances to
achieve justice and to address errors of the most fundamental
nature. Id. A writ of error coram nobis is available
to address certain errors that are found in one of four
categories: (1) insanity at the time of trial, (2) a coerced
guilty plea, (3) material evidence withheld by the
prosecutor, or (4) a third-party confession to the crime
during the time between conviction and appeal. Howard v.
State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38.
petition for leave to proceed in the trial court is necessary
because the trial court can entertain a petition for writ of
error coram nobis after a judgment has been affirmed on
appeal only after we grant permission. Newman, 2009
Ark. 539, 354 S.W.3d 61. A writ of error coram nobis is an
extraordinarily rare remedy. State v. Larimore, 341
Ark. 397, 17 S.W.3d 87 (2000). Coram-nobis proceedings are
attended by a strong presumption that the judgment of
conviction is valid. Westerman v. State, 2015 Ark.
69, at 4, 456 S.W.3d 374, 376.
seeks leave to proceed in the trial court for a writ of error
coram nobis, claiming that there is newly discovered evidence
that the prosecution wrongfully withheld evidence about a
deal that was made between the prosecution and the
State's witness, Ammar Mahdi, in exchange for Mahdi's
testimony at Jackson's trial. Jackson contends he was
unaware at the time of trial that Mahdi's statements that
he received no "help from the State in his sentencing
proceeding was demonstrably untrue and the State knew it was
untrue." He further contends that he received this
information in an affidavit from Mahdi "less than twelve
months before he filed [t]his petition." Notwithstanding
his contention to the contrary, Jackson also states that on
the day of trial his defense counsel was made aware of a
transcript from Mahdi's sentencing proceeding that had
not previously been provided to his counsel.
has raised this claim in three previous petitions requesting
this court to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to
consider a petition for writ of error coram
nobis.In Jackson v. State, CR
03–1127 (Ark. Dec. 11, 2008) (unpublished per curiam)
(original docket no. CACR 03-1127), Jackson alleged, as he
does now, that evidence was withheld by the prosecutor
regarding Mahdi's sentencing, which violated his right to
due process as guaranteed by Brady v. Maryland, 373
U.S. 83 (1963). This court noted that Jackson failed to
demonstrate due diligence in seeking error coram nobis relief
because he was aware of the facts concerning Mahdi at his
trial. This court concluded that the
court of appeals decision on direct appeal noted that Jackson
was in possession of a copy of the transcript from Mr.
Mahdi's sentencing hearing during the trial and that
Jackson was aware of the alleged fundamental error of fact at
that time and had an opportunity to seek correction of the
error more than five years previously. In Jackson v. State, 2009 Ark.
572, at 1–2 (per curiam), this court again addressed
the same claim regarding assertions that the prosecution
withheld evidence concerning information about deals made
with two witnesses, including Mahdi. This court held that
Jackson's "successive application for coram nobis
relief in this court [wa]s an abuse of the writ. [Jackson]
alleges few, if any new facts, and he does not allege any
fact sufficient to distinguish his latest claims. The issues
are the same." Jackson, 2009 Ark. 572, at 2.
present petition, Jackson again fails to allege any fact
sufficient to distinguish his claim from his three prior
attempts to seek coram nobis relief. Although he submits a
2013 affidavit signed by Mahdi as "new evidence, "
Jackson still offers only conclusory statements maintaining
that information was withheld and fails to state any facts in
support of his contention that the State did withhold
evidence concerning the existence of an alleged agreement
with the witness, Mahdi. Clearly, contrary to Jackson's
claim that he was unaware of any agreement made with, or
leniency given to, Mahdi in exchange for Mahdi's
testimony against Jackson, Jackson was aware of Mahdi's
sentencing at the time of his trial. As noted in the previous
opinions, the writ is appropriate only when an issue was not
addressed or could not have been addressed at trial because
it was somehow hidden or unknown. Jackson, 2009 Ark.
572, at 6 (citing Larimore v. State, 327 Ark. 271,
938 S.W.2d 818 (1997)).
examining the claims raised in this fourth petition, we
conclude that Jackson's successive application for
coram-nobis relief in this court is an abuse of the writ in
that he alleges no fact sufficient to distinguish his claims
in the instant petition from the claims raised in his
previous petitions. Jackson did not establish in his three
prior petitions that there was any basis for the writ, and
his reassertion of largely the same claims in the fourth
petition is a misuse of the remedy. See Smith v.
State, 2015 Ark. 188, 461 S.W.3d 345 (per curiam).
Accordingly, the petition is dismissed. See Rodgers v.
State, 2013 Ark. 294, at 3–4 (per curiam)
("[A] court has the discretion to determine whether the
renewal of a petitioner's application for the writ, when
there are additional facts presented in support of the same
grounds, will be permitted."). Due process does not
require this court to entertain an unlimited number of
petitions to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to
consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis in a
particular case. Swanigan v. State, 2016 Ark. 109
For clerical purposes, the motion was
assigned the same docket number as the direct appeal.
Jackson sought the same relief,
coram-nobis relief, because he claimed he was unable to
adequately impeach Mahdi's and another witness's
testimony at trial because evidence was withheld regarding
Mahdi's sentencing and a deal made in exchange for
Mahdi's testimony. Jackson's third petition seeking