FROM THE LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 39CV-16-67] HONORABLE
RICHARD L. PROCTOR, JUDGE
Richard Davis, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Karen Virginia Wallace,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
1988, appellant Richard Alan Davis was found guilty by a jury
in the Pulaski County Circuit Court in case number
60CR-87-1540 of capital murder, aggravated robbery, and theft
of property. An aggregate sentence of life imprisonment
without parole was imposed. Also in 1988, Davis was found
guilty by a jury in Pulaski County in case number
60CR-87-1685 of an additional aggravated robbery and was
sentenced to thirty years' imprisonment. No appeal was
taken from either judgment.
20, 2016, Davis, who is incarcerated in a unit of the
Arkansas Department of Correction located in Lee County,
filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Lee
County Circuit Court. Although he appended a copy of the
judgments in case numbers 60CR-87-1540 and 60CR-87-1685 to
the petition, he sought the writ only with respect to the
judgment in case number 60CR-87-1685. The circuit court
denied the petition without a hearing on the ground that
Davis had not stated a ground for the writ. Davis, who
remains incarcerated in Lee County, brings this appeal.
circuit court's decision on a petition for writ of habeas
corpus will be upheld unless it is clearly erroneous.
Hobbs v. Gordon, 2014 Ark. 225, at 5, 434 S.W.3d
364, 367. A decision 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 made. Id.
of habeas corpus is proper when a judgment of conviction is
invalid on its face or when a trial court lacks jurisdiction
over the cause. Philyaw v. Kelley, 2015 Ark. 465,
477 S.W.3d 503. Under our statute, a petitioner for the writ
who does not allege his actual innocence and proceed under
Act 1780 of 2001 Acts of Arkansas must plead either the
facial invalidity of the judgment or the lack of jurisdiction
by the trial court and make a showing by affidavit or other
evidence of probable cause to believe that he is illegally
detained. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-112-103(a)(1) (Repl.
2016). Unless the petitioner in proceedings for a writ of
habeas corpus can show that the trial court lacked
jurisdiction or that the commitment was invalid on its face,
there is no basis for a finding that a writ of habeas corpus
should issue. Fields v. Hobbs, 2013 Ark. 416.
arguments in this appeal mirror those in the habeas petition.
He also argues on appeal that the circuit court erred by not
holding a hearing on the petition.
contends that the circuit court should have granted the writ
because he was not properly advised of his rights against
self-incrimination pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona,
384 U.S. 436 (1966), when he was interrogated by the police
concerning the aggravated robbery. He further contends that
the circuit court erred when it did not grant the writ on the
ground that the trial court should have found his pretrial
statement inadmissible under Miranda. Davis urges
this court to reverse the circuit court order because his
claims demonstrated that the judgment in his case was illegal
on its face and the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter
affirm the order because Davis did not state a ground on
which a writ of habeas corpus could be issued. As the
judgment reflects, Davis was convicted of aggravated robbery
and sentenced to an appropriate sentence for the offense.
See Ark. Stat. Ann. §§ 41-901(1)(a);
41-2102(2) (Supp. 1985) (aggravated robbery is a Class Y
felony punishable by ten to 40 years' imprisonment).
Accordingly, the 30-year sentence reflected on the judgment
was within the statutory range and not illegal on its face.
See Smith v. Hobbs, 2013 Ark. 400 (per curiam).
was also no showing by Davis that the trial court was without
jurisdiction in the case. At the time Davis was found guilty
of the aggravated robbery, which was committed in 1987 in
Pulaski County, subject-matter jurisdiction was vested in the
Pulaski County Circuit Court in criminal matters. Ark. Const.
art. 7, § 11 (a circuit court in a county has subject
matter jurisdiction over criminal offenses committed in that
county). Regarding personal jurisdiction, the commission of
the offense by Davis in Pulaski County subjected him to being
charged and prosecuted in that county. See Ark.
Stat. Ann. § 41-103 (Repl. 1977) (providing that a
person can be convicted under the laws of this State and in
its courts if conduct that is an element of the offense
occurs within this State).
grounds for the writ raised by Davis should have been raised
during the trial. The grounds were not jurisdictional;
rather, the allegations were assertions of error that could
have been settled at trial. Even when trial error occurs, it
is well settled that mere trial error does not deprive a
court of jurisdiction. Rayford v. Kelley, 2016 Ark.
462 (per curiam); Tryon v. Hobbs, 2011 Ark. 76 (per
curiam). A habeas proceeding does not afford a prisoner an
opportunity to retry his or her case, and it is not a
substitute for direct appeal. Philyaw, 2015 Ark.
465, 477 S.W.3d 503. Davis's arguments concerning whether
he was properly advised under Miranda did not
implicate the jurisdiction of the trial court or the facial
validity of the judgment. See Grissom v. Hobbs, 2015
Ark. 449, 476 S.W.3d 160 (per curiam), cert. denied,
Grissom v. Kelley, 137 S.Ct. 187 (2016); see
also Gardner v. Hobbs, 2015 Ark. 410 (per curiam) (The
petitioner's contentions that a violation of his pretrial
right to counsel or that his pretrial statements were somehow
coerced are not cognizable as a claim for relief in a habeas
respect to the circuit court's decision to deny the
petition for writ of habeas corpus without a hearing, we have
held that a hearing on a petition for writ of habeas corpus
is not required if the petition does not allege either of the
bases for relief proper in a habeas proceeding; and, even if
a cognizable claim is made, the writ will not be issued
unless probable cause is shown for the writ to be issued.
Philyaw, 2015 Ark. 465, at 4, 477 S.W.3d 503, 506.
If a petitioner in a habeas proceeding fails to raise a claim
within the purview of a habeas action, the petitioner fails
to meet his burden of demonstrating a basis for the writ to
issue. Allen v. Kelley, 2016 Ark. 70, 482 S.W.3d 719