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Alexander v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

May 30, 2019

Charles E. ALEXANDER, Petitioner
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Respondent

Page 402

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 403

          PRO SE PETITION, AMENDED PETITION, AND SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH AMENDED PETITIONS TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS AND AUDITA QUERELA; AND PRO SE MOTION TO SHOW CAUSE [PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH DIVISION, NO. 60CR-97-1450]

          OPINION

         JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, Associate Justice

          Petitioner Charles E. Alexander filed in this court a petition in which he requests that we reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court so that he may file a petition for writ of error coram nobis and audita querela. Alexander also filed four amendments to the petition and a motion in which he requested that the original petition, which Alexander submitted with additional copies, be filed with only one copy of one of the exhibits attached to the original pleading. Because the original petition was filed as Alexander requests, the motion is moot. Because Alexander fails to set out a basis in the original petition or in his amended petitions that would support issuance of the writ, we deny the petition and the amended petitions.

Page 404

          Alexander was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. This court affirmed. Alexander v. State, 335 Ark. 131, 983 S.W.2d 110 (1998). The instant petition is necessary for Alexander to proceed because a 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. Jackson v. State, 2018 Ark. 227, 549 S.W.3d 356.

         With all due respect to Alexander, much of what he has filed in this matter is simply indecipherable. Alexander’s original 149-page, handwritten petition is often confusing, extremely difficult to read, and at times incomprehensible. The bulk of the petition is devoted to exhibits that Alexander intended to support his claims for relief, although the relevance of those exhibits, much of which relate to prison grievances Alexander has filed since he was incarcerated, is oftentimes unclear. Alexander lists his grounds for issuance of the writ, asserting (1) that a violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), resulted from the prosecutor’s withholding information about confessions or statements that someone else had committed the murder; (2) that the trial court erred in not trying Alexander jointly with a codefendant; (3) that there were defects in the criminal information, warrant, or detainer; and (4) that a miscarriage of justice has resulted because he is actually innocent. In another portion of the petition, Alexander lists eleven additional items that he contends were "exculpatory (evidence) withheld by the prosecutor at trial." Interwoven with these claims are less-clear references to complaints involving Alexander’s request that he be paroled, a masonic affiliation, his representation in separate proceedings for relief before the United States Supreme Court, and grievances about the confiscation of documents by the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC).

          Although the 173-page first amended petition that Alexander filed is also often illegible, it appears to readopt all claims from the original petition. It is far less clear what new claims, if any, Alexander asserts, although ineffective assistance of counsel and diplomatic immunity are referenced. In the first amended petition, Alexander asserts that the "record" in the matter needs to be supplemented with newly discovered evidence, which he appears to contend would be available in proceedings in the trial court, and that this court should permit that court to have a hearing and make findings of fact. Alexander also appears to assert that this court must review the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the judgment of conviction in these proceedings.

          Alexander’s 274-page second amendment, 9-page third amendment, and 2-page fourth amendment, which appears to have been intended to clarify the second amendment, are again extremely difficult to decipher, and aside from the titles of the documents, none bears a clear relationship to the original error coram nobis petition. Instead, the second amendment appears to reference unrelated federal proceedings and civil complaints about the conditions of Alexander’s incarceration and transfer to another facility. He requests a change of venue to Washington, D.C., calls for the governor to convene a special session on juvenile-sentencing guidelines, references various current and former state and federal judges and officials with no clear connection to the matter, and seeks permission for a secret masonic wedding with a state senator. As in his previous petitions, he describes what he portrays as a masonic ritual with hand gestures accompanied by a distress signal in Morse code, which is

Page 405

signaled through a blinking eye, in a ceremony that he believes should serve to rebuke Satan and cause this court to grant him relief.

          Alexander’s third and fourth amendments are also extremely difficult to understand. Although parts are legible, the third amendment demonstrates no relationship to the coram nobis proceedings. There is a request for transfer to a different ADC facility, vague complaints about the handling of mail and documents, unclear references to an act of congress, bankruptcy, and a civil case, along with the same consistent reference to the blinking-eye signal. There is nothing that would appear to further Alexander’s previous claims or add new ones. The fourth amendment is almost entirely, aside from the cover page identifying its purpose, unintelligible. It again references federal ...


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