Steven L. MCARTHUR, Appellant
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee
Rehearing Denied August 1, 2019
APPEAL FROM THE LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT; PRO SE MOTION FOR
DEFAULT JUDGMENT [NO. 39CV-18-14], HONORABLE CHALK S.
L. McArthur, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Asst Atty Gen., for
R. BAKER, Associate Justice
Appellant Steven L. McArthur brings this appeal from the
denial of his pro se petition for writ of habeas
pending is McArthurs motion for default judgment. In 1991 a
jury found McArthur guilty of capital murder in the death of
Rodney Spence. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without
parole. We affirmed. McArthur v. State, 309 Ark.
196, 830 S.W.2d 842 (1992).
2018, McArthur filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas
corpus in the county where he is incarcerated and raised the
following grounds for relief: (1) that new evidence has
emerged consisting of affidavits executed by his accomplice,
Donald Hawley, and two alleged witnesses to the crime; (2)
that based on the information set forth in these affidavits,
McArthur is actually innocent of capital murder; (3) that
material evidence was withheld at his trial in violation of
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10
L.Ed.2d 215 (1963); (4) that the sheriff conspired to submit
false testimony and evidence; (5) that the prosecutor was
guilty of misconduct for presenting false testimony at
McArthurs trial; (6) that the trial court committed judicial
misconduct by allowing the prosecutor to present false
testimony; (7) that his trial counsel was ineffective; (8)
that the trial court lacked jurisdiction due to a violation
of his right to speedy trial and that the judgment of
conviction for capital murder is illegal on its face because
it does not include a conviction for the underlying felony of
aggravated robbery; (9) that the State failed to appoint a
second attorney in McArthurs capital-murder case; (10) that
the prosecutor waived the death penalty without McArthurs
permission; (11) that McArthur was not provided with access
to a law library while he was in custody awaiting
circuit court found that the habeas petition was untimely and
without merit. On appeal, McArthur essentially reasserts the
same grounds for relief that he raised below and which are
set forth above, with the exception of his claims based on
ineffective assistance of counsel, failure to appoint a
second attorney, and waiver of the death penalty. Claims that
are raised below but have not been reasserted on appeal are
considered abandoned. Ratliff v. Kelley, 2018 Ark.
105, 541 S.W.3d 408.
circuit courts decision on a petition for writ of habeas
corpus will be upheld unless it is clearly erroneous.
Garrison v. Kelley, 2018 Ark. 8, 534 S.W.3d 136. 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. This
court may affirm a circuit court when it has reached the
right decision, albeit for the wrong reason, so long as the
issue was raised and a record was developed below. Ark.
State Bd. of Election Commrs v. Pulaski Cty. Election
Commn, 2014 Ark. 236, 437 S.W.3d 80. Because the
circuit court did not clearly err when it found that
McArthurs petition for a writ of habeas corpus was without
merit, we affirm. Accordingly, McArthurs motion for default
judgment is denied.
petitioner for a writ of habeas corpus who does not allege
his or her actual innocence and proceed under Act 1780 of
2001 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 or she is being illegally detained.
Garrison, 2018 Ark. 8, 534 S.W.3d 136. A writ of
habeas corpus is proper when a judgment of conviction is
invalid on its face or when a circuit court lacks
jurisdiction over the cause. Philyaw v. Kelley, 2015
Ark. 465, 477 S.W.3d 503. Jurisdiction is the power of the
court to hear and determine the subject matter in
controversy. Baker v. Norris,369 Ark. 405, 255
S.W.3d 466 (2007). If a petitioner for habeas relief fails ...