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Breeden v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

November 7, 2019

Jackie BREEDEN, Jr., Petitioner
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Respondent

Page 213

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 214

          PRO SE PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS [BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO. 04CR-10-1326]

          Jackie Breeden, Jr., pro se appellant.

         Leslie Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellee.

         OPINION

         JOHN DAN KEMP, Chief Justice

          Petitioner Jackie Breeden, Jr., brings this pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to allow him to file a petition for writ of error coram nobis in his criminal case. In the petition, Breeden contends that the State withheld material evidence from the defense by not complying with pretrial discovery. Withholding evidence from the defense can constitute a violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), which is a ground for coram nobis relief, but Breeden’s claim falls short of establishing that there was a Brady violation in his case. Accordingly, the petition is denied.

          I. Nature of the Writ

          The 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 v. State, 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. Green v. State, 2016 Ark. 386, 502 S.W.3d 524. The 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, 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.

          II. Grounds for the Writ

          The 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 for addressing 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.

Page 215

Howard v. State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38. ...


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