PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO
CONSIDER A PETITION UNDER CRIMINAL PROCEDURE RULE 37.1
[PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST DIVISION, NO.
G. Hallman, pro se petitioner.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Asst Atty Gen., for
RAE HUDSON, Associate Justice
Petitioner Marlon Glenn Hallman asks this court for
permission to proceed in the trial court with a petition
under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (Repl. 1977)
in which he would challenge a 1978 judgment that reflects his
sentence of life imprisonment without parole for capital
murder and twenty years for kidnapping. He fails to set out a
meritorious basis for relief under the Rule, and we therefore
deny the petition.
and his codefendant, Tywanna Faye Martin, were both convicted
on the same charges in the matter and received the same
sentences. The two defendants filed a joint appeal, and this
court affirmed the judgment. Hallman v. State, 264
Ark. 900, 575 S.W.2d 688 (1979). In a previous petition that
Hallman filed in this court, one in which he sought
permission to pursue a petition for writ of error coram
nobis, he questioned the legality of the kidnapping sentence.
In that decision, we set aside the kidnapping conviction as
void. Hallman v. State, 2018 Ark. 336, 561 S.W.3d
Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that petitioners with
judgments entered before July 1, 1989, that have been
affirmed on appeal, must obtain leave from this court before
filing a postconviction petition in the trial
court. Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.2(a) (1987);
see also Munnerlyn v. State, 2018 Ark. 161,
545 S.W.3d 207. A petition filed under the Rule is untimely
if not filed within three years of the date of commitment
unless the petitioner states some ground for relief that, if
found meritorious, would render the judgment of conviction
absolutely void. Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.2(c) (adopted December
18, 1978, by In re Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 37.2
Commencement of Proceedings ; Pleadings ;
Permission of Supreme Court Following Appeal, 264
Ark. 967 (1978) (per curiam)).
ground sufficient to void a conviction must be one so basic
that the judgment is a complete nullity, such as a judgment
obtained in a court without jurisdiction to try the accused
or a judgment that imposes an illegal sentence when obtained
in violation of the provisions against double jeopardy.
See Travis v. State, 286 Ark. 26, 688
S.W.2d 935 (1985). Issues not sufficient to void the
conviction are waived even though they are of constitutional
dimension. Id. The burden is on the petitioner to
demonstrate that the judgment entered was a nullity.
Id. The presumption that a criminal judgment is
final is at its strongest in collateral attacks on the
Hallman alleges seven bases for grounds for Rule 37 relief,
all framed as claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Four of Hallmans listed bases for postconviction relief
concern the separate charge of kidnapping that this court
previously declared void, in that Hallman alleges counsel
failed to object to the separate charge of kidnapping, the
jury instructions for a conviction on it, his sentencing, and
the trial courts lack of jurisdiction in that regard. While
those claims incorporate a challenge to the separate
kidnapping sentence alleging that the separate kidnapping
conviction is void, Hallman has already received his relief
for the illegal sentence. See Hallman, 2018
Ark. 336, 561 S.W.3d 305. Those issues are moot.
Hallman proposes three additional bases for relief related to
his murder conviction. He alleges that counsel was
ineffective for failing to investigate a defense that
challenged the kidnapping charge as the underlying foundation
for the capital murder charge; for failing to obtain a
statement from the victims brother, Raymond Polk, who
provided an affidavit that Hallman attached to his Rule 37
petition; and for failing to object to the judgment not being
signed by the judge.
claim of ineffective assistance of counsel alone is not a
claim sufficient to void the judgment. SeeTravis, 286 Ark. 26, 688 S.W.2d 935. The prejudice
required to support such claims need not rise to the level of
voiding the judgment. SeeMaiden v. State,2019 Ark. 198, 575 S.W.3d 120 (recognizing that the standard
for ineffective-assistance claims requires a showing that the
petitioner was deprived of a fair trial). Hallmans claims
that counsel failed to investigate or obtain a statement from
Polk would not void the judgment, and the appropriate remedy
for the type of error that Hallman alleges in those two
claims is a new trial.SeeState v.
Harrison,2012 Ark. 198, ...