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Hall v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

January 2, 2014

GIBSON A. HALL, Defendant Below-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below-Appellee.

Submitted: November 8, 2013

Court Below─Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County Cr. ID No. 88004243DI

HOLLAND, BERGER and JACOBS, Justices

ORDER

CAROLYN BERGER JUSTICE

This 2nd day of January 2014, upon consideration of the briefs of the parties and the record below, it appears to the Court that:

(1) The defendant-appellant, Gibson A. Hall, filed three appeals, now consolidated, [1] from the Superior Court's June 13, 2013 order denying his third motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61, its July 10, 2013 supplemental order denying his motion for postconviction relief and its July 16, 2013 order denying his motion to alter or amend judgment. We find no merit to the appeal. Accordingly, we affirm.

(2) The record reflects that, in November 1979, Hall was found guilty by a Superior Court jury of Murder in the First Degree and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In January 1980, Hall, through counsel, moved for a new trial. Following a hearing, the Superior Court denied the motion. Represented by new counsel, Hall filed a direct appeal. This Court affirmed Hall's convictions.[2] Hall subsequently filed two motions for postconviction relief.[3] This Court affirmed the Superior Court's denial of both of those motions.[4]

(3) In his appeal from the Superior Court's denial of his third postconviction motion and its denial of his motion to alter or amend judgment, Hall claims that a) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to challenge a biased juror, failing to call a ballistics expert, failing to present the 911 tapes to the jury, abandoning a motion to suppress and failing to inform him of a plea offer by the State; and b) the Superior Court erred by denying his request for the appointment of counsel in connection with his postconviction proceedings. Hall further claims that his arguments should have been considered by the Superior Court on their merits because he was not represented by counsel on his first postconviction motion.

(4) On a motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Rule 61, Delaware law mandates that the Superior Court first determine whether a defendant has met the procedural requirements of Rule 61 before considering the merits of his claims.[5] In this case, we find no error or abuse of discretion on the part of the Superior Court in determining that Hall had failed to meet the procedural requirements of Rule 61 and in dismissing his claims on that ground.[6] Moreover, the Superior Court correctly determined that there was no basis "in the interest of justice" to reconsider Hall's formerly adjudicated claims[7] and no "colorable claim of a miscarriage of justice" that would require the Superior Court to consider the merits of his claims.[8] Finally, we can discern no basis, either legal or factual, upon which Hall would be entitled to the appointment of counsel in connection with his first motion for postconviction relief.[9]

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.


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