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State v. Carter

Superior Court of Delaware

February 2, 2018

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
JERMAINE L. CARTER, Defendant.

          Submitted: January 18, 2018

         COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT ALL PENDING MOTIONS FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE SUMMARILY DISMISSED

          Gregory E. Smith, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          Jermaine L. Carter, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware, pro se.

          PARKER, COMMISSIONER

         This 2nd day of February 2018, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:

         BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         1. In December 2008, Defendant Jermaine Carter was indicted on numerous counts of first degree rape, second degree kidnapping, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony ("PFDCF"), possession of a firearm by a person prohibited ("PFBPP") and first degree robbery.

         2. On December 18, 2009, Carter pled guilty to first degree rape, second degree rape, first degree robbery, PFDCF, and two counts of second degree kidnapping. The robberies, rapes, and other criminal conduct giving rise to the subject convictions are detailed in the Superior Court's decision on Carter's first Rule 61 motion.[1]

         3. On June 4, 2010, after reviewing the mental health evaluations submitted by the parties and conducting a colloquy, the Superior Court adjudged Carter guilty but mentally ill, and sentenced him to life imprisonment plus an additional forty-five years.[2]

         4. Carter did not file a direct appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.

         5. On October 18, 2013, Carter filed a pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief. Thereafter, the court appointed counsel to represent Carter in his postconviction proceedings. Rule 61 counsel filed a motion to withdraw as counsel, the State filed a response to Carter's Rule 61 motion, and the Superior Court considered briefing to be complete and was ready to render a decision on Carter's motion.[3]

         6. Before Carter's first Rule 61 motion was decided, on September 21, 2015, Carter filed a second pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief.[4] On October 13, 2015, Carter filed another pro se Motion titled "Amending as a matter of course."[5] Carter also filed a memorandum of law in support of that motion.[6] On November 4, 2015, Carter filed another pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief, titled "Leave to Amend."[7] On November 9, 2015, Carter filed another pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief, titled "Leave to Amend as Justice so Requires."[8] On February 1, 2016, Carter filed another pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief titled "Leave to Amend as Justice so Requires."[9] On March 7, 2016, Carter filed another pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief[10], and another on April 4, 2016[11], and another on August 22, 2016[12], and another on January 23, 2017.[13]

         7. The Superior Court allowed supplemental briefing and afforded the parties an opportunity to address all the claims raised in Carter's Rule 61 motion, as amended on multiple occasions.

         8. On February 3, 2017, the Superior Court in a full and thorough decision denied Carter's motion for postconviction relief and granted Rule 61 counsel's motion to withdraw.[14] The claims raised by Carter included:

1) ineffective assistance of counsel in the handling of the plea offer;
2) ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to file an appeal after sentencing;
3) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to supply Carter with a copy of his Rule 16 discovery prior to presenting the plea offer to him, and prior to sentencing;
4) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to investigate the sufficiency of the evidence; 5) guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered and improper plea colloquy;
6) illegal sentence because the investigative services office failed to obtain a victim impact statement;
7) illegal search and seizure conducted by the police; and 8) State committed prosecutorial misconduct because of a wrongful indictment.[15]

         9. The Superior Court addressed all of these claims raised by Carter on their merits and concluded that the claims raised by Carter were procedurally barred and also without merit.[16]

         10. Following the denial of Carter's Rule 61 motion, the State filed a motion to restrict the discovery to be made available to Carter for his appeal. The Superior Court granted the motion and the restricted discovery required to be disseminated to Carter was thereafter provided.[17] It does not appear, however, ...


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