Submitted: June 22, 2018
R. WALLACE, JUDGE.
Defendant Robert Alley's Request for a Certificate of
Eligibility to File Under 11 Del. C. § 4214(f) and Del.
Super. Ct. Spec. R. 2017-1(d),
16th day of October, 2018, upon consideration of
the Defendant Robert Alley's Request for a Certificate of
Eligibility (D.I. 146), the Attorney General's response
thereto (D.I. 147), the parties' supplemental submissions
(D.I. 148, 150, 155, 156, and 157), and the record in this
matter, it appears to the Court that:
Factual and Procedural Background
March 4, 2013, a New Castle County grand jury indicted Alley
for two counts of Robbery in the First Degree, and one count
of Wearing a Disguise During the Commission of a Felony.
These multiple offenses arose from two separate robberies
that Alley committed on December 30, 2012. Close to 3:00 a.m.
that morning, Alley walked up to a Wawa store clerk,
threatened he had a gun, and told the young man to give him
money. Alley then went behind the sales counter and took more
than $200 from the cash register. As he left, Alley ordered
the clerk not to follow-if he did, Alley said, Alley would
shoot him dead. Shortly after 7:00 p.m. that same day, Alley
entered a Hibachi Express Japanese Restaurant with a hood
pulled over his head, a black cloth covering the lower part
of his face, and his hand in his pocket intimating to the
hostess that he had a gun. Again, he went behind the sales
counter. Again, he took about $200 from the restaurant's
register. And again, he threatened the accosted employee that
she would be shot. 
the time he committed these robberies, Alley had at least
three prior violent felony convictions and was, therefore, a
habitual criminal offender. 
August 28, 2014, Alley pleaded guilty to a single count of
Robbery in the Second Degree (as a lesser-included offense).
did so in exchange for dismissal of the remaining charges and
the State's favorable sentencing recommendation (a cap
often years imprisonment).  His sentencing occurred a few
months later, on December 19, 2014, after a pre-sentence
investigative report was prepared and the State had filed a
habitual criminal petition on the robbery.  For that second
degree robbery conviction, Alley was sentenced to eight and
one-half years of imprisonment be served under the provisions
of the then-extant Habitual Criminal Act. Alley's
sentencing order notes that his habitual criminal sentence
was effective on December 19, 2014, with 726 days credit for
time previously served. 
Alley has requested a certificate of eligibility to file a
petition seeking exercise of the Court's jurisdiction to
modify his sentence under 11 Del. C. § 4214(f).
Attorney General responded.  And the Court has since
received and reviewed the parties' supplemental filings
to determine Alley's eligibility to seek § 4214(f)
relief. The Court has carefully considered the parties'
positions as to whether Alley can be granted a certificate of
eligibility. He cannot.
Alley Does Not Meet § 42l4(f)'s Type-of-Sentence
first eligibility requirement an inmate must meet to gain
sentence relief under 11 Del. C. § 4214(f) is
the type-of sentence requirement.  Alley does not meet this
requirement because his eight and one-half year incarcerative
term was imposed solely within his sentencing judge's
When Alley was sentenced for second degree robbery as a
habitual offender, § 4214(a) provided a habitual
offender could receive a sentence of up to life imprisonment
and would "receive a minimum sentence which shall not be
less than the statutory maximum penalty provided elsewhere in
this Title for the fourth or subsequent felony which forms
the basis of the State's petition to have the person
declared to be an habitual criminal except that this minimum
provision shall apply only when the fourth or subsequent
felony is a Title 11 violent felony, as defined in §
4201(c) of this title."  The statutory maximum penalty
for second degree robbery, the violent felony  that formed
the basis of the State's petition to declare Alley a
habitual offender, was five years at Level V incarceration.
So Alley faced a sentence ranging between anywhere from five
years to life imprisonment. Because the sentencing judge
exercised her discretion under § 4214(a) to sentence
Alley to eight and one-half years of imprisonment instead ...