Submitted: December 20, 2018
Zachary D. Rosen, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General,
Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the
T. Stanford, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution,
Wilmington, Delaware, pro se.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFENDANT'S SECOND MOTION
FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE SUMMARILY DISMISSED AND
MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL SHOULD BE DENIED AND MOTION
FOR TRANSCRIPTS AND MOTION TO COMPEL SHOULD BE
M. PARKER, COMMISSIONER
8th day of March 2019, upon consideration of Defendant's
Second Motion for Postconviction Relief, and related motions,
it appears to the Court that:
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
January 2016, Defendant Shamar T. Stanford was indicted for
Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited
("PFBPP"), Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and
three drug offenses. During pre-trial proceedings,
Stanford's trial counsel filed a motion to suppress,
which was denied on December 2, 2016.
December 12, 2016, Stanford pled guilty to two charges in the
indictment- PFBPP and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Stanford was sentenced to a total of sixteen years of Level V
incarceration, suspended after serving the five-year minimum
mandatory term, followed by probation. In exchange for the
guilty plea, the State agreed to dismiss the other charges in
Stanford did not file a timely direct appeal from the guilty
plea or sentence. In 2018, Stanford filed an untimely notice
to appeal, and after he failed to respond to the notice to
show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed,
Stanford's appeal was dismissed by the Delaware Supreme
Court on May 16, 2018.
Stanford filed a series of letters and motions, including a
motion for postconviction relief, attacking the validity of
his guilty plea and sentence, the effectiveness of his trial
counsel and the Superior Court's denial of his pre-trial
Stanford's first postconviction relief motion was filed
on January 18, 2017, amended on April 6, 2017, and amended
again on May 17, 2017. By Order dated June 7, 2017, the
Superior Court denied Stanford's first postconviction
relief motion, as amended on April 6, 2017. The case was
remanded to the Superior Court by the Delaware Supreme Court
for the Superior Court to address the outstanding claims
raised in Stanford's second amended motion, his May 17,
2017 amended motion for postconviction relief.
Superior Court issued its Supplemental Order on August 28,
2017, addressing Stanford's second amended motion for
postconviction relief filed on May 17, 2017.
his first postconviction relief motion, Stanford sought to
set aside his guilty plea on a number of grounds. Stanford
claimed that the police lacked probable cause to search the
residence in which he was arrested, that the search was
unreasonable in that the officers lacked cause to conduct the
search, that police officers committed perjury, that his
counsel was ineffective at the suppression hearing and during
his guilty plea, that his plea agreement was entered under
duress, and that his sentence was improper.
Superior Court conducted a full, thorough and detailed review
of Stanford's claims, which included an expansion of the
record and Stanford's former trial counsel provided an
affidavit in response to the allegations of ineffectiveness.
Following that careful review, the Superior Court found
Stanford's claims raised in his first Rule 61 motion were
procedurally barred and without merit and denied his motion
for postconviction relief. The Superior Court held that
Stanford's challenges to the guilty plea, sentence, and
pre-trial suppression ruling were procedurally barred and his
challenges to his counsel's effectiveness were without
Order dated May 15, 2018, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed
the decision of the Superior Court finding Stanford's
claims raised in his first motion for postconviction relief,
as amended, to be lacking in merit, procedurally barred and
otherwise properly denied.
Stanford requested the appointment of counsel on his first
Rule 61 motion. That motion was denied by the Superior
Court and that denial was affirmed by the
Delaware Supreme Court on appeal.
Stanford requested the preparation of a transcript of the
December 2, 2016, suppression hearing at the State's
expense. The Superior Court denied the request on February 6,
and denied another request for the preparation of the same
transcript on March 2, 2017. Stanford did not raise the
denial of his transcript requests or argue that the
transcripts were necessary to his postconviction motion on
July 12, 2018, Stanford again filed a motion for transcripts.
This time Stanford sought the transcription of his
suppression hearing of December 2, 2016, and his plea and
sentencing of December 12, 2016. The Superior Court denied
Stanford's request on July 16, 2018.
Stanford filed a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking an
Order directing the Superior Court to prepare transcripts for
him at the State's expense. The Delaware Supreme Court
dismissed Stanford's petition for the issuance of a writ
the sake of completeness, Stanford also filed a motion to
"Appeal Guilty Plea" and a motion for modification
of sentence. These motions were both denied by the Superior
Court on March 27, 2017.
addition, Stanford filed a motion for a second suppression
hearing which was denied by the Superior Court on March 1,
2017. The Superior Court explained that on
December 12, 2016, Stanford entered a guilty plea and was
sentenced. It is well-settled that a knowing and voluntary
guilty plea waives a defendant's right to challenge any
errors occurring before the entry of the plea. By pleading
guilty, Stanford waived his right to further challenge the
legality of the search conducted in his case. His request for
a second suppression hearing was denied.
SECOND RULE 61 MOTION
October 1, 2018, Stanford filed the subject Rule 61 motion.
Stanford also filed a motion for the appointment of counsel,
a motion for transcripts at the State's expense, and a
motion to compel ...