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State v. Walls

Superior Court of Delaware

September 12, 2019

State
v.
Joseph M. Walls;

          Date Submitted: June 4, 2019

         Motion to Declare Delaware's Sentencing Structure in Violation of the Eight Amendment of the United States Constitution in that it Creates Disproportionate Sentencing for Defendants who are Similarly Suited Because of Age and Status and Time of Sentencing: DENIED

         Dear Mr. Walls:

         The Court is in receipt of your "Motion to Declare Delaware's Sentencing Structure in Violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution in that it Creates Disproportionate Sentencing for Defendants who are Similarly Suited Because of Age and Status and Time of Sentencing."[1]

         In your Motion, you allege that your "Eighth Amendment Rights to equal treatment under the law" have been violated because you are not eligible for review or modification of your criminal sentences under 11 Del. C. § 4204A or 11 Del. C. § 4214. Based on this alleged constitutional violation, you conclude that Delaware's "sentencing statute . . . must be vacated" and all defendants must be allowed "to have reviews after an established amount of years equal to § 4204A." Your Motion does not identify a specific procedural mechanism through which the Court may consider your claims.[2]

         To the extent that you are seeking relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 35(a) because you believe your sentence is illegal, [3] your arguments are without merit. Respectively, 11 Del. C. § 4204A and 11 Del. C. § 4214(f) permit juveniles and habitual offenders who otherwise qualify for relief under the specific terms of those statutory provisions to petition the Court for a review of sentence. The fact that you are not eligible for relief under these provisions neither substantiates a violation of your equal protection rights[4] nor establishes that your sentences were imposed illegally.[5]

         To the extent that you are seeking relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61, your claims are procedurally barred. Pursuant to Rule 61(d)(2) a second or subsequent Rule 61 motion shall be summarily dismissed unless the movant either (i) "pleads with particularity new evidence exists that creates a strong inference that the movant is actually innocent in fact" or (ii) "pleads with particularity a claim that a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the United States Supreme Court or the Delaware Supreme Court, applies to the movant's case." This is not your first Rule 61 motion.[6] You do not allege that there is new evidence of actual innocence in your case that satisfies Rule 61(d)(2)(i), and your constitutional arguments do not cite a new, retroactive rule of constitutional law that satisfies Rule 61(d)(2)(ii). Therefore, your Motion is procedurally barred under Rule 61(d)(2).

         For the foregoing reasons, your Motion is DENIED.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

         Very truly yours,

          JAN R. JURDEN PRESIDENT JUDGE

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Notes:

[1] D.I. 194.


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