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State v. Dickson

Superior Court of Delaware

September 24, 2019

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
LUTHER DICKSON, Defendant.

          Submitted: July 27, 2019

          Susan Purcell, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          Patrick J. Collins, Esquire, Attorney for Defendant Luther Dickson.

          COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE DENIED AND RULE 61 COUNSEL'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW SHOULD BE GRANTED.

          Lynn M. Parker, Commissioner

         This 24th day of September, 2019, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court as follows:

         BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In 1993, Defendant Luther Dickson was indicted on the charges of Burglary First Degree, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse First Degree, Unlawful Sexual Penetration Third Degree and Kidnapping First Degree. He was reindicted on these same charges and two additional charges of Robbery First Degree and Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Third Degree.

         The charges arose out of an incident that occurred on the night of March 6-7, 1993 in which Dickson forced his way into an elderly woman's home, sexually assaulted her, stole her money, and tore her telephone lines from the wall so she would be unable to call for help.

         The first jury trial in this case began on September 13, 1993. At the first trial, Federal Agent Michael Malone, a supervisor of the hair and fiber analysis section of the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia submitted a report and testified as to microscopic hair comparison evidence (MHC evidence). At the conclusion of the first trial, the jury found Dickson guilty of Unlawful Sexual Penetration Third Degree, Unlawful Imprisonment Second Degree (a lesser-included offense of Kidnapping), and Robbery First Degree. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the Unlawful Sexual Intercourse First Degree and Burglary First Degree charges and a mistrial was declared as to those counts.

         The second jury trial in this case was conducted on December 12-16, 1993. The State decided not to use the MHC evidence in the second trial. The State did not call Agent Malone as a witness. At the second trial, the State presented all the same evidence as it did at the first trial with the exception of the MHC evidence.

         The MHC evidence was not mentioned to the jury in any fashion during the second trial.

         On December 16, 1993, a second jury found Dickson guilty of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse in the First Degree and the lesser-included offense Burglary in the Second Degree.

         On February 4, 1994, Dickson was sentenced. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the Unlawful Sexual Intercourse First Degree conviction. He was sentenced to an additional ten years of ...


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