Submitted: November 8, 2019
Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief GRANTED
Natalie S. Woloshin, Esquire, Woloshin, Lynch &
Associates, P.A., 3200 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803;
Attorney for Defendant.
Kathryn J. Garrison, Esquire, Department of Justice, 114 East
Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947; Attorney for the State
A KARSNITZ, J.
"...we must never forget that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words, but to live by them."
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy wrote what I have quoted for a speech to be given at
Thanksgiving in 1963. He never delivered the speech. In my
far less articulate words, one should judge people for what
they do and not what they say.
a Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61")
application for postconviction relief. The petitioner,
Quentin Jones, ("Q. Jones") was convicted of serious
crimes, including two counts of rape in the first degree
involving a child less than 12 years old. Trial was held in
February, 2016 and Dwayne Jones ("D, Jones"), a
prison informant, was an important witness presented by the
State of Delaware ("the State"). Q. Jones was
sentenced to life in prison in April of 2016.
time of Q. Jones' trial, D. Jones was in prison serving a
three year sentence pursuant to 11 Del. C.
§4204K ("K time") after pleading guilty in the
summer of 2015 to three charges, which included two Class A
misdemeanors and one Class F felony. D. Jones apparently was
surprised by the amount of Level 5 time to which he was
sentenced, as well as the "K time" requirement.
Shortly after being sentenced, D. Jones began a persistent
campaign to have his Level 5 time reduced. His efforts proved
fruitless until he decided to provide testimony which helped
convict Q. Jones. Within six months of Q. Jones'
sentencing, D. Jones had his sentence substantially modified
in his favor.
Jones' trial, D. Jones was questioned if he had an
agreement with the State to receive any benefit for his
testimony. He denied any agreement.
parties have conceded that, if D. Jones had an agreement with
the State, it would constitute Brady material and
would have to be disclosed to Q. Jones and his defense team.
The obvious reason is that an agreement between the State and
D. Jones in exchange for his testimony would be grounds to
impeach D. Jones. To put it simply, the defense for Q. Jones
could assert that D. Jones' testimony was the result of
the promises made to him, and not the truth.
proceedings always are serious and important. They are
defendant's last chance. The road to success in a Rule 61
proceeding is difficult, as it should be. Jury verdicts are
sacrosanct and are disturbed only for the most substantial
and serious reason. But where the trial lacks fundamental
fairness, and where the basic rights and rules are not
followed, a jury verdict cannot stand. In my opinion, this is
one of those cases.
as the State argues otherwise, I find that the State had an
understanding with D. Jones that it would give its approval
to D. Jones' effort to reduce his sentence in exchange
for his testimony. Under the most basic requirements of
Brady, that had to be disclosed to Q. Jones'
defense team. Because it was not disclosed, Q. Jones'
trial was fundamentally unfair, and I am granting his motion.
action here is with reluctance, and I recognize the
consequences to all, including the witness, and especially,
the victim. Our process must be fair and meet established
standards, which cannot be compromised to allow the State the
benefit of an unsullied witness, while at the same time
giving D. Jones the benefit of an unstated or implied
JONES' INITIAL RULE 61 PETITION
State concedes that Q. Jones' petition was timely filed
under Rule 61. Q. Jones, representing himself, filed the
initial Rule 61 petition. Q. Jones raised six grounds in
support of his claim for Rule 61 relief, which alleged
deficiencies in trial counsel's performance. I give
little attention to each of those grounds as none meet the
Stricklandstandard. Strickland, and its
Delaware counterpart, Albury v. Staterequire
counsel's performance to fall below an objective standard
of reasonableness, and the moving party also must show there
is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
different. I have examined the record and the arguments of Q.
Jones and counsel and find that neither prong of
Strickland has been met. I reject all of the claims
contained in the initial, pro se petition related to
Q. Jones made four claims related to the State's conduct
in his trial. In his pro se Motion for
Postconviction Relief, Jones claims: (1) the prosecution
violated his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights and 11 Del.
C. §3507 by asking the victim leading questions
without laying the proper foundation; (2) the trial judge
erred in failing to voir dire juror 12, who had
taken part in a Zumba class with the State's liaison; (3)
he was prejudiced by Detective Jeremy Jones' testimony
that he investigates crimes and "rapes such as
this;" and (4) the trial judge failed to instruct the
jury that informants are not presumed to be credible
State raises the procedural bars provided in Rule 6l(1)(3)
and (4) in response to these claims. All of the claims raised
in this portion of Q. Jones' petition were claims either
raised at trial and rejected, or waived. I agree with the
State's position that the four claims listed are barred
by Rule 6l(i)(3) and 6l(i)(4).
AMENDED RULE 61 PETITION
Q. Jones filed his petition, counsel was appointed to review
and supplement it. Counsel filed an Amended Motion for
Postconviction Relief which raised one issue. In the amended
motion, Q. Jones asserted his constitutional rights were
violated because the State committed a
Brady violation by failing to disclose what he
called a "tacit agreement" between the State and D.
Jones in exchange for his testimony.
State also raises the provisions of Rule 6l(i)(3) as a bar to
this claim. Rule 6l(i)(3) reads in full:
(3) Procedural default. Any ground for relief that was
not asserted in the proceedings leading to the judgment of
conviction, as required by the rules of this Court, is