Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Petitions for Writ of Certiorari Seeking Review of Denials of Applications For Postconviction Relief

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

November 19, 2019

In re Petitions for Writ of Certiorari Seeking Review of Denials of Applications for Postconviction Relief.

          Providence County Superior Court Kristin E. Rodgers Associate Justice

          For Petitioners: Glen S. Sparr, Esq. Michael S. Pezzullo, Esq. Kenneth G. Littman, Esq.

          For State: Christopher R. Bush Assistant Attorney General Judy Davis Special Assistant Attorney General

          Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.

          ORDER

         This Court has received more than forty nearly identical petitions for writ of certiorari filed by individuals incarcerated at the Adult Correctional Institutions.[1] All seek review of the Superior Court's denial of the respective petitioner's postconviction-relief (PCR) application.[2] The only variation in the PCR applications, and the resulting petitions for writ of certiorari, are the factual underpinnings and the statute(s) at issue. The arguments set forth are identical; none has merit.

         Each petitioner argues that the statute criminalizing his conduct is unconstitutional because the penalty for committing the offense is not contained in the statute criminalizing the conduct. The petitioners challenge their convictions under a total of six statutes, all of which follow the same format. The statutes are (1) G.L. 1956 § 11-23-1 (Murder); (2) G.L. 1956 § 11-37-2 (First degree sexual assault); (3) G.L. 1956 § 11-37-4 (Second degree sexual assault); (4) G.L. 1956 § 11-37-6 (Third degree sexual assault); (5) G.L. 1956 § 11-37-8.1 (First degree child molestation sexual assault); and (6) G.L. 1956 § 11-37-8.3 (Second degree child molestation sexual assault).[3]

         With respect to each of these statutes, the prohibited conduct is set forth in one section of the chapter, and the penalty is set forth in the subsequent one. See, e.g., § 11-37-8.1 ("A person is guilty of first degree child molestation sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual penetration with a person fourteen (14) years of age or under."); § 11-37-8.2 ("Every person who shall commit first degree child molestation sexual assault shall be imprisoned for a period of not less than twenty-five (25) years and may be imprisoned for life.").

         In the PCR applications, petitioners relied on jurisprudence both from this Court and others, including State v. Maxie, 187 A.3d 330 (R.I. 2018) and State v. Footman, 196 A.3d 758 (R.I. 2018). We deem the cases relied on by petitioners to be distinguishable. In Maxie, and then in Footman, this Court concluded that G.L. 1956 § 11-67-6, which was entitled "Sex trafficking of a minor" and has since been repealed, was flawed in that it failed to state a crime.[4] Footman, 196 A.3d at 763; Maxie, 187 A.3d at 341. This Court concluded that § 11-67-6 was "afflicted with an obvious drafting error[, ]" which was referred to by the parties as the "hanging or," and that "no amount of statutory construction * * * [could] fill the gap or repair the flaw created by the absence of language setting forth a crime[.]" Maxie, 187 A.3d at 340, 341.

         That is not the situation presented in the statutes at issue. The subject statutes do not contain any such drafting errors. Rather, each is part of a clear statutory scheme in which the prohibited conduct is plainly laid out in one section of a chapter in our general laws, and the penalty is set forth in the subsequent section. We reject petitioners' arguments that this arrangement somehow renders the statutes without legal force and effect. None of the other cases cited by petitioners, which are largely from other jurisdictions, convince us otherwise. For the reasons specified herein, and for the reasons set forth in the Superior Court's well-reasoned denials of the PCR applications, we deny all of the petitions for writ of certiorari.

         The petitions for writ of certiorari listed in Exhibit A, as prayed, are denied.

         The petitioners' motions for appointment of counsel, as prayed, are denied as moot.[5]

         The petitioners' motions to proceed in forma pauperis, as prayed, are granted.

         Exhibit A

1

SU-2019-250-MP

Joseph Wilson v. State of Rhode Island

2

SU-2019-251-MP

Lance Mosley v. State of Rhode Island

3

SU-2019-252-MP

Freedom Thibodeau v. State of Rhode Island

4

SU-2019-253-MP

Clinton Mulbah v. State of Rhode Island

5

SU-2019-254-MP

Muhammad Farooq v. State of Rhode Island

6

SU-2019-255-MP

John Depina v. State of Rhode Island

7

SU-2019-256-MP

Santo Jensen v. State of Rhode Island

8

SU-2019-257-MP

Peter Cole v. State of Rhode Island

9

SU-2019-258-MP

Walter Perry v. State of Rhode Island

10

SU-2019-259-MP

Aloysius Weah v. State of Rhode Island

11

SU-2019-260-MP

Carlos Guzman v. State of Rhode Island

12

SU-2019-261-MP

Dante Dutra v. State of Rhode Island

13

SU-2019-262-MP

James Paola v. State of Rhode Island

14

SU-2019-263-MP

Stephen Mattatall v. State of Rhode Island

15

SU-2019-265-MP

Oscar Muralles v. State of Rhode Island

16

SU-2019-266-MP

Juan Silva v. State of Rhode Island

17

SU-2019-267-MP

Bruce McKay v. State of Rhode Island

18

SU-2019-269-MP

Michael Powell v. State of Rhode Island

19

SU-2019-270-MP

Anibal Acevedo v. State of Rhode Island

20

SU-2019-271-MP

Gary Abruzzese v. State of Rhode Island

21

SU-2019-277-MP

Anthony Deciantis v. State of Rhode Island

22

SU-2019-278-MP

Fredwin Burgos v. State of Rhode Island

23

SU-2019-279-MP

Samuel Fuentes v. State of Rhode Island

24

SU-2019-280-MP

Kirk Demers v. State of Rhode Island

25

SU-2019-282-MP

Javier Merida v. State of Rhode Island

26

SU-2019-283-MP

Leo Morris, Jr. v. State of Rhode Island

27

SU-2019-284-MP

Amilio Feliciano v. State of Rhode Island

28

SU-2019-285-MP

James Hernandez v. State of Rhode Island

29

SU-2019-289-MP

Edilsar Alvarado v. State of Rhode Island

30

SU-2019-290-MP

Jaimeson Rushlow v. State of Rhode Island

31

SU-2019-291-MP

Edward Berrios v. State of Rhode Island

32

SU-2019-292-MP

Jeffrey Murray v. State of Rhode Island

33

SU-2019-295-MP

Jayson Esposito v. State of Rhode Island

34

SU-2019-310-MP

David Carpenter v. State of Rhode Island

35

SU-2019-311-MP

Marco Ortiz, Sr. v. State of Rhode Island

36

SU-2019-312-MP

Robert Gonder v. State of Rhode Island

37

SU-2019-327-MP

Christian Buchanan v. State of Rhode Island

38

SU-2019-377-MP

Nicholas Caterino v. State of Rhode Island

39

SU-2019-378-MP

Demetrio Aguilar v. State of Rhode Island

40

SU-2019-382-MP

Raymond Lynch v. State of Rhode Island

41

SU-2019-383-MP

Miguel Panadero v. State of Rhode Island


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.