Hill v. State

Annotate this Case
Darrel HILL v. STATE of Arkansas

CR 96-33                                           ___ S.W.2d ___

                    Supreme Court of Arkansas
                Opinion delivered March 18, 1996


1.   Criminal procedure -- death penalty -- motion to limit appeal
     -- remanded for findings by trial court. -- Where appellant,
     who had been convicted of capital-felony murder and attempted
     capital murder and, after his original death sentence had been
     vacated, was again sentenced to death upon retrial, filed a
     pro se "Motion to Stop Appeal Process," and where counsel for
     appellant filed a motion requesting that a mental evaluation
     be ordered to determine whether he is capable of making a
     voluntary and knowing waiver of his right to appeal, the
     supreme court remanded the matter for findings by the trial
     court on whether appellant had been advised by counsel with
     respect to abandoning his appeal and whether appellant will
     submit himself to a judicial review to be held in the trial
     court to consider whether he fully appreciates his position
     and can make a rational choice with respect to pursuing or
     abandoning issues on appeal concerning the sentence of death.

2.   Criminal procedure -- death penalty -- when abandonment of
     appeal of death sentence permitted. -- An appellant sentenced
     to death will be permitted to abandon a state appeal of a
     death sentence only if he has been judicially determined to
     have the capacity to appreciate his position and make a
     rational choice with respect to continuing or abandoning
     further litigation of the death sentence; that is, he must be
     determined to have the capacity to understand the choice of
     life or death and to knowingly and intelligently waive any and
     all rights to appeal the death sentence.

3.   Criminal procedure -- death penalty -- mandatory review of
     competency hearing. -- If a competency hearing is held, and
     the trial court determines Hill has made a knowing and
     intelligent waiver of death-sentence issues, the record of the
     hearing and the court's findings shall be returned to the
     supreme court, which will review the proceeding to determine
     whether appellant had the capacity to understand the choice
     between life and death and to knowingly and intelligently
     waive his rights to challenge the sentence of death on appeal.


     Pro Se Motion to Limit Appeal; remanded.
     Appellant, pro se.
     No response.

     Per Curiam.MARCH 18, 1996.  *ADVREP10*


                                   CR96-33






DARREL HILL,                       PRO SE MOTION TO LIMIT APPEAL
                    APPELLANT,

V.

STATE OF ARKANSAS,
                    APPELLEE.      REMANDED.






                           PER CURIAM
     Appellant Darrel Hill was convicted of capital felony murder
and attempted capital murder.  His original death sentence was
vacated; however, upon retrial, he was again sentenced to death. 
Hill filed a notice of appeal from the resentencing, and the record
has been lodged with this Court.  On February 27, 1996, Hill filed
a pro se "Motion to Stop Appeal Process."  The motion provided that
Hill wanted "all appeals in my case to be stopped."  On March 1,
1996, counsel for the appellant filed a motion requesting that a
mental evaluation be ordered to determine whether Hill is capable
of making a voluntary and knowing waiver of his right to appeal. 
Counsel for appellant also moved to stay the briefing time for
Hill's appeal.
     We remand the matter for findings by the trial court on the
questions of whether Hill has been advised by counsel with respect
to abandoning his appeal and whether Hill will submit himself to a
judicial review to be held in the trial court to consider whether
he fully appreciates his position and can make a rational choice
with respect to pursuing or abandoning issues on appeal concerning
the sentence of death.  Echols v. State, 321 Ark. 497, 902 S.W.2d 781 (1995).
     As in Echols, if the trial court determines that Hill has
reached his decision with benefit of counsel and will submit
himself to a judicial review of his capacity to abandon the appeal
of his death sentence, the trial court is directed to hold a
competency hearing.  An appellant sentenced to death will be
permitted to abandon a state appeal of a death sentence only if he
has been judicially determined to have the capacity to appreciate
his position and make a rational choice with respect to continuing
or abandoning further litigation of the death sentence; that is, he
must be determined to have the capacity to understand the choice of
life or death and to knowingly and intelligently waive any and all
rights to appeal the death sentence.  See Echols v. State, supra.
     If a competency hearing is held and the trial court determines
Hill has made a knowing and intelligent waiver of the issues
pertaining to the death sentence, the record of the hearing and the
court's findings shall be returned to this Court for review.  We
will review the proceeding to determine whether Hill had the
capacity to understand the choice between life and death and to
knowingly and intelligently waive his rights to challenge the
sentence of death on appeal. See Echols v. State, supra.
     The motion to stay briefing time is granted.
     Remanded.