Ellison v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Appellant James Ellison appealed the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct void sentence. In September 1994, appellant pled guilty to malice murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Under the plea agreement, which was expressly incorporated into appellant’s sentencing order, appellant agreed that he would not apply for parole or other relief from imprisonment for at least 25 years and that he would not be considered for parole or released from confinement for any reason prior to the expiration of 25 years. In April 2015, appellant, acting pro se, filed his motion, challenging the validity of such limitations on his ability to seek or be granted parole. The trial court summarily denied appellant’s motion, and appellant brought this appeal. Less than a month after appellant filed his notice of appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court issued its opinion in "Humphrey v. Georgia," in which it addressed the validity of a plea agreement containing a provision almost identical to that here. Under the controlling authority of "Humphrey," the Court reversed the trial court and remanded the case with direction to vacate that portion of Ellison’s sentence which purported to limit his eligibility for parole in a manner not authorized by statutory law.