Mitchum v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Robert Mitchum was convicted by jury in 1999 of felony murder. Fifteen years later, he filed a pro se extraordinary motion for a new trial based on improper communications with the jury. The issue this case presented for the Georgia Supreme Court centered on whether Mitchum’s post-appeal challenge to his criminal conviction could be properly pursued through an extraordinary motion for a new trial, or whether such claims had to be pursued exclusively through a petition for the writ of habeas corpus. The Georgia Supreme Court determined that because the rights involved implicated defendant’s constitutional rights, and because habeas corpus provided an adequate remedy for addressing those claims, an extraordinary motion for a new trial was not the proper vehicle through with defendant could pursue his claims. The trial court should have dismissed his motion. Because it denied Mitchum’s motion instead of dismissing it, the Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s decision, and remanded the case for entry of an order of dismissal.