State v. PopeAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court's order vacating Defendant's 1996 judgment of conviction for two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime, and granting Defendant's postconviction motion for a new trial, holding that prejudice cannot be presumed when the entire trial transcript is unavailable.
Under State v. Perry and State v. DeLeon, when a transcript is incomplete, a defendant is entitled to a new trial after making a facially valid claim of arguably prejudicial error. In making its ruling in this case the circuit court concluded that a new trial was necessary because there was no available transcript of Defendant's 1996 jury trial. The court of appeals reversed, ruling that Defendant was not entitled to a new trial because he did not meet his burden to assert a facially valid claim of error. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Perry/DeLeon procedure applies whether all or a portion of a transcript is unavailable; and (2) no exception to the Perry/DeLeon procedure was available to Defendant because the transcript was unavailable due to Defendant's own delay.