2013 Mississippi Code
Title 99 - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Chapter 39 - POST-CONVICTION PROCEEDINGS
Article 1 - MISSISSIPPI UNIFORM POST-CONVICTION COLLATERAL RELIEF ACT
§ 99-39-5 - Grounds for relief; time limitations; "biological evidence" defined


MS Code § 99-39-5 (2013) What's This?

(1) Any person sentenced by a court of record of the State of Mississippi, including a person currently incarcerated, civilly committed, on parole or probation or subject to sex offender registration for the period of the registration or for the first five (5) years of the registration, whichever is the shorter period, may file a motion to vacate, set aside or correct the judgment or sentence, a motion to request forensic DNA testing of biological evidence, or a motion for an out-of-time appeal if the person claims:

(a) That the conviction or the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution or laws of Mississippi;

(b) That the trial court was without jurisdiction to impose sentence;

(c) That the statute under which the conviction and/or sentence was obtained is unconstitutional;

(d) That the sentence exceeds the maximum authorized by law;

(e) That there exists evidence of material facts, not previously presented and heard, that requires vacation of the conviction or sentence in the interest of justice;

(f) That there exists biological evidence secured in relation to the investigation or prosecution attendant to the petitioner's conviction not tested, or, if previously tested, that can be subjected to additional DNA testing, that would provide a reasonable likelihood of more probative results, and that testing would demonstrate by reasonable probability that the petitioner would not have been convicted or would have received a lesser sentence if favorable results had been obtained through such forensic DNA testing at the time of the original prosecution.

(g) That his plea was made involuntarily;

(h) That his sentence has expired; his probation, parole or conditional release unlawfully revoked; or he is otherwise unlawfully held in custody;

(i) That he is entitled to an out-of-time appeal; or

(j) That the conviction or sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack upon any grounds of alleged error heretofore available under any common law, statutory or other writ, motion, petition, proceeding or remedy.

(2) A motion for relief under this article shall be made within three (3) years after the time in which the petitioner's direct appeal is ruled upon by the Supreme Court of Mississippi or, in case no appeal is taken, within three (3) years after the time for taking an appeal from the judgment of conviction or sentence has expired, or in case of a guilty plea, within three (3) years after entry of the judgment of conviction. Excepted from this three-year statute of limitations are those cases in which the petitioner can demonstrate either:

(a) (i) That there has been an intervening decision of the Supreme Court of either the State of Mississippi or the United States which would have actually adversely affected the outcome of his conviction or sentence or that he has evidence, not reasonably discoverable at the time of trial, which is of such nature that it would be practically conclusive that had such been introduced at trial it would have caused a different result in the conviction or sentence; or

(ii) That, even if the petitioner pled guilty or nolo contendere, or confessed or admitted to a crime, there exists biological evidence not tested, or, if previously tested, that can be subjected to additional DNA testing that would provide a reasonable likelihood of more probative results, and that testing would demonstrate by reasonable probability that the petitioner would not have been convicted or would have received a lesser sentence if favorable results had been obtained through such forensic DNA testing at the time of the original prosecution.

(b) Likewise excepted are those cases in which the petitioner claims that his sentence has expired or his probation, parole or conditional release has been unlawfully revoked. Likewise excepted are filings for post-conviction relief in capital cases which shall be made within one (1) year after conviction.

(3) This motion is not a substitute for, nor does it affect, any remedy incident to the proceeding in the trial court, or direct review of the conviction or sentence.

(4) Proceedings under this article shall be subject to the provisions of Section 99-19-42.

(5) For the purposes of this article:

(a) "Biological evidence" means the contents of a sexual assault examination kit and any item that contains blood, semen, hair, saliva, skin tissue, fingernail scrapings, bone, bodily fluids or other identifiable biological material that was collected as part of the criminal investigation or may reasonably be used to incriminate or exculpate any person for the offense. This definition applies whether that material is catalogued separately, such as on a slide, swab or in a test tube, or is present on other evidence, including, but not limited to, clothing, ligatures, bedding or other household material, drinking cups, cigarettes or other items;

(b) "DNA" means deoxyribonucleic acid.

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