Post-Conviction Relief Granted Because of Release Eligibility Misinformation

Last year, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief and allowed the petitioner to withdraw his guilty plea.  Previously, the petitioner’s attorney advised him that he would serve a 15-year sentence at 85% and the trial court told him that his sentences were eligible for an up to fifteen percent reduction.  However, the petitioner’s sentences were actually to be served at 100%, a two year and three month difference.

In determining that counsel was ineffective, the appellate court emphasized the difference between cases where counsel fails to inform the petitioner about release requirements and cases where counsel misinforms the petitioner about such requirements.  Since the petitioner was significantly misinformed about his release eligibility, the court of criminal appeals concluded that his plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered.  Therefore, it reversed the post-conviction court’s denial of the petition and remanded for the petitioner to withdraw his guilty plea.

Davis v. State, No. E2015-00772-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 9, 2016)

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