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Detwiler v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

September 5, 2019

SHAWN A. DETWILER, Petitioner
v.
THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Respondent.

          DEBRA K. HAMPTON HAMPTON LAW OFFICE COUNSEL FOR PETITIONER

          NO RESPONSE FROM THE STATE

          OPINION DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

          HUDSON, JUDGE

         ¶1 Before the Court is Petitioner Shawn A. Detwiler's application for post-conviction relief, appealing the Garfield County District Court's denial of post-conviction relief in the following cases:

CF-1996-244: Count 1--Burglary in the Second Degree; Count 2--Knowingly Concealing Stolen Property; and Counts 3 and 4--Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Petitioner pled guilty to all four counts and was sentenced to five years imprisonment on each count. All counts were ordered to be served concurrently. Petitioner did not appeal these convictions. The sentences for this case were discharged on September 23, 2001.
CF-1996-422: Count 1--Robbery with an Imitation Firearm. Petitioner was tried and convicted at a jury trial and sentenced to forty-six years imprisonment. This Court affirmed the Judgment and Sentence in Detwiler v. State, Case No. F-1997-1513 (Okl.Cr., Dec. 11, 1998) (unpublished).
CF-1996-423: Count 1--Robbery with a Firearm; and Count 2--Shooting with Intent to Kill. Petitioner was tried and convicted at a jury trial and sentenced to eighty-seven years imprisonment on Count 1, and life imprisonment on Count 2. Both counts were ordered to run consecutively with each other and with CF-1996-422. This Court affirmed the Judgments and Sentences in Detwiler v. State, Case No. F-1998-340 (Okl.Cr., Apr. 30, 1999) (unpublished). The District Court denied Petitioner's request for sentence modification on April 12, 2006.
CF-1996-482: Count 1--Assault and/or Battery with a Dangerous Weapon; and Count 2--Escape from Confinement. Petitioner pled guilty to both counts and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment on Count 1, and three years imprisonment on Count 2. The two counts were ordered to be served concurrently. Petitioner did not appeal these convictions. Petitioner's Count 2 sentence was discharged on January 28, 2000. His Count 1 sentence was discharged on October 14, 2006.

         ¶2 Notably, Petitioner's crimes in each of these cases occurred prior to the enactment of Section 13.1 of Title 21, [1] which requires persons convicted of certain enumerated crimes, including crimes committed by Petitioner, to serve not less than 85% of his or her sentence prior to becoming eligible for consideration for parole. Thus, the 85% Rule is not applicable to any of Petitioner's sentences enumerated above.

         ¶3 Petitioner argued to the court below that his sentences in the aggregate for crimes he committed as a juvenile violate the United States Constitution's Eighth Amendment as construed in Luna v. State, 2016 OK CR 27, 387 P.3d 956, and are subject to collateral attack. In an order filed June 15, 2018, the Honorable Tom L. Newby, Associate District Judge, denied Petitioner's post-conviction application finding Miller, [2] Montgomery [3] and Luna do not apply to Petitioner's case because he was not sentenced to life without parole or any functional equivalent. Judge Newby further found Petitioner is presently eligible for parole consideration, has previously been considered for parole, and will again be eligible for review.

         ¶4 On appeal, Petitioner contends the District Court in analyzing his claims failed to appropriately view his sentences from his separate cases collectively as a de facto life without parole sentence. He thus argues that the District Court's denial of his application was an unreasonable determination under Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (2010), Miller, and Montgomery. To support his claim, Petitioner relies heavily on the Tenth Circuit's decision in Budder v. Addison, 851 F.3d 1047 (10th Cir. 2017), cert denied, Byrd v. Budder, ___ U.S. ___, 138 S.Ct. 475, 199 L.Ed.2d 374 (2017). In Budder, the Tenth Circuit interpreted Graham and its progeny as applying to "all juvenile offenders who did not commit homicide, and [ ] prohibit[ing]... all sentences that would deny such offenders a realistic opportunity to obtain release" within their lifetime, Id. at 1053, "whether or not that sentence bears the specific label 'life without parole.'" Id. at 1057. Thus, based on this interpretation, the Budder court viewed the juvenile defendant's sentences for four non-homicide offenses in the aggregate as though they were one.

         ¶5 This Court recently addressed the Budder decision in Martinez v. State, 2019 OK CR 7, 442 P.3d 154. Noting this Court's "independent duty and authority to interpret decisions of the United States Supreme Court[, ]" we disagreed with the Tenth Circuit's determination that it is "clearly established [law] that Graham applied to offenders with multiple crimes and multiple charges." Martinez, 2019 OK CR 7, ¶ 5, 442 P.3d 154, 155-56 (citing Budder, 851 F.3d at 1057). [4] We further observed that while Budder involved non-homicide offenses, Martinez's multiple crimes included first degree murder. Id., 2019 OK CR 7, ¶ 6, 442 P.3d at 156. Notwithstanding this distinction, the Court held "that where multiple sentences have been imposed, each sentence should be analyzed separately to determine whether it comports with the Eighth Amendment under the Graham / Miller / Montgomery trilogy of cases, rather than considering the cumulative effect of all sentences imposed upon a given defendant." Id. In reaching this determination, this Court observed that "even after Graham, Miller, and Montgomery, [juvenile] 'defendants convicted of multiple offenses are not entitled to a "volume discount" on their aggregate sentence.'" Id. at ¶ 6 (quoting Commonwealth v. Foust, 2018 Pa. Super. 39, 180 A.3d 416, 434 (2018)).

         ¶6 We likewise reach the same determination today. While Petitioner's multiple crimes, like Budder, are non-homicide offenses, this corresponding factor does not frustrate or cause this Court to vary its interpretation in Martinez of Graham and its progeny. The Supreme Court has not explicitly held that stacked sentences imposed in a juvenile case--whether homicide or non-homicide--should be reviewed in the aggregate when conducting an Eighth Amendment analysis. Moreover, Petitioner here asks this Court to go a step further and review his sentences from his multiple and unrelated cases in the aggregate. [5] This request is clearly beyond the bounds of the current law . We thus find, as we did in Martinez, that the Eighth Amendment analysis focuses on the sentence imposed for each specific crime, not on the cumulative sentence for multiple crimes. To do otherwise would effectively give crimes away. See O'Neil v. Vermont, 144 U.S. 323, 331, 12 S.Ct. 693, 696-97, 36 L.Ed. 450 (1892) (observing that "[i]f the penalty were unreasonably severe for a single offense, the constitutional question might be urged; but here the unreasonableness is only in the number of offenses which the respondent has committed.").

         ¶7 Graham, the applicable case in this matter, held a juvenile offender "may not be sentenced to life without parole for a nonhomicide crime." Graham, 560 U.S. at 74-75, 130 S.Ct. at ...


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