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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 10, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Ernest W. Williams, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph S. Lucas, Jr.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General; and Mary K. White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): TIPTON

The Petitioner, Joseph S. Lucas, Jr., appeals the Williamson County Circuit Court’s denial of post-conviction relief from his guilty plea to rape of a child and resulting twenty-five year sentence. On appeal, he contends that (1) his guilty plea was not voluntarily and knowingly entered, (2) trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to preserve a suppression issue for appeal, failing to address waiver of the Petitioner’s ex post facto rights during sentencing, and failing to prepare witnesses for the sentencing hearing, and (3) appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to include transcripts of the suppression hearing and the guilty plea hearing in the record on direct appeal, failing to request a rehearing, and failing to argue that the Petitioner’s sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.