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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 26, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Oscar T. Berry, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Petitioner, Oscar Berry, was convicted of first degree murder in 1991 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He filed a direct appeal of his conviction, which was dismissed by this Court in 1992. State v. Oscar Thomas Berry, No. 01-C01-9201-CR-00033, 1992 WL 275402 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Oct. 8, 1992). His petition for post-conviction relief, filed in 1997, was dismissed by the trial court as untimely. In 2013, Petitioner filed a motion to reopen the post-conviction proceedings. He contended that several recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court established constitutional rights in post-conviction proceedings that did not exist at the time of his conviction, thereby allowing his case to be re-opened under the authority of Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-30-117(a)(1). The trial court rejected his theory and dismissed his motion. After careful review of the controlling law, we affirm.