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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 10, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Jack T. Jones, pro se, Pikeville, Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Clarence E. Lutz, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): THOMAS

The Petitioner, Jack T. Jones, appeals from the summary dismissal of his “Motion to Reopen Post-Conviction Petition,” seeking relief from his four 2007 convictions for aggravated sexual battery. In his pleading, the Petitioner argued that the Sentencing Reform Act of 1989 is unconstitutional in violation of the separation of powers doctrine and, therefore, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to accept his guilty pleas and impose sentence. The post-conviction court treated the pleading as a petition for post-conviction relief and dismissed it as untimely. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the statute of limitations should be tolled because trial counsel “should have known that the 1989 [A]ct was declared unconstitutional” and, thus, he provided ineffective assistance. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.