Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Harbison

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

February 1, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
EDWARD JEROME HARBISON

          Assigned on Briefs November 28, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 154361, 154362 Thomas C. Greenholtz, Judge

         The defendant, Edward Jerome Harbison, was convicted of first-degree murder, second degree burglary, and grand larceny for the 1983 death of Edith Russell and sentenced to death. State v. Harbison, 704 S.W.2d 314 (Tenn. 1986). The defendant's death sentence was eventually commuted, and he is currently serving a term of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. After numerous appeals, the defendant filed the present motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. The defendant argues his sentence under the prior Tennessee statute, Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-2-202(a) (1982), is unconstitutional in addition to a plethora of other claims. Having reviewed the record and the procedural history of the defendant's convictions, we conclude that the defendant's claims are either not cognizable under Rule 36.1 and/or have been previously reviewed and resolved by our courts. As a result, the defendant is not entitled to relief.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Edward Jerome Harbison, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas White Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Courtney Nicole Orr, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree burglary, and grand larceny for the 1983 death of Edith Russell. Harbison, 704 S.W.2d at 315. He was sentenced to death for his first-degree murder conviction and to three years for his second-degree burglary and grand larceny convictions. Id. On appeal, the defendant challenged, among other issues, the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction, the voluntariness of his confession, and the effectiveness of his counsel. The Tennessee Supreme Court found no errors and affirmed his convictions. Id.

         The defendant subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief. Harbison v. State, No. 03C01-9204-CR-00125, 1996 WL 266114, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 29, 1996), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 12, 1996). After a hearing, the post-conviction court rejected the defendant's challenges to: the sufficiency of the evidence of premeditation and deliberation; the jury instruction on instant premeditation; the effectiveness of trial and appellate counsel; and the constitutionality of the felony-murder and death-penalty statutes. Id. On appeal, this Court affirmed the post-conviction court, determining the defendant's claims were either previously litigated or disposed of by the Tennessee Supreme Court, or were without merit in light of established law and concluding "[t]here can be absolutely no doubt" the evidence was "clearly sufficient." Id. at *2-12.

         Next, the defendant filed a motion to reopen his post-conviction petition based on a claim of newly discovered evidence, violation of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Harbison v. State, No. E2004-00885-CCA-R28-PD, 2005 WL 1521910, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 27, 2005), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Dec. 19, 2005). The trial court, upon the defendant's request, converted the filing to a petition for writ of error coram nobis. Id. After a hearing, the trial court denied the petition as time barred concluding, "the time within which the petition was filed exceeds the reasonable opportunity afforded by due process." Id. at *4. In affirming the trial court's ruling, this Court noted in the relevant part:

Although the [defendant] claims that he could not file his petition until his federal habeas corpus proceeding was resolved and that he was not afforded an avenue of relief until the Workman decision in 2001, we agree with the trial court that the [defendant] had ample opportunity to file his petition for error coram nobis and that he waited an unreasonable time to do so. Cf. [Workman v. State, 41 S.W.3d 100, 103 (Tenn. 2001)] (petitioner filed his petition thirteen months after discovering the newly discovered evidence). In any event, unlike Workman, the trial court in the present case held an evidentiary hearing. At the hearing, the [defendant's] trial, direct appeal, and post-conviction attorneys testified. [The defendant's] . . . trial attorney[] testified that he was aware of allegations that the victim was involved in selling stolen property and was aware of Ray Harrison. According to David Boss's statement to police, Ray Harrison and at least one other person were in the [victim's] house and "they" ran when the victim entered her home. At best, the police department records indicate that Ray Harrison was in the [victim's] home at the time of the crime. They in no way exculpate the [defendant]. Additionally, at the end of the evidentiary hearing, the [defendant] failed to show conclusively that [the defendant's trial attorney] had represented Ray Harrison. The conclusion that [the defendant's trial attorney] had a conflict of interest in representing the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.