Jerry Wayne Morgan - Wins Three Strikes Appeal
Jerry arrived in the Shasta County Jail on the 10th of January 2002
Morgan Released from Jail April 22, 2003
|April 22, 2003
Jerry Wayne Morgan, the first Three Strikes case to be overturned, took a plea for time served in order to obtain his freedom. The Judge has ordered that he will be released from Shasta County Jail.
I attended the hearing on Monday, April 21, 2003, and overheard some of the negotiation between the Deputy District Attorney Woods, and Attorney Richard Maxion. Woods would not budge an inch on time served, as the Penal Code §273.5 that he was forced to plead to happened in Tehama County, Shasta County never had jurisdiction to even charge him with this crime. So who are the real crooks here? Then the DA insisted that he plead to One Strike, which was overturned by the Third Appellate District, stating that they could not use them as strikes. But this was a cover their behind by the District Attorney and Shasta County. The Attorney tried his best, but this was the only deal that they would accept, and Jerry was tired, a bad heart and wanted his freedom.
Some nice lady I believe from the Jail called and left a message on my machine, that High Desert had a hold on Morgan and he would have to go there to be released. That got my dander up as that is where the guards set up an attempted murder against Morgan, his having showed me the scar on his jaw when the handmade knife missed his throat by an inch. So I called the Jail and got a young man who looked at computer, and told me that the computer said that High Desert had released their hold and he should be out this evening or midnight.
When I woke up on the 22nd I called neighbor, have you heard from Jerry yet? He hadnít so I asked if he would call the Jail and see what is going on, which he did call and found out that his paperwork was in a mess. Recently neighbor had gone to the Clerks Office to look at the Morgan file, and made quite a scene as they could not find the file, and Jerry Wayne Morgan was not in their computer. He said, ďyou mean that he has been here in Shasta Jail for 14 months, and you canít find his file?Ē
I called the Attorney and informed him that Jerry was not out yet, so he also called to find out what the hold up was. Within the hour I got a call from neighbor that Jerry was out of prison, had no clothes except they provided a pair of old tennis shoes, some black shorts and a shirt of some kind. Fortunately he had a friend nearby so only had to walk 4 blocks in this condition, where they provided him with a nice pair of levis, a black T-shirt.
So we took Jerry to Wal-Mart for some new shoes and socks, went to Salvation Army and found a nice jacket. Took him to Burger King for a hamburger, and he was starting to feel much better and enjoying his freedom.
Then it was off to find the Redding Parole Office, as he was required to check in today by the Judge. So for the time being he will have to jump through their hoops, take a Anger Management Course, and since the local cops will be after him for just about anything they could find to put him back in jail, he knows he will have to be very careful. Here again Jerry was in limbo as he had no CDC # anymore, and they will have to give him a new number before he can get money for motel, which will be next Monday the 28th.
She said that if he had no place to go, he would have to go the Good News Mission to stay, and he would have to get permission to stay anywhere else. As we live a long ways out in the country and donít have a place for Jerry, we dropped him off at the Good News Mission. Jerry has a few dollars, but if anyone would like to wire him some spending money to get him by until next Monday he would very much appreciate this. He will get one meal a day at the Mission, but will have to spend the day on the streets so he would appreciate this very much.
So finally the First Three Striker is free.
(February 4, 2002, Redding, CA) Jerry Wayne Morgan, whose Three Strikes case is the first in California to be reversed, will appear at 8:30 a.m. TODAY for the preliminary hearing of his retrial set to take place February 13. The trial will be held in Justice Center, Dept. 1, in same building as Jail at 1655 West Street,before Judge Wilson Curle, who sentenced Morgan 25 to life.
Morgan is out of prison and back in the Shasta County Jail. The group who has been following the case, which has been managed by a volunteer who is not an attorney, Janice Crumley, is the U.N.IO.N. United For No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect. The group is concerned that Morgan's injustice is continuing.
"The new lawyers could not possibly have had time to put together any sort of defense for Morgan. We have reason to believe that Morgan's solitary confinement invoked this week is punishment because both his judgment and sentence were set aside. We have asked everyone to call the Shasta County jail so that the jail personnel and Attorney General Bill Lockyer will realize that people are concerned and watching the obvious injustice in this case."
"The case was overturned due to ineffective assistance of counsel and other factors. But somehow the elderly lawyer who was deemed incompetent by the court , Elliot D. Burick, is back on the scene. We believe that whatever happens next will further demonstrate how Morgan has been failed at every turn and STILL has no competent legal counsel to fight his case for him. "We believe that Lockyer will go to any length to find new charges at the retrial to prevent any reversal of a Three Strikes case" states B. Cayenne Bird, UNION director.
The historical, precedent-setting move by the Third Appellate District of the California Supreme Court has now set aside the conviction of 57 year old, Jerry Wayne Morgan, of Redding, California TWICE. Morgan was sentenced 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law, but two of the strikes happened in Arkansas 28 years ago when he was a young man. Since it is the duty of defendant counsel to give an informed opinion and advise his client correctly, this case was overturned due to the ineffectiveness of counsel.
Another reason for the ruling was the fact that the priors were two out-of-state alleged Arkansas kidnapping convictions, and the California law not in effect at the time of these prior convictions.
This case is also precedent-setting in that the Supplemental Brief that was prepared by a private citizen, Janice Crumley, who is a volunteer for the U.N.I.O.N. United For No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect. Morgan filed from prison a writ of habeas corpus, and with help and some phone calls Morgan received a court appointed Appeals Attorney to handle the Third Appellate appeal. On October 9, 1998, The Third Appellate District made a ruling that, "The petition for writ of habeas corpus has been treated as an application for relief from default for failure to file a timely notice of appeal in Shasta County No. 97F9169 and as such is granted." This in itself was one of the first miracles in this case, and more were to follow.
After Morgan received a court-appointed attorney, he mailed a letter to the volunteer from this attorney with his notes written all over it. In this letter his attorney told Jerry that she had filed a Wende brief. She stated that she did "not believe there is any reason to think the court will find anything that will help." People v. Wende, (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436.
In the court appointed lawyer's letter it was discovered that he had just 30 days in which he could file a supplemental brief directly with the court. A "Request Time to File Supplemental Brief," was prepared and put in the mail by the volunteer - not the lawyer - to Morgan for his signature. The request for time and the supplemental brief were based on the United States Supreme Court case Johnson v. Avery, 393 U.S. 483 (1969), that allows a layman to help prisoners with their legal documents. The bottom line is that this document was received by the court in time and a 30 day extension was granted. This was the second miracle.
The Supplemental Brief was mailed to High Desert Prison for Morgan's signature, and the Supplemental Brief was filed by April 28, 1999, after which the hearing was set for June 18, 2001, and the decision was Certified for Publication on July 16, 2001. The prison blocked the mail and if not for the perserverance of a kind-hearted volunteer, one set of the documents would never have reached him. This is a Three Strikes case where the Justices totally overturned the "judgment and sentence" and "defendant's plea is set aside." This was the third BIG MIRACLE!
The case was not over yet, as the Attorney General of California filed for a Rehearing of the case, which was granted and another hearing set. The Third Appellate wrote an even stronger opinion than the first, called Opinion for Rehearing, which was filed August 30, 2001, and Certified for Publication.
Again the Attorney General filed for a review by the California Supreme Court. On December 12, 2001, the California Supreme Court denied the Petition for Review, submitted by the Attorney General of the State of California. "Petition for review DENIED. The Reporter of Decisions is directed not to publish in the Official Appellate Reports the opinion in the above entitled appeal, filed August 30, 2001, which appears at 91 Cal.App.4th 1324. (Cal. Const., art. VI, section 14; rule 976, Cal. Rules of Court.)"
UNION Director B. Cayenne Bird who coordinates volunteers to help prisoners commented. "What a dirty, below the belt, sneaky, cover-their-behinds-action this was, to direct the Reporter of Decisions NOT TO PUBLISH this case." 91 Cal.App.4th 1324. "Evidently this has been going on in California for some time, and this may be why this Three Strikes law still stands and has not been changed to a more constitutional and humane law, because they have not been publishing these opinions," Bird emphasized.
United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect, U.N.I.O.N., a four-year-old statewide network of families, civil rights groups, churches and individuals who focus on human rights and reform of the California criminal justice system. The group depends solely on volunteers who will assist prisoners and their families.
For further information and background see following links:
July 16, 2001
August 30, 2001