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Wilkes v. State

Wilkes v. State, 2015 MT 243 (Aug. 18, 2015) (Wheat, J.; Rice, J., concurring; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (5-1, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by failing to adequately address Wilkes’s claims for postconviction relief; (2) whether the district court erred by denying Wilkes’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion by denying Wilkes’s petition before conducting a hearing.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) yes; and (3) no.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Wilkes’s three-month-old son, Gabriel, died Oct 26, 2008, following hemorrhaging in his head sustained on or before Oct. 4, 2008. According to Wilkes, he put Gabriel to sleep the evening of Oct. 4, 2008 after picking him up from a babysitter.…

Marble v. State

Marble v. State, 2015 MT 242 (Aug. 14, 2015) (Cotter, J.; Rice, J., concurring & dissenting; McKinnon, J., concurring & dissenting) (5-2, rev’d) (Judge Michael Hayworth sitting for Chief Justice McGrath)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in predicating its decision denying Marble’s petition for postconviction relief on the concurring opinion in Beach II; and (2) what test a district court must use in reviewing a petition for postconviction relief predicated on newly discovered evidence and filed within one year of discovering such evidence.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) The district court shall determine whether the new evidence “if proved and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole would establish that the petitioner did not engage in the criminal conduct for which he or she was convicted.”…