Duckworth v. State, No. 3D20-0272

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtMILLER, J.
Citation305 So.3d 732
Parties Jerry L. DUCKWORTH, Petitioner, v. The STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Decision Date13 May 2020
Docket NumberNo. 3D20-0272

305 So.3d 732

Jerry L. DUCKWORTH, Petitioner,
v.
The STATE of Florida, Respondent.

No. 3D20-0272

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District.

Opinion filed May 13, 2020.


Jerry Duckworth, in proper person.

Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Luis E. Rubio, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Before LINDSEY, HENDON, and MILLER, JJ.

MILLER, J.

305 So.3d 733

Petitioner, Jerry Duckworth, the defendant in the criminal prosecution below, seeks the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, contending fundamental error in his jury instructions necessitates a new trial. He alleges that, at his trial, the jury was left uninstructed on a crucial element of the lesser-included offense for which he was convicted.1 Finding the asserted basis for relief is not cognizable, we deny the petition.

Duckworth was charged by information with one count of robbery with a firearm, in violation of section 812.13(2)(a), Florida Statutes, and one count of aggravated assault, in violation of section 784.021(1), Florida Statutes. The case proceeded to trial, and, following the charge conference, both the prosecution and defense stipulated to a proposed set of jury instructions. Although the written instructions included the statutory elements of robbery and guidance on applying firearm and weapon enhancements, the word "weapon" remained undefined.

Nonetheless, the jury was orally instructed on the meaning of "weapon," and, thereafter, returned a verdict of guilt for robbery with a weapon, a category one necessarily lesser-included offense of armed robbery with a firearm. Duckworth was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment as a habitual violent felony offender.2

For the better part of a decade, Duckworth has sought to undo his conviction and sentence, without success.3 See Ducksworth v. State, 39 So. 3d 1264 (Fla. 2010) ; Ducksworth v. State, No. 3D19-1364, 2019 WL 4413294 (Fla. 3d DCA July 15, 2019) ; Ducksworth v. State, 203 So. 3d 167 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016) ; Ducksworth v. State, 185 So. 3d 1247 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016) ; Ducksworth v. State, 93 So. 3d 1037 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011) ; Ducksworth v. State, 26 So. 3d 74 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010) ; Ducksworth v. State, 8 So. 3d 1145 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009) ; Ducksworth v. State, 998 So. 2d 614 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008) ; Ducksworth v. State, 903 So. 2d 297 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005) ; Ducksworth v. State, 834 So. 2d 951 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003). Indeed, the very claim of error asserted within this petition was previously raised and rejected by our court. See Garcia v. State, 69 So. 3d 1003, 1004 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011) ("[A] defendant is not entitled to successive review of a specific issue that already has been decided on the merits.") (citations omitted); Bueno v. Bueno de Khawly, 677 So. 2d 3, 4 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996) (The "doctrine [of law of the case states] that those points of law adjudicated in a prior appeal are binding in order to promote stability of judicial decisions and to avoid piecemeal litigation.") (citation omitted); see also Baker v. State, 878 So. 2d 1236, 1245 (Fla. 2004) ("The remedy of

305 So.3d 734

habeas corpus is not available in Florida to obtain the kind of collateral postconviction relief available by motion in the sentencing court pursuant to rule 3.850.") (citation omitted); Calloway v. State, 699 So. 2d 849, 849 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997) ("A petition for habeas corpus cannot be used to circumvent the two-year period for filing motions for postconviction relief.") (citations omitted). Nonetheless, "[u]nder Florida law, appellate courts have ‘the power to reconsider and correct erroneous rulings [made in earlier appeals] in exceptional circumstances and where reliance on the previous decision would result in manifest injustice." State v. Akins, 69 So. 3d 261, 268...

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1 practice notes
  • Allen v. State, No. 3D16-2776
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 13, 2020
    ...Richard L. Polin and Jonathan Tanoos, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.Before SALTER, LINDSEY, and MILLER, JJ.PER CURIAM.305 So.3d 732 Affirmed. See Pedroza v. State, 291 So.3d 541 (Fla....
1 cases
  • Allen v. State, No. 3D16-2776
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 13, 2020
    ...Richard L. Polin and Jonathan Tanoos, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.Before SALTER, LINDSEY, and MILLER, JJ.PER CURIAM.305 So.3d 732 Affirmed. See Pedroza v. State, 291 So.3d 541 (Fla....

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