Stith v. Glenn et al
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION. Signed by Judge James H Hancock on 1/10/2013. (JLC)
2013 Jan-10 AM 10:59
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CHARLES R. STITH,
Case No. 2:12-cv-02306-JHH-RRA
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
The magistrate judge filed a report on December 11, 2012, recommending that this
action be dismissed without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). The plaintiff submitted a response in which
he asked the court to review the ruling by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals which
found that the defendant failed to afford the plaintiff effective assistance of counsel in his
state criminal case. Implying that a conspiracy existed between the defendant and the state,
the plaintiff contends that the Court of Criminal Appeals’ ruling shows that the state and the
defendant “tr[ied] to double [his] sentence” with respect to a first-degree sodomy charge in
the Marion County Circuit Court.1 However, a reading of the opinion by the Court of
Criminal Appeals shows no such thing. In that opinion, the Court of Criminal Appeals
merely found that the defendant, acting as the plaintiff’s criminal defense counsel, failed to
The plaintiff attaches a copy of a letter from the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals which
indicates that the case number of his appeal is CR-09-0754. In the reporter, that case number corresponds
to the decision found at Stith v. State of Alabama, 76 So.3d 286 (Ala. Crim. App. 2011).
properly advise him that “good time” credit was not available to a prisoner who is convicted
of a Class A felony.2 There is nothing in that decision which bolsters a contention that the
defendant conspired with state actors to violate the plaintiff’s Constitutional rights.
Accordingly, having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in
the court file, including the report and recommendation and the response thereto, the Court
is of the opinion that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and hereby is ADOPTED and
the recommendation is ACCEPTED. This action is therefore due to be dismissed without
prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), for failing to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. A Final Judgment will be entered.
DONE this the
day of January, 2013.
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
According to the Court of Criminal Appeals’ written decision, the plaintiff had initially been
offered a plea agreement under which he would plead guilty in return for a “20-year prison sentence, split
to serve 5 years.” 76 So.3d at 287. However, the plaintiff chose to accept a 10-year “straight” sentence under
the theory that he would presumably serve less than five years because of a mistaken belief that he would
earn “good time” credit. Id. at 292. Because the plaintiff chose to enter into a plea agreement under this
erroneous assumption, the Court of Criminal Appeals found that the defendant had failed to provide effective
assistance of counsel when he failed to advise the plaintiff that the Alabama statute does not allow for the
accrual good time credit for persons convicted of Class A felonies. Id. at 292-93. The Court concluded that
the defendant was “apparently unaware of the legal effect of [the statute]” when he failed to warn the
plaintiff that good time credit would not be available.
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