Monday, June 07, 2010

Banishment vanished

So, I was looking to pull up the hand-downs list for June 3, 2010 on the Mississippi Supreme Court's website (win some, lose some), and I found that rare creature, a non-Thursday opinion: Mackey v. State.

We have discovered that . . . to banish the knight does not alleviate the suffering of the peasant.
– C.S. Lewis

¶1. This is a banishment case in which the Circuit Court of Forrest County issued a
suspended sentence of thirty years and then ordered the defendant not to come within one hundred miles of Hattiesburg. Upon learning the defendant had violated the banishment order, the trial court revoked the suspension of the sentence.
Continuing the recent string of luck for pro se appellants filing for cert, Mackey got his banishment reversed, though the Court did not go so far as to forbid the practice. Randolph dissents, saying that he wouldn't reverse, but if reversal's to occur, the guilty plea (which accepted the banishment) should be withdrawn. Graves and Kitchens agree as to the latter point.

The epigraph to the opinion would make more sense if the Court were expunging the practice of banishment, but it does appear to make Dickinson the first justice to quote C.S. Lewis by name in a published opinion of the Court.

... Apparently the Monday handdown was due to Mackey's having brought the case up on cert -- the deadline was near to running.

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