By Ray King
An Arkansas prison inmate who had filed two previous petitions asking for scientific testing of evidence used to convict him in 1992 lost a third attempt to have the testing conducted.
The Arkansas Supreme Court in an opinion Thursday said the inmate, Saba Makkali, failed to establish grounds for the additional scientific testing and his petition was not filed in a timely manner.
Makkali, formerly known as Gary Cloird was found guilty of rape and theft of a van in 1992 in Jefferson County Circuit Court and sentenced to a total of 46 years in prison. Evidence during the trial showed that the victim had been abducted and taken to a trailer where two men raped her orally, vaginally and anally. Makkali raped her orally.
Court rulings in the previous two denials of his petitions said that he had not established how the additional testing would significantly advance his claim of innocence.
At trial, Makkali had asked for additional testing of vaginal swabs taken of the victim, but the court said that testing would not result in a belief that he was innocent since he had been convicted only of raping the victim orally.
He made the same argument in all three of his appeals to the Supreme Court with one justice noting in the opinion that additional requests for additional testing should he dismissed without further discussion to “discourage the filing of repetitive, meritless petitions.”