The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday said Circuit Judge Jodi Raines Dennis was correct when she denied a petition from a prison inmate who wanted evidence from his case to be scientifically tested.
Stanley Norton Mahmoud, 51, pleaded guilty to residential burglary, attempted first-degree murder, rape and aggravated assault on Dec. 13, 1996 and was sentenced to a total of 480 months or 40 years in prison. In 2003, he sought relief by filing a petition claiming in effective assistance of counsel but that was denied.
Writing for the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Robin Wynne said th4e high court does not reverse the decisions of a circuit judge’s unless their ruling was clearly wrong.
In this case, Mahmoud filed a petition more than 20 years after he was convicted, asking for fingerprint testing of the gun used in the crime and DNA testing of blood and hair samples recovered from the victim.
Wynne went on to say that a petition seeking relief must present a strong showing that identity was a key factor in the case and hen a defendant pleads guilty, the plea is the trial. By entering the guilty plea. Mahmoud admitted that he committed the crimes he was charged with.
He is currently serving his sentence at the Ouachita River Correctional Unit at Malvern and according to the ADC database, will be eligible to apply for parole in 2029.