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State v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 6, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
TROY TAYLOR

         ON APPLICATION FOR WRITS DIRECTED TO CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 503-161, SECTION "I" Honorable Karen K. Herman, Judge

          LEON CANNIZZARO, KYLE DALY, COUNSEL FOR STATE OF LOUISIANA/RESPONDENT

          TROY TAYLOR DEFENDANT/RELATOR/IN PROPER PERSON

          Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins

          SANDRA CABRINA JENKINS JUDGE

         Defendant Troy Taylor seeks supervisory review of the district court's September 22, 2016 written judgment that denied his pro se application for post-conviction relief. At the direction of this court, the state filed a response to Taylor's writ application. For the reasons that follow, we grant the writ application, reverse the judgment of the trial court denying Taylor's application for post-conviction relief on his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, and vacate Taylor's conviction and sentence on the charge of forcible rape.

         In August 2011, Taylor was tried and convicted of the 1994 forcible rape[1]and second degree kidnapping of the victim, S.B. Taylor had been identified as a suspect in 2008 after the Combined DNA Index System ("CODIS") matched his DNA with DNA taken from the victim. The district court imposed concurrent terms of 40 years imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. On direct appeal, this court affirmed Taylor's forcible rape conviction and sentence, but reversed his conviction for second degree kidnapping, finding that the trial court abused its discretion in denying Taylor's motion to quash the kidnapping charge as untimely instituted. State v. Taylor, 12-0345 (La.App. 4 Cir. 6/26/13), 118 So.3d 65, writ denied, 13-1830 (La. 2/28/14), 134 So.3d 1169. On February 26, 2016, Taylor timely filed an application for post-conviction relief, which the district court denied in a judgment dated September 22, 2016. Taylor filed his writ application in this court on December 7, 2016.

         One of the grounds of Taylor's application for post-conviction relief is a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. This claim relates to La. C.Cr.P. art. 572(B), which provides an exception to the prescriptive period for prosecution of sex offenses in which the offender's identity is established through DNA testing.

La. C.Cr.P. art. 572 provides, in pertinent part:
A. Except as provided in Articles 571 and 571.1, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for an offense not punishable by death or life imprisonment, unless the prosecution is instituted within the following periods of time after the offense has been committed:
(1) Six years, for a felony necessarily punishable by imprisonment at hard labor. . . .[2]
B. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 571.1 and Paragraph A of this Article, prosecutions for any sex offense may be commenced beyond the time limitations set forth in this Title if the identity of the offender is established after the expiration of such time limitation through the use of a DNA profile. . . .
(4) This Paragraph shall have retroactive application to crimes committed prior to June 20, 2003.

         Taylor argues that the retroactive application of La. C.Cr.P. art. 572(B) to revive his already prescribed forcible rape charge violates the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the U.S. and Louisiana Constitutions. According to Taylor, his attorney's failure to move to quash the charge of forcible rape on ex post facto grounds constituted ineffective ...


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