This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






State of Minnesota,





Leon Edward Lasley, petitioner,



Filed May 21, 2002


Hanson, Judge


Stearns County District Court

File No. K9-97-2035


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 600, St. Paul, MN 55155-6102; and


Roger S. Van Heel, Stearns County Attorney, Samuel Wertheimer, II, Assistant County Attorney, 705 Courthouse Square, Administration Center, RM 448, St. Cloud, MN 56303 (for respondent)


Leon Edward Lasley, DOC #124572; Dorm: B2-150S, Apalachee Correctional Institution, 52 West Unit Drive, Sneads, FL 32460 (pro se appellant)


            Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Halbrooks, Judge, and Hanson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


This is an appeal from an order denying appellant’s second postconviction petition, in which he challenges his 1997 conviction of first-degree burglary on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel.  Appellant argues that the district court erred by denying his petition and his request for an evidentiary hearing.  We affirm.


In an earlier unpublished opinion involving a direct appeal, we affirmed the conviction of appellant Leon Edward Lasley of first-degree burglary and his 180-month sentence as a career offender.  State v. Lasley, No. C2-97-2356, 1998 WL 566646, at *1 (Minn. App. Sept. 8, 1998), review denied (Minn. Oct. 29, 1998).  We did not rule on Lasley’s claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, but stated that Lasley was not foreclosed from initiating postconviction proceedings to permit exploration of that claim.  Id. at *2.

Lasley brought a first petition for postconviction relief, but did not raise any claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.  The district court denied that petition without an evidentiary hearing and no appeal was taken.  Lasley filed a second petition for postconviction relief in which he made six claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  In its order denying Lasley’s second petition, the district court concluded that Lasley was procedurally barred from raising all but one of these claims.  Nonetheless, the district court reviewed the merits of each claim before denying his petition without an evidentiary hearing.  This appeal followed.


Lasley argues that the district court erred by denying his petition for postconviction relief and by denying his request for an evidentiary hearing. 

“A petition for postconviction relief is a collateral attack on a conviction, which carries a presumption of regularity.”  Boitnott v. State, 631 N.W.2d 362, 368 (Minn. 2001).  Because of this presumption, we cannot lightly set a conviction aside.  Absent an abuse of discretion, we will not disturb a postconviction court’s decision on appeal.  McMaster v. State, 551 N.W.2d 218, 218 (Minn. 1996).  “An evidentiary hearing is not necessary if the petition, files, and record ‘conclusively show that the petitioner is entitled to no relief.’” State v. Rhodes, 627 N.W.2d 74, 87 (Minn. 2001) (quoting Minn. Stat. § 590.04, subd. 1 (2000)). 

Generally, a postconviction court need not consider any issues that were raised on direct appeal, or any issues that were known at the time of direct appeal but not raised.  State v. Knaffla, 309 Minn. 246, 252, 243 N.W.2d 737, 741 (1976).  There are, however, three exceptions to the Knaffla rule.

The first exception arises when the defendant knew of the claim at the time of appeal, but did not raise it because the claim was “so novel that its legal basis was not reasonably available at the time of direct appeal.”  Townsend v. State, 582 N.W.2d 225, 228 (Minn. 1998) (citing Roby v. State, 531 N.W.2d 482, 484 (Minn. 1995)). 

A second exception arises when a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is made and “the claim is such that the reviewing court needs ‘additional facts to explain the attorney’s decisions.’”  State v. Gustafson, 610 N.W.2d 314, 321 (Minn. 2000) (quoting Black v. State, 560 N.W.2d 83, 85 n.1 (Minn. 1997)) (declining to reach the merits of Gustafson’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel where the supreme court lacked sufficient information to review her claim, and stating that her right to pursue the “claim in a petition for postconviction relief is preserved”).   

The third exception arises when the supreme court determines that “fairness” or “the interests of justice” require that the issue be reviewed.  See Russell v. State, 562 N.W.2d 670, 674 (Minn. 1997) (fairness); Boitnott, 631 N.W.2d at 369-70 (interests of justice). 

Lasley’s claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel do not fall under the first exception because they are not novel.  See Townsend, 582 N.W.2d at 228. 

Lasley’s claims would have fallen under the second exception because this court, on the direct appeal, determined it needed additional facts to review his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel and deferred that claim to the postconviction court.  See Gustafson, 610 N.W.2d at 321.  But Lasley’s failure to raise these claims in his first postconviction petition constitutes a waiver of the right to do so in a second petition.  See Wayne v. State, 601 N.W.2d 440, 441 (Minn. 1999) (declining to review claims on a third petition for postconviction relief where Wayne raised or could have raised the claims in earlier petitions).  See also Minn. Stat. § 590.02, subd. 1(1) (2000) (stating that “[a]ll grounds for relief must be stated in the petition”).  Thus, the second exception does not apply.

As for the third exception, it is not clear whether this court has the authority to grant review on grounds of “fairness” or in the “interests of justice.”  To date, only the supreme court has exercised the authority to review, in the “interests of justice” or “fairness,” a claim that is procedurally barred by the Knaffla rule.  Moreover, the supreme court has not set forth any standard for this court or the district court to apply to determine whether “fairness” or the “interests of justice” demand review of a procedurally barred claim.  However, even if we did have such authority, we find nothing in the record or Lasley’s claims that would compel us to exercise it.  To the contrary, the district court reviewed the merits of each of Lasley’s claims and found they were either contradicted by the record or had no legal basis. 

Because Lasley’s claims are procedurally barred, the district court appropriately denied his petition without an evidentiary hearing