This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Terry Rae Jackson,
State of Minnesota,
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 92047776
Mark D. Kelly, Law Office of Mark D. Kelly, 2295 Waters Drive, St. Paul, MN 55120 (for appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda K. Jenny, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Wright, Judge.
Appellant challenges the denial of his petition for postconviction relief from a 1993 conviction, arguing that the district court erred in determining that the victim’s recantation was not sufficiently credible to entitle appellant to a new trial or an evidentiary hearing and the postconviction petition was untimely. We affirm.
Appellant Terry Jackson was convicted of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.17, .342, subd. 1(e)(i) (1992), based on the events of June 13, 1992. The district court sentenced Jackson to 150 months’ imprisonment, the statutory maximum. This sentence was an upward durational departure from the presumptive guidelines sentence based on the existence of aggravating factors, including that the victim was mentally disabled and Jackson was a danger to society and in need of long-term treatment or supervision.
On January 21, 1994, Jackson petitioned for postconviction relief, arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, that the district court erred in admitting Spreigl evidence, and that the district court abused its discretion in departing upward from the presumptive guidelines sentence. The district court held an evidentiary hearing on the petition and subsequently denied Jackson’s claims. We affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review. Jackson v. State, No. C0-94-1353, 1995 WL 311745, at *4 (Minn. App. May 23, 1995), review denied (Minn. Aug. 30, 1995).
On August 28, 2001, the state petitioned to civilly commit Jackson as a sexually dangerous person. In early 2002, at Jackson’s request, Jackson’s mother met with the victim, M.H., and asked her to “tell the truth.” At that meeting, M.H. signed two statements prepared by Jackson’s mother that recanted M.H.’s allegations regarding the 1992 sexual assault.
In May 2002, a hearing was held on
the state’s civil commitment petition during which M.H. recanted her statements
and testimony regarding the 1992 sexual assault. Jackson also presented M.H.’s signed
statements. The district court found
that the written statements were devoid of any persuasive value and that M.H.’s
testimony was not credible because it was influenced by her contact with
Jackson, who has served his criminal sentence but is committed as a sexually dangerous person, again petitioned for postconviction relief on June 28, 2005, seeking a new trial based on M.H.’s recantation. The district court denied the petition without a hearing. This appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
Jackson contends that the denial of
the postconviction petition was an abuse of discretion. A petition for postconviction relief is a
collateral attack on a judgment that carries a presumption of regularity. Pederson
v. State, 649 N.W.2d 161, 163 (
considering the merits of the postconviction petition, the district court
independently reviewed the transcript of
We apply a three-pronged test to
determine whether a new trial based on a postconviction claim of witness
recantation is warranted. Such relief is
granted when (1) the postconviction court is reasonably well satisfied
that the trial testimony in question was false; (2) without the testimony the
jury might have reached a different verdict; and (3) the petitioner was
surprised by the false testimony at trial or did not know of its falsity until
after the trial. Opsahl v. State, 710 N.W.2d 776, 782 (
Moreover, Jackson, who had received police reports of M.H.’s account of the sexual assault during pretrial discovery, was not surprised by her trial testimony; nor can he claim that he did not know of the “alleged falsity” of M.H’s testimony until after trial. As we noted in our opinion denying Jackson’s prior postconviction petition, M.H.’s credibility was challenged during cross-examination at trial, and the jury rejected this challenge. Jackson v. State, No. C0-94-1353, 1995 WL 311745, at *3 (Minn. App. May 23, 1995), review denied (Minn. Aug. 30, 1995). We also noted that M.H. gave a description of the inside of Jackson’s house that included details that she would not have learned, according to Jackson’s account of their altercation, and that M.H.’s injuries corroborated her description of the assault. Id. Any alleged falsity in M.H.’s testimony was thoroughly aired for both Jackson and the jury. Accordingly, Jackson failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he is entitled to postconviction relief.
light of the robust record on the witness-recantation claim available for the district
court’s review, it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to
deny Jackson’s petition for postconviction relief without a hearing.
 A detailed account of the facts underlying Jackson’s conviction is set forth in Jackson v. State, No. C0-94-1353, 1995 WL 311745, at *1 (Minn. App. May 23, 1995), review denied (Minn. Aug. 30, 1995).
 The postconviction proceedings and the civil commitment proceedings were not before the same judge.
 The legislature has amended Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(a) (Supp. 2005), which now provides that: “No petition for postconviction relief may be filed more than two years after the later of: (1) the entry of judgment of conviction or sentence if no direct appeal is filed; or (2) an appellate court’s disposition of petitioner’s direct appeal.” Because this statute became effective on August 1, 2005, 2005 Minn. Laws ch. 136, § 13, at 775, the amended statute does not govern the district court’s timeliness analysis. We note, however, that the supreme court has held that enactment of another statute that set time limits for a direct challenge of a sentence constituted an unconstitutional encroachment on the judicial function of defining a court’s jurisdiction. See State v. Losh,721 N.W.2d 886, 892 (Minn. 2006) (holding that Minn. Stat. § 244.11, subd. 3 (2004), which imposed limitations on defendant’s right to seek sentence modification, violated doctrine of separation of powers by unconstitutionally encroaching on judicial function of defining appellate jurisdiction under Minn. Const. art. VI, § 2).