Judge dismisses former Limestone Co. Sheriff’s Rule 32 petition

Blakely filed the petition the same day he started his three-year sentence in the Franklin County Jail on Feb. 24.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:50 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - A circuit judge dismissed former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s Rule 32 petition on Saturday.

Blakely filed the petition the same day he started his three-year sentence in the Franklin County Jail on Feb. 24. In this petition, Blakely claimed the conviction was “obtained by (a) judge not authorized to practice law in the State of Alabama.”

He alleged that he was entitled to relief because Judge Pamela Baschab was not an active member of the Alabama State Bar when she presided over his trial.

In late March, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall responded to the petition, requesting that the court dismiss the position.

The main points taken from the dismissal court documents are that Blakely’s defense had the tools to research Judge Pamela Baschab’s standings with the Bar and it could have been raised at trial and raised on appeal.

The court document states that Blakely admitted to not contesting Judge Baschab’s appointment until more than a year after his sentencing.

The Court also stated that Blakely’s claim is legally and factually meritless, one reason is that according to Alabama Law, the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice is permitted to freely appoint a retired “supernumerary judge, irrespective of whether that judge maintains an active license to practice law with the State Bar.”

Thereafter, on the request of the Chief Justice...any such retired justice or judge may serve on the Supreme Court, on either of the courts of appeals or on any circuit court in the state. Such retired justice or judge, when serving on a court in the absence of disqualification of the regular justice or judge, as the case may be, shall have and exercise all the duties and functions of the regular justice or judge for whom he is substituting.

The Court called upon the dismissal of the petition since Blakely did not amend the petition after he was notified of “the inadequacy of his petition.”

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