Free Quincy Corbett Jr. In 1984 he was sentenced without a plea agreement or a trial.

Free Quincy Corbett Jr. In 1984 he was sentenced without a plea agreement or a trial.

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Betty Hill started this petition to District Attorney of Cumberland County North Carolina

 Around December 23, 1983, Quincy Corbett Jr's co-defendant convinced him they could make some money on a job he had if Quincy would come and help him and unfortunately, he did. The co-defendant had stolen a key from the house of a white woman in the community. Quincy did not know where the co-defendant was leading him until they got there. On March first,1984 Quincy turned himself in to authorities in Cumberland County NC for breaking, entering and larceny. He was 21 years of age. Quincy was checked out of jail by two detectives and rode around with them pointing out the houses he and another defendant broke into and robbed. As a result of the December 23,1983 crime, in April 1984, charges of first-degree rape and first-degree burglary were added to Quincy's case. 

He remained in jail being represented by a public defender who became angry at him when he made a statement to the same two detectives without his presence. This public defender insisted on August 14,1984 he sign a plea agreement. This agreement was signed by the judge, district attorney, his lawyer and clerk of court. The plea required he testify against his co-defendant and for Quincy to plead guilty to first degree rape (four counts); first degree burglary; common law robbery, felony larceny; breaking & entering a motor vehicle, auto larceny; second degree kidnapping; breaking or entering (four counts) and larceny (four counts). The plea would sentence him to one (1) life sentence plus 20 years. (This information is from the plea agreement signed August 14, 1984). Quincy said the public defender pressured him to plead guilty that if he did not there would be an all-white jury and he, the lawyer, could not do anything about that. (Quincy being black and the victim being white) The plea agreement excessively multiplied the charges.

Quincy submitted hair, saliva and blood samples willingly because he was not sure he committed the rape due to being high on drugs and drinking heavily. Later he asked his lawyer the results of the test and he said it was in Quincy's favor. However, Quincy never received the results and even after requesting all discovery information he was never allowed to see any of this information.

On the day of Quincy's deposition for the plea, November 19,1984, his public defender called in sick and another attorney filled in, who turned out to be Quincy's uncle. The deposition was cut short because Quincy was not answering questions like the DA (district attorney) wanted. Quincy said the DA was very angry at him. The public defender nor the fill in attorney instructed Quincy in what to say in the deposition and he was confused as to how to answer.

On November 30, 1984, the public defender made a motion to have himself removed as Quincy's attorney due to conflict of interest and the court appointed another public defender.

On December 17,1984 this new public defender filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. This was a motion for appropriate relief in striking a plea (MAR). The request was pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 15A-1415 and 15A-1417 and pursuant to the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments of the US Constitution on grounds that his plea was not his informed choice nor voluntarily made. Petitioner also claims he was denied effective assistance of counsel in preparation of his case and advice to plea. This motion was denied.

Also, on December 17,1984 Quincy was brought into court without being told by his attorney the reason and he thought he was going to be sentenced according to the plea agreement since he had not been told differently. During this “sentencing hearing” it was stated that Quincy had already pleaded guilty to all charges on August 14, 1984. During the proceedings the public defender explained how Quincy's written testimony aided the state in convicting his co-defendant in his trial the week before.

The public defender stated that the detective said there was only one actual rape committed by Quincy.

In the last paragraph the judge told Quincy that he had repudiated the plea agreement. If the plea was repudiated how could the guilty pleas from it be used in the sentencing court? Also, this sentencing by the court violates North Carolina General Statute 15A-1024.

N.C.G.S. 15A-1024 states,” If at the time of sentencing, the judge for any reason determines to impose a sentence other than provided for in a plea agreement between the parties, the judge must inform the defendant of that fact and inform the defendant that he may withdraw his plea. Upon withdrawal, the defendant is entitled to a continuance until the next session of court.”

So, in reality Quincy was denied the plea agreement signed by the judge, district attorney, his attorney, clerk of court and Quincy. He was also denied a trial. It is ironic to note that his co-defendant received two trials.

In this “sentencing hearing”, Quincy was sentenced to three life sentences plus 90 years with possible parole in 2045, by a different judge than the one who presided over the plea agreement. Quincy was shipped to Central Prison in Raleigh NC to start serving his sentences. Today he is in Pasquotank Correctional Institution, Elizabeth City, N.C. sent June,15, 2022 from Franklin Correctional Center at Bunn, NC and is in his 38th year in prison. The plea sentence would have given Quincy a possible parole at 28 years in prison.

On January 25,1985 his public defender filed a motion for appropriate relief pursuant to N.C.G.S. 15A-1411, 15A-1415, and 15A-1417. The motion explained violations of law in the case and many examples of ineffectual counsel by the first attorney. Relief requested was an evidentiary hearing pursuant to N.C. G. S. 15A-1420, striking of the plea, vacating of the sentence, and a new trial.

However, the public defender failed to point out the violation of N.C.G.S. 15A-1024 and the fact that Quincy had not received a trial.

On February 18, 1985, the public defender filed a motion for appropriate relief in which Quincy repudiated the statements to police, requested striking of the plea, vacation of the sentence, a new trial following an evidential hearing pursuant to N.C.G.S. 15A-1420. This motion prepared by the public defender did not point out to the court the violation of the plain terms of N.C.G.S. 15A-1024

On June 10, 1985, an evidentiary hearing was held on the facts surrounding the taking of the plea. This hearing upheld the December 17,1984 sentencing hearing and denied the February 18th motion. These decisions were made by the same judge that sentenced Quincy on December 17, 1984. At the hearing the public defender did not point out the violation of N.C.G.S. 15A-1024.

The public defender filed a writ of certiorari for Quincy which was denied by the NC Supreme Court November 4, 1985.

On November 23,1987 Quincy file, on his own, a motion for appropriate relief arguing ineffective assistance of counsel at the sentencing hearing which was in violation of N.C.G.S. 15A-1024 and an objection was not made by his attorney. On December 3,1987 Cumberland County District Court denied the MAR without ruling on the violation of N.C.G.S. 15A-1024. The court further ruled the defendant was trying to get relief from that which was previously decided June 10,1985 by the same judge that sentenced Quincy on December 17,1984.

On August 22, 1990, Quincy filed a writ of certiorari seeking review of the order of June 10, 1985, denying his original MAR that he should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea when the judge did not impose the agreed sentence.

On September 25, 1990, the State responded to the August 22nd writ of certiorari, that since the violation of G.S. 15A-1024 argument was not expressed in the MAR by the public defender, it should be procedurally barred from further review.

Also in August 1990, Quincy filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of N.C. Asking for review of the denial of his November,1987, MAR.

On September 27, 1990, the state responded,

“The State contends that G.S. Sec. 15A-1024 does not apply to the case at bar because the State's original sentence recommendation was contingent upon petitioner's providing testimony against his co-defendant. The State's position is that when petitioner declined to testify against the co-defendant the State's sentence recommendation became void and the trial court was free to exercise its own judgment about what sentence to impose, G.S. Sec. 15A-1024 notwithstanding.”

Actually, it was not a trial court, it was a sentencing hearing and Quincy's written testimony was used by the state to help convict his co-defendant a week earlier.

The State also argued that the 1985 MAR filed by the public defender did not point out the violation of G.S. 15A-1024 because of ineffective counsel and for this reason should be procedurally barred. Both of the last two petitions were denied by the N.C. Supreme Court November 8, 1990.

On March 29,1993 an MAR was filed by mail to the District Attorney in Fayetteville N.C. By the North Carolina Prisoners Legal Services in Raleigh N.C. This MAR pointed out the sentencing court did not advise the defendant of his right pursuant to N.C.G.S.15A-1024 to withdraw the plea upon the imposition of a sentence different than that provided for in the plea arrangement between the parties and his right to a continuance till the next session of court. How can the State deny Quincy's rights when N.C.G.S. 15A-1024 clearly states, "If at time of sentencing the Judge for ANY REASON determines to impose a sentence other than provided for in a plea arrangement between the parties, the JUDGE MUST inform the defendant that he may withdraw his plea. Upon withdrawal, the defendant is entitled to a continuance until the next session of court." Clearly, the Judge did not do this!

Most of the information contained in this narrative is from this MAR. Many petitions have been filed over the years by Public Defenders, The N.C. Prisoners Legal Services, and by Quincy himself of which he probably filed 7 to 10 petitions on his own. All have been denied.

I cannot understand how the State of N.C. can pick and choose which of their citizens a State Law will apply and which ones it will not apply to. I think the Constitution of The United States and the Constitution of North Carolina will not support such discrimination toward its citizens.

Quincy is not the same man he was in 1983. He admits he did wrong and is sorry for what he did. I believe he is rehabilitated and will be a law-abiding citizen if released back into society. I believe as his family and others that he has been punished long enough and the fact he was denied his constitutional rights and due process, he should be released.

During his time in prison, he became a Christian in 1994 and since then has worked to serve others. He is a mentor to younger inmates and encourages them to make changes in their lives to never come back to prison. Also, in 2012 he served as an Assistant Chaplain.

He has completed all classes, training, College courses and Bible studies he could get receiving at least sixteen certificates including an Associate in Arts Degree from Shaw University. He was awarded a certificate of outstanding achievement for his years of service as a canteen operator. This is a job only given to the most trusted men. 

In 38 years, Quincy has broken the rules 19 times, 17 between 1984 to 2005. The last 2 infractions were in 2022.  A couple examples of his infractions are, no threat contraband (possessing something not allowed, like tobacco) or Illegal cloth/linen/sheets. All infractions have been non-violent similar to these two. Thirty-eight years with only19 infractions! Amazing record.

The above narrative from December 17,1984 sentencing hearing to the Prison Legal Services 1993 MAR and also petitions filed beyond these dates up to at least April 2019 exposes the systematic denials of all these petitions, including procedural bars on further mars, keep Quincy's constitutional rights to the provisions of N.C.G.S. 15A-1024 shrouded in darkness. We ask you to sign this petition to help bring light to this injustice.

Please sign this petition and share Quincy's story with everyone you can.

Thank You and God Bless You.

Quincy's information, Quincy Corbett Jr. 0087741, Pasquotank Correctional Institution, Elizabeth City, N.C. 27906





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