Adams v. State, s. 65845

Decision Date11 September 1984
Docket NumberNos. 65845,65853,s. 65845
Citation456 So.2d 888
PartiesAubrey Dennis ADAMS, Jr., Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. and Aubrey Dennis ADAMS, Jr., Petitioner, v. Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, etc., Respondent.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Kenneth R. Hart and Timothy B. Elliott of Ausley, McMullen, McGehee, Carothers & Proctor and Philip J. Padovano, Tallahassee, for appellant/petitioner.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen. and Margene A. Roper, Asst. Atty. Gen., Daytona Beach, for appellee/respondent.

ADKINS, Justice.

This case is before us on appeal from the trial court's denial of appellant's motion to vacate his conviction and sentence pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. We also have before us a motion for stay of execution and a petition for habeas corpus. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(1), (9), Fla.Const.

This case has previously been before us on direct appeal from appellant's conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death. At that time, we affirmed appellant's conviction and sentence. Adams v. State, 412 So.2d 850 (Fla.1982). A writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court was denied. Adams v. Florida, 459 U.S. 882, 103 S.Ct. 182, 74 L.Ed.2d 148 (1982).

The facts of this case are set forth in this Court's opinion on direct appeal and will not be repeated here.

Adams raises two points in his post-conviction petition. In the first of these, he claims that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel when trial counsel failed to object to: 1) a general verdict of guilty which was based either upon a finding of premeditated murder or an alternative theory under the felony murder rule; 2) jury instructions which allowed the jury to consider all the aggravating circumstances listed in the death penalty statute even though there was no evidence to support some of these; 3) jury instructions which allowed the jury to consider all lesser degrees of homicide even though there was no evidentiary basis for them; 4) jury instructions that required the death penalty recommendation to be agreed upon by seven or more jurors, even though six is sufficient to recommend life; and 5) jury instructions that failed to clearly define and explain the nature and function of mitigating circumstances and failed to inform the jury they could recommend life even though they found aggravating circumstances. These are all matters which could have been raised on direct appeal and which, as the trial judge correctly held, were not properly entertained in a 3.850 motion. McCrae v. State, 437 So.2d 1388 (Fla.1983).

The failure of trial counsel to interpose objections to these matters during trial was not such a serious omission or such a deficient performance as to deprive defendant of a "fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable." Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984).

Adams' second point in his post-conviction petition is likewise without merit. He argues that the trial court erred in refusing an evidentiary hearing concerning his competency to stand trial or to participate in the sentencing phase of his trial and concerning the competency of his trial counsel.

Regarding his competency to stand trial, Adams now argues that an expert will testify that he now suffers from a mental disorder known as catathymic amnesia, which renders him incapable of recalling traumatic experiences, and this mental disorder in turn rendered him incompetent to stand trial. Once again, his competency to stand trial is a matter which either was or should have been determined on direct appeal. McCrae. In his direct appeal we noted that there was no testimony that Adams had suffered from mental illness in the past. 412 So.2d at 857. In any event, the testimony that is being offered is a diagnosis of Adams' present condition and is not evidence that he suffered from this disorder at the time of trial.

Finally, none of the grounds asserted by Adams as deficiencies of his trial counsel warranted an evidentiary hearing either because they were not cognizable in post-conviction proceedings or were adequately set forth in his motion for post-conviction relief so that no evidentiary hearing was necessary.

In his habeas petition, Adams argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at the appellate level.

The standards to be applied in determining whether a defendant was denied his sixth amendment right to effective assistance of counsel were set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Strickland. The standards enunciated in that case do not "differ significantly" with those espoused by this Court in Knight v. State, 394 So.2d 997 (Fla.1981); Jackson v. State, 452 So.2d 533, 535 (Fla.1984). See also Downs v. State, 453 So.2d 1102 (Fla.1984). Strickland held that a defendant's claim for ineffective assistance of counsel has two components:

First, the defendant must show that counsel's performance was deficient. This requires showing that counsel made errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the "counsel" guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment. Second, the defendant must show that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. This requires showing that counsel's errors were so serious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable.

104 S.Ct. at 2064.

To prove prejudice, the Court further stated that "the defendant must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable...

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14 cases
  • Dugger v. Adams
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • February 28, 1989
    ...Court affirmed the denial of respondent's first motion for postconviction relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. Adams v. State, 456 So.2d 888. Again, respondent did not challenge the trial judge's statements to the jurors on their responsibility for the death sentence. Resp......
  • Harvard v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • February 6, 1986
    ...death penalty should be applied. These are not proper issues for consideration in a post-conviction relief proceeding. See Adams v. State, 456 So.2d 888 (Fla.1984); Zeigler v. State, 452 So.2d 537 (Fla.1984); Armstrong v. State, 429 So.2d 287 (Fla.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 865, 104 S.Ct. 20......
  • Kelley v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • April 10, 1986 raised under the banner of ineffective assistance which we determined should have been raised on direct appeal in Adams v. State, 456 So.2d 888 (Fla.1984), the claims here raised by appellant cannot be sufficiently determined by the record as it stands. The issue is therefore not pro......
  • Adams v. Wainwright, 86-3207
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • November 13, 1986
    ...U.S. 882, 103 S.Ct. 182, 74 L.Ed.2d 148 (1982), and his motions for post-conviction relief pursuant to Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.850, Adams v. State, 456 So.2d 888 (Fla.1984); Adams v. State, 484 So.2d 1216 (Fla.1986), and petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Florida, 484 So.2d ......
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