Ex parte Maples

Decision Date10 December 1999
Citation758 So.2d 81
PartiesEx parte Corey MAPLES. (In re Corey Maples v. State of Alabama).
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Clint Brown, Jr., Decatur; James R. Mason, Jr., Decatur; and Denise M. Hill, Decatur, for petitioner.

Bill Pryor, atty. gen., and Kathryn D. Anderson, asst. atty. gen., for respondent.

HOUSTON, Justice.

Corey Maples was convicted of two counts of capital murder for 1) the murders of Stacy Alan Terry and Barry Dewayne Robinson II, the murders having been committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, Ala.Code 1975, § 135-40(a)(1); and 2) the murder of Stacy Alan Terry, that murder having been committed during the course of Maples's committing a robbery, § 13A-5-40(a)(2). By a vote of 10-2, the jury recommended that Maples be sentenced to death. The trial court accepted the jury's recommendation and sentenced him to death. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and the sentence. See Maples v. State, 758 So.2d 1 (Ala.Crim.App.1999), for a full discussion of the pertinent facts. We granted certiorari review pursuant to Rule 39(c), Ala.R.App.P.

Having read and considered the record, together with the briefs and the arguments of counsel, we conclude that the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is due to be affirmed.

The opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeals discussed each of the issues the defendant has presented to this Court. We find it necessary to write to only one of those issues—whether the defendant is entitled to a new trial on the ground that the trial court erroneously denied him discovery of certain DNA-related evidence. (See Part I of the opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeals.)

The defendant contends that he was entitled to obtain discovery of each of the 12 items enumerated in Ex parte Perry, 586 So.2d 242, 255 (Ala.1991), but that the State provided only two of those items: 1) a copy of the report run by the laboratory and issued to the State and 2) chain-of-custody documents. He argues that the State should have produced the other 10 items because, he says, he requested DNA-related evidence and, he says, the denial of the discovery prevented him from effectively rebutting the State's inculpatory DNA evidence. That DNA evidence indicated that the defendant had murdered the two victims in Mr. Terry's automobile and had killed them both pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct. The Court of Criminal Appeals held that the defendant was not entitled to the requested information because, it stated, the defendant's initial pretrial discovery requests were not specific enough to put the State on notice that he was seeking DNA-related evidence. Alternatively, the Court of Criminal Appeals held that, even if the State should have disclosed additional evidence, this fact would not require a reversal, because 1) the defendant failed to make a timely objection under Rule 16.5, Ala.R.Crim.P.; 2) the defendant confessed to killing the victims while they were sitting in Mr. Terry's automobile in the defendant's driveway; 3) the defendant's counsel was allowed to thoroughly cross-examine the State's DNA expert about the methods he had used; and 4) the results of the defendant's independent DNA analysis were entirely consistent with, and probably more accurate than, those reached by the State's expert.

The defendant's initial discovery request, which was submitted before the trial, stated in pertinent part as follows:

"I. DEFINITIONS
"Unless the context indicates otherwise, the terms listed below are defined and used herein as follows:
". . . .
"2. `Document' or `documents' means any writing, record or data in any form or medium, whether or not privileged, that is in the state's actual or constructive possession, custody or control. As used herein, a document is deemed to be within the state's control if the state has a right to obtain a copy of it. `Document' also includes the original of any document in whatever form or medium it may exist, and all copies of each such document bearing, on any sheet or side thereof any marks (including by way of nonlimiting example: initials, stamped indicia, or any comment or notation of any character) not a part of the original text or any reproduction thereof. Examples of documents that must be produced include, but are not limited to, working papers, preliminary, intermediate or final drafts, correspondence, transcripts, analyses, studies, reports, surveys, memoranda, charts, notes, records (of any sort) of meetings, diaries, telegrams, telexes, faxes, reports of telephone or oral conversations, desk calendars, appointment books, audio or video tape recordings, photographs, films, microfilm, microfiche, computer tapes, disks or printouts, press releases, and all other writings or recordings of every kind.
"3. `Relating to' means discussing, describing, referring to, reflecting, containing, analyzing, studying, reporting on, commenting on, evidencing, constituting, setting forth, considering, recommending, concerning, relevant to, bearing on, or pertaining to, in whole or in part.
". . . .
"II. INSTRUCTIONS
". . . .
"4. Pursuant to Rule 16.3 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure, each request is continuing in nature and additional responsive documents that are obtained or discovered prior to the evidentiary hearing should be produced as soon as they are obtained or discovered.
". . . .
"III. DOCUMENTS TO BE PRODUCED
". . . .
"8. Materials in the District Attorney's Possession "The accused moves that this Court order the district attorneys for the Eighth Judicial District of Alabama to disclose to undersigned counsel, and permit them to inspect, copy and photograph, the following items:
". . . .
"8. all documents relating to the conducting or results of any medical, pathological, toxicological, chemical, biochemical, criminalistic, laboratory, forensic, or scientific examinations, investigations or analyses regarding the deaths of Stacy Alan Terry and Barry Dewayne Robinson, II, including but not limited to:
"(a) each document relating to the search of the scene of the crime;
"(b) each document relating to the search of the trailer located at Route 3, Box 184A, Decatur, Alabama; and the search of Corey Maples;
"(c) each document relating to any postmortem scientific or physical test(s) or experiment(s) conducted in connection with the deaths of Stacy Alan Terry and Barry Dewayne Robinson, II, including but not limited to all tests conducted by the state, including, but not limited to, the county coroner's office, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Morgan County Sheriff's
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1 cases
  • Sullivan v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 24, 2006
    ...e.g., Maples v. State, 758 So.2d 1, 50 (Ala.Crim.App.) ("[T]rial judges are presumed to know the law and to follow it."), aff'd, 758 So.2d 81 (Ala.1999). Sullivan's motion was sufficient to put the district court on notice that due process was at issue, despite the fact that Sullivan's coun......

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