Hale v. State, No. 80242

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtOVERTON; BARKETT; KOGAN; KOGAN
Citation630 So.2d 521
Docket NumberNo. 80242
Decision Date14 October 1993
Parties18 Fla. L. Weekly S535 Willie Frank HALE, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.

Page 521

630 So.2d 521
18 Fla. L. Weekly S535
Willie Frank HALE, Petitioner,
v.
STATE of Florida, Respondent.
No. 80242.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Oct. 14, 1993.
Rehearing Denied Feb. 9, 1994.

Page 522

Nancy A. Daniels, Public Defender and P. Douglas Brinkmeyer, Asst. Public Defender, Chief, Appellate Div. and Glen P. Gifford, Asst. Public Defender, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee, for petitioner.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., and James W. Rogers, Bureau Chief, Asst. Atty. Gen. and Charlie McCoy, Asst. Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, for respondent.

OVERTON, Justice.

We have for review Hale v. State, 600 So.2d 1228 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992), in which the district court certified the following questions as being of great public importance:

1. Does it violate a defendant's substantive due process rights when he is classified as a violent felony offender pursuant to section 775.084, and thereby subjected to an extended term of imprisonment, if he has been convicted of an enumerated violent felony within the previous five years, even though his present offense is a nonviolent felony?

2. Does section 775.084(1)(b) violate the constitutional protection against double jeopardy by increasing a defendant's punishment due to the nature of a prior offense?

Id. at 1228. 1 There are three sets of issues presented in this case: (1) the certified questions; (2) whether Hale was improperly sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment; and (3) whether the sentences imposed constitute cruel or unusual punishment. We answer the certified questions in the negative in accordance with our decision in Tillman v. State, 609 So.2d 1295 (Fla.1992). We also find that the district court erred in upholding the imposition of consecutive sentences and order that the sentences run concurrently. Finally, we hold that the concurrent sentences that we herein order be imposed do not constitute cruel or unusual punishment.

The relevant facts show that Hale was charged with: (1) the sale of cocaine, and (2) the possession of cocaine with intent to sell after he sold a small quantity of cocaine to a confidential informant. The case went to trial and the jury found Hale guilty on both counts. The State filed a notice of intent to have Hale sentenced as a habitual violent felony offender under section 775.084(1)(b), Florida Statutes (1991), 2 asserting that Hale

Page 523

had been convicted of aggravated assault in 1989, as well as other felonies. The aggravated assault judgment, as well as the other judgments, were entered into evidence without objection. The court found Hale to be a habitual violent felony offender under section 775.084(1)(b), Florida Statutes (1991). The sentencing scoresheet provided a recommended range of four-and-one-half to five-and-one-half years; however, because Hale was found to be a habitual violent felony offender, the trial judge had the discretion to sentence Hale to a maximum of thirty years per count, with each count carrying a ten-year minimum mandatory sentence. See Sec. 775.084(4)(b), Fla.Stat. (1991). The court sentenced Hale to two consecutive twenty-five year habitual violent felony offender terms, one term for the conviction on the charge of sale of cocaine and another term for the conviction on the charge of possession of the same cocaine, with each sentence carrying a ten-year minimum mandatory sentence. Accordingly, Hale would serve a minimum of twenty years before being eligible for parole.

On appeal to the First District Court of Appeal, Hale argued that: (1) enhancing his sentence under section 775.084 violates due process, double jeopardy, and equal protection; and (2) imposing consecutive twenty-five year sentences, with the resulting twenty-year minimum mandatory sentence, constitutes cruel or unusual punishment as prohibited by article I, section 17, of the Florida Constitution. The district court held that Hale's sentence as a habitual violent felony offender did not violate Hale's substantive due process rights, nor did it constitute double jeopardy. The district court then certified the same questions it had previously certified in Tillman.

The district court in this case also rejected Hale's argument that his consecutive sentences constituted cruel or unusual punishment under the Florida Constitution. The district court concluded that there was "no authority for [Hale's] assertion that the 'cruel or unusual' punishment clause in the Florida Constitution requires (or allows) proportionality review in non-death penalty cases." Hale, 600 So.2d at 1229.

We examine each of these issues in turn.

Certified Questions

In Tillman, we rejected the due process claim, finding that the legislature could constitutionally "provide longer sentences for criminals who commit felonies and have previously been convicted of a violent felony." 609 So.2d at 1297. We also rejected the double jeopardy claim, citing our decision in Eutsey v. State, 383 So.2d 219 (Fla.1980), and the First District's decision in Henderson v. State, 569 So.2d 925 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990). In rejecting these claims in Tillman, we stated that

the sentence imposed for a subsequent offense is enhanced on the theory that the defendant's prior conviction of a violent felony indicates the 'incorrigible and dangerous character of the accused and establish[es] the necessity for enhanced restraint. In this sense, therefore, the enhanced punishment is incident to the last offense alone, but for which it would not be imposed.'

609 So.2d at 1298 (quoting Henderson, 569 So.2d at 927) (alteration in original). For the

Page 524

reasons expressed in Tillman, we answer the certified questions in the negative.

Consecutive Sentences

The next issue is whether the trial court erred in imposing consecutive rather than concurrent sentences. Hale did not raise this issue before the district court because the law in the First District at the time allowed consecutive habitual offender minimum mandatory sentences. See Daniels v. State, 577 So.2d 725 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991), quashed, 595 So.2d 952 (Fla.1992). Because we quashed the district court's decision in Daniels, Hale is entitled to raise the issue in these proceedings.

Hale asserts that our decision in Daniels requires a reversal of the trial court's imposition of consecutive minimum mandatory sentences. We agree. Daniels is persuasive authority although that case involved a different enhancement statute. In Daniels, the defendant was convicted of three separate crimes, all of which arose from the same criminal episode. Daniels, 595 So.2d at 953. The statutes which prescribed the sentence for each crime did not provide for minimum...

To continue reading

Request your trial
433 practice notes
  • Diaz v. State, No. 199
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • November 2, 1999
    ...as certain sexual offenses could be applied to only one of the sexual offenses to which the enhancement statute applied); Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521 (Fla.1993) (when habitual offender enhancement is applied to maximum sentence for two separate counts committed during the same criminal epi......
  • State v. Barnum, No. SC03-1315.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • September 22, 2005
    ...1995), receded from on other grounds by Dixon v. State, 730 So.2d 265 (Fla.1999), this Court held that the decision in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521 (Fla.1993), satisfied all three prongs of the Witt test and should therefore be applied retroactively. In Hale, we held that there was no statu......
  • Hughes v. State, No. SC02-2247.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 28, 2005
    ...were invalid, was to be applied retroactively); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 985 (Fla.1995) (holding that decision in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521, 526 (Fla.1993), which held that trial courts could not impose consecutive habitual felony offender sentences for multiple offenses arising......
  • Johnson v. State, No. SC03-1042.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 28, 2005
    ...were invalid, was to be applied retroactively); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 987 (Fla.1995) (holding that decision in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521, 526 (Fla.1993), which held that trial courts could not impose consecutive habitual felony offender sentences for multiple offenses arising......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
433 cases
  • Diaz v. State, No. 199
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • November 2, 1999
    ...as certain sexual offenses could be applied to only one of the sexual offenses to which the enhancement statute applied); Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521 (Fla.1993) (when habitual offender enhancement is applied to maximum sentence for two separate counts committed during the same criminal epi......
  • State v. Barnum, No. SC03-1315.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • September 22, 2005
    ...1995), receded from on other grounds by Dixon v. State, 730 So.2d 265 (Fla.1999), this Court held that the decision in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521 (Fla.1993), satisfied all three prongs of the Witt test and should therefore be applied retroactively. In Hale, we held that there was no statu......
  • Hughes v. State, No. SC02-2247.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 28, 2005
    ...were invalid, was to be applied retroactively); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 985 (Fla.1995) (holding that decision in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521, 526 (Fla.1993), which held that trial courts could not impose consecutive habitual felony offender sentences for multiple offenses arising......
  • Johnson v. State, No. SC03-1042.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 28, 2005
    ...were invalid, was to be applied retroactively); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 987 (Fla.1995) (holding that decision in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521, 526 (Fla.1993), which held that trial courts could not impose consecutive habitual felony offender sentences for multiple offenses arising......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT