Hall v. State, No. SC01-42.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtSHAW, J.
Citation823 So.2d 757
PartiesJohn HALL, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Decision Date03 July 2002
Docket NumberNo. SC01-42.

823 So.2d 757

John HALL, Petitioner,
v.
STATE of Florida, Respondent

No. SC01-42.

Supreme Court of Florida.

July 3, 2002.


823 So.2d 758
Nancy A. Daniels, Public Defender, and P. Douglas Brinkmeyer and Joel Arnold, Assistant Public Defenders, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee, FL, for Petitioner

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, James W. Rogers, Tallahassee Bureau

823 So.2d 759
Chief, Criminal Appeals, and Charmaine E. Millsaps, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, FL, for Respondent

SHAW, J.

We have for review Hall v. State, 773 So.2d 99 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000), wherein the district court expressly declared a state statute valid. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. We approve the district court's decision.

FACTS

Hall was found guilty by a jury on the following two counts: (I) possession of cocaine; and (II) resisting arrest with violence. Both offenses were third-degree felonies with a statutory maximum of five years. According to the Criminal Punishment Code worksheet, the total sentencing points were 94.4, and its calculation provided that 49.8 was the "lowest permissible prison sentence in months."1 The worksheet indicated that "the maximum sentence is up to the statutory maximum" and that the sentences could be imposed either concurrently or consecutively.

The trial court noted Hall's criminal history, which included attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, shooting into a building, and aggravated assault. The judge sentenced Hall to five years' incarceration on count I and five years' incarceration on count II to run consecutively.

Hall appealed, and the First District Court of Appeal affirmed his convictions and sentences in Hall v. State, 773 So.2d 99 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000), wherein it also held that the Criminal Punishment Code (hereinafter "the Code") does not violate federal or state constitutional guarantees of due process or the prohibition against cruel or unusual punishment and is otherwise constitutional. In this Court, Hall reasserts his charge that the Code is unconstitutional.

1. Due Process

Hall argues that the Code violates his due process rights because it invites discriminatory sentencing by trial judges and promotes sentence disparity. We disagree.

It is settled federal and state law that "[t]he test to be applied to determine if a particular statute is in violation of the due process clause is whether it bears a reasonable relation to a permissible legislative objective and is not discriminatory, arbitrary, or oppressive." Johns v. May, 402 So.2d 1166, 1169 (Fla.1981); see also Chapman v. United States, 500 U.S. 453, 465, 111 S.Ct. 1919, 114 L.Ed.2d 524 (1991).

The expressed legislative purpose under the Code is articulated thusly: "The primary purpose of sentencing [pursuant to the Code] is to punish the offender. Rehabilitation is a desired goal of the criminal justice system but is subordinate to the goal of punishment." § 921.002(1)(b), Fla. Stat. (Supp.1998). "The penalty imposed [for an offense] is commensurate with the severity of the offense and the circumstances surrounding [it]." § 921.002(1)(c), Fla. Stat. (Supp.1998). In addition, "[t]he severity of the sentence increases with the length and nature of the offender's prior record." § 921.002(1)(d), Fla. Stat. (Supp. 1998).

Even though the primary goal of the Code is punishment, it does not punish indiscriminately. Based upon objective criteria, such as the severity and nature of the offense and the offender's criminal history,

823 So.2d 760
the Legislature has provided a reasonable basis for its criminal sentencing scheme which is neither discriminatory, arbitrary, nor oppressive.2

2. Cruel or Unusual Punishment

Hall argues that the Code violates the federal and state constitutional prohibition against cruel or unusual punishment. He posits that his total imprisonment time—120 months—is cruel or unusual or both in that a similarly situated defendant under the prior sentencing guidelines could not have received more than 83 months' incarceration, absent departure. We disagree.

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 17 of the Florida Constitution have historically provided protection relative to the mode and method of punishment, not the length of incarceration.3 See Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957, 979, 111 S.Ct. 2680, 115 L.Ed.2d 836 (1991) (noting that the Eighth Amendment historically "confirm[ed] the view that the cruel and unusual punishments clause was directed at prohibiting certain methods of punishment"). "[T]he length of the sentence actually imposed is generally said to be a matter of legislative prerogative." Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521, 526 (Fla.1993) (finding the defendant's concurrent minimum mandatory terms of ten years each did not constitute cruel or unusual punishment). "The Eighth Amendment does not require strict proportionality between crime and sentence. Rather, it forbids only extreme sentences that are `grossly disproportionate' to the crime." Harmelin, 501 U.S. at 1001, 111 S.Ct. 2680 (Kennedy, J., concurring). Moreover, "[o]utside the context of capital punishment, successful challenges to the proportionality of particular sentences have been exceedingly rare." Rummel v. Estelle, 445 U.S. 263, 272, 100 S.Ct. 1133, 63 L.Ed.2d 382 (1980); see also State v. Benitez, 395 So.2d 514 (Fla.1981).

Hall was sentenced to five years' incarceration for the possession of cocaine and another five years' imprisonment for resisting with violence, to run consecutively. He complains that his consecutive sentence is cruel and unusual. This argument is without merit. Statutorily mandated consecutive sentencing has been held to be constitutionally permissible, see United States v. Parker, 241 F.3d 1114, 1117 (9th Cir.2001) (holding that mandatory consecutive sentences imposed for convictions for use or carrying of firearm during and in

823 So.2d 761
relation to four bank robberies, which accounted for 300 months of defendant's total sentence, did not violate Eighth Amendment); Commonwealth v. Alvarez, 413 Mass. 224, 596 N.E.2d 325 (1992), and the United States Supreme Court has rejected cruel and unusual punishment challenges to consecutive sentencing. See Hutto v. Davis, 454 U.S. 370, 102 S.Ct. 703, 70 L.Ed.2d 556 (1982) (sentencing defendant to two prison terms of twenty years to run consecutively for two distinct counts of possession and intent to distribute marijuana was not cruel and unusual punishment). Furthermore, Florida courts have traditionally permitted consecutive sentencing for distinct offenses. See generally Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521, 525 (Fla.1993) (concluding that a trial court may sentence consecutively for two separate offenses but it cannot enhance each sentence under the habitual violent felony statute and thereafter run the enhanced sentences consecutively without legislative authority to do so in the habitual offender statute)

Hall also asserts that the Code violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment because it provides for mandatory sentences with few exceptions. We disagree. This Court has consistently held that minimum mandatory sentencing schemes do not constitute cruel or unusual punishment. See e.g., State v. Benitez, 395 So.2d 514, 518 (Fla.1981); McArthur v. State, 351 So.2d 972 (Fla. 1977); Banks v. State, 342 So.2d 469 (Fla. 1976); O'Donnell v. State, 326 So.2d 4 (Fla.1975). Moreover, under the Code, a trial court is free to sentence below the lowest permissible sentence established by the Code provided the court gives written reasons for doing so. § 921.002(1)(f), Fla. Stat. (Supp.1998).

3. Double Jeopardy

Hall asserts that the Code violates double jeopardy principles. He contends that the Code skews the sentencing process in favor of the State in that it allows the State to appeal downward departure sentences and restricts the defendant's right to appeal.

The federal and Florida constitutions prohibit being twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense. The Fifth Amendment to the federal constitution provides that no person shall be "subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. Const. amend. V. The Florida Constitution provides: "No person shall ... be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense...." Art. I, § 9, Fla. Const. The scope of the Double Jeopardy Clause is the same in both the federal constitution and the Florida Constitution. See Carawan v. State, 515 So.2d 161, 164 (Fla.1987), superseded on other grounds by ch. 88-131, § 7, Laws of Fla.; Cohens v. Elwell, 600 So.2d 1224, 1225 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992).

This Court has recognized well-settled jurisprudence relative to the Double Jeopardy Clause:

[Double jeopardy] protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal. It protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction. And it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense.

Goene v. State, 577 So.2d 1306, 1307 (Fla. 1991) (quoting North...

To continue reading

Request your trial
96 practice notes
  • Jones v. Mcneil, Case No: 07-22890-CIV-ZLOCH
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • March 7, 2011
    ...claim was not preserved for review. Further, because it was first raised in the reply brief, we need not address it. See Hall v. State, 823 So.2d 757, 763 (Fla.2002) ("Hall made no argument regarding equal protection in his initial brief; thus, he is procedurally barred from making this arg......
  • T.M.H. v. D.M.T., No. 5D09–3559.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 26, 2012
    ...this case, the issue is further barred from consideration in that Appellant never made the argument on appeal either. Cf. Hall v. State, 823 So.2d 757 (Fla.2002) (recognizing an appellant's failure to make an argument in an initial brief acts as a procedural bar to consideration of the issu......
  • Crenshaw v. Jones, Case No.: 3:15cv253/LAC/EMT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Florida
    • November 22, 2016
    ...by state procedural rules from returning to state court to present the federal constitutional nature of his claim. See Hall v. State, 823 So. 2d 757, 763 (Fla. 2002) ("[A]n issue not raised in an initial brief is deemed abandoned"); Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(c) ("This rule does not authorize r......
  • Rosier v. State, No. 1D16-2327
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2019
    ...it in the initial brief. Otherwise, issuesPage 5 not raised in the initial brief are considered waived or abandoned.1 See Hall v. State, 823 So. 2d 757, 763 (Fla. 2002) (finding procedurally barred argument made in appellant's reply brief that was not raised in the initial brief), abrogated......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
95 cases
  • Jones v. Mcneil, Case No: 07-22890-CIV-ZLOCH
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • March 7, 2011
    ...claim was not preserved for review. Further, because it was first raised in the reply brief, we need not address it. See Hall v. State, 823 So.2d 757, 763 (Fla.2002) ("Hall made no argument regarding equal protection in his initial brief; thus, he is procedurally barred from making this arg......
  • T.M.H. v. D.M.T., No. 5D09–3559.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 26, 2012
    ...this case, the issue is further barred from consideration in that Appellant never made the argument on appeal either. Cf. Hall v. State, 823 So.2d 757 (Fla.2002) (recognizing an appellant's failure to make an argument in an initial brief acts as a procedural bar to consideration of the issu......
  • Crenshaw v. Jones, Case No.: 3:15cv253/LAC/EMT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Florida
    • November 22, 2016
    ...by state procedural rules from returning to state court to present the federal constitutional nature of his claim. See Hall v. State, 823 So. 2d 757, 763 (Fla. 2002) ("[A]n issue not raised in an initial brief is deemed abandoned"); Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(c) ("This rule does not authorize r......
  • Rosier v. State, No. 1D16-2327
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2019
    ...it in the initial brief. Otherwise, issuesPage 5 not raised in the initial brief are considered waived or abandoned.1 See Hall v. State, 823 So. 2d 757, 763 (Fla. 2002) (finding procedurally barred argument made in appellant's reply brief that was not raised in the initial brief), abrogated......
  • 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