Hall v. Wainwright, No. 82-195-Civ-Oc.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
Writing for the CourtRobert J. Landry, Tampa, Fla., for respondents
Citation565 F. Supp. 1222
PartiesFreddie Lee HALL, Petitioner, v. Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, Secretary, Florida Department of Offender Rehabilitation, Richard Dugger, Superintendent of Florida State Prison at Starke, Florida, and Jim Smith, Attorney General of the State of Florida, Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. 82-195-Civ-Oc.
Decision Date18 May 1983

565 F. Supp. 1222

Freddie Lee HALL, Petitioner,
v.
Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, Secretary, Florida Department of Offender Rehabilitation, Richard Dugger, Superintendent of Florida State Prison at Starke, Florida, and Jim Smith, Attorney General of the State of Florida, Respondents.

No. 82-195-Civ-Oc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division.

May 18, 1983.


565 F. Supp. 1223
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
565 F. Supp. 1224
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
565 F. Supp. 1225
Jerry T. Lockett, Tavares, Fla., for petitioner

Robert J. Landry, Tampa, Fla., for respondents.

OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN H. BLACK, District Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

This case is before the Court upon Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed in the Middle District of Florida on September 30, 1982. In conjunction with his petition, petitioner filed an application for a stay of execution of his sentence of death, scheduled for October 6, 1982, at 7:00 o'clock a.m. A hearing on petitioner's application for a stay of execution of the sentence of death was held on October 5, 1982. An order was entered that date by the Honorable Charles R. Scott granting the stay of execution pending a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case of Ford v. Strickland (now reported at 696 F.2d 804 (11th Cir.1983) (en banc) vacating 676 F.2d 434 (11th Cir. 1982)). Judge Scott noted that while petitioner alleged numerous grounds for relief, that ground which raised issues to be resolved in Ford v. Strickland was sufficient to require the Court to grant the stay of execution pending the outcome in that case. Goode v. Wainwright, 670 F.2d 941 (11th Cir.1982). Accordingly, Judge Scott entered a stay of execution on October 5, 1982.

The instant petition was then transferred pursuant to Middle District Rule 1.03(d) to the Honorable Susan H. Black for all further purposes and proceedings. (See Order entered on October 8, 1982, by Judge Charles R. Scott). In order to facilitate a prompt review on the merits of the remaining grounds raised by the petitioner, the Court reviewed the petition and the grounds asserted in support thereof. The Court also reviewed the response to the petition by the State of Florida.

The Court noted that throughout their response to the petition, respondents asserted that petitioner failed to object "at trial or on appeal" to a proceeding now challenged on federal habeas review. Respondents argued that this failure precludes collateral relief by way of federal habeas review, and have cited Wainwright v. Sykes, 433 U.S. 72, 97 S.Ct. 2497, 53 L.Ed.2d 594 (1976) and Engle v. Isaac, 456 U.S. 107, 102 S.Ct. 1558, 71 L.Ed.2d 783 (1982) for the proposition.

The Court also noted, however, that petitioner had filed a Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.850 Motion

565 F. Supp. 1226
for Post-Conviction Relief in the Circuit Court of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Sumter County, Florida on September 28, 1982, in which he raised almost every claim before this Court in the instant petition for habeas corpus. The Rule 3.850 motion was denied after an evidentiary hearing by Judge John W. Booth on October 1, 1982. On October 5, 1982, the Supreme Court of Florida upheld this denial and at the same time denied petitioner's state habeas petition. Hall v. State, 420 So.2d 872 (Fla. 1982)

In order to ascertain the procedural status of petitioner's federal claims, the Court on January 21, 1983, ordered that petitioner respond in writing to each and every assertion by the State of Florida that a claim raised by petitioner is precluded from federal habeas review. On February 9, 1983, petitioner did so. After reviewing this memorandum, the Court concluded that a reply from the State of Florida would be useful and issued an order granting the State time to do so prior to this Court proceeding on the merits of the habeas petition. On February 28, 1983, the State filed its reply memorandum.

The Court has now concluded its review of the habeas petition and will, by separate judgment this date, dismiss it in part and deny it in part for the following reasons.

II. INSTANT FEDERAL CLAIMS

Hall presents twenty-six constitutional claims for federal review. These may be divided into those going to the guilt phase of his trial, and those going to the sentencing phase. As stated by Hall, they are:

Guilt Phase

A. Mr. Hall was absent from the court-room several times during the course of his capital trial, in violation of his rights to due process of law and to confrontation under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

B. Mr. Hall's trial was rendered fundamentally unfair, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, by the admission of evidence of collateral offenses, which became a feature of the trial rather than an incident thereto.

C. Mr. Hall was denied his rights to due process of law and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment when he was convicted and sentenced to death without sufficient evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

D. The trial court failed to define the burden of proof in the instructions to the jury at the guilt phase of Mr. Hall's trial, in violation of his rights to due process of law and to reliability in the guilt-determination of a capital trial, guaranteed by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

E. Mr. Hall's conviction was the product of an unreliable fact-finding process because the witnesses continually testified regarding evidence which was never introduced at trial, in violation of Mr. Hall's rights under the Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

F. References to the previous trial for the Coburn murder during the trial in the instant case deprived Mr. Hall of his right to a reliable fact-finding process in a capital trial under the Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

G. The introduction into evidence of Mr. Hall's confession violated his privilege against self-incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

H. The prosecutor improperly commented on Mr. Hall's failure to testify, attempted to appeal to the sympathy or fear of the jury and argued matters not supported by any evidence, in violation of Mr. Hall's rights to due process of law, to a fair trial by an impartial jury and to a reliable determination of guilt in a capital trial as guaranteed by the Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

565 F. Supp. 1227

Sentencing Phase

I. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Hall's death sentence for the Hurst murder, despite its simultaneous vacation of Hall's conviction of first degree murder for the Coburn murder which was presented to the trial jury and judge in aggravation of the Hurst murder, in violation of Hall's due process and Eighth Amendment rights to a fair and reliable determination of penalty under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

J. The death sentence cannot be imposed on Mr. Hall where there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed, intended to kill, or contemplated that Hurst be killed.

K. The trial judge, in both his imposition of sentence and his instructions to the sentencing jury, improperly limited consideration of mitigating circumstances to those enumerated in the death penalty statute, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

L. Because of an inherent ambiguity in the Florida death penalty statute concerning the scope of mitigating circumstances which could be considered in sentencing, persons tried under the statute prior to July 3, 1978, were deprived of their right to a fully individualized sentence determination under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

M. The prosecutor's improper remarks during his argument at the close of the penalty phase deprived Mr. Hall of his right to a fair trial and to a fair, reliable and non-arbitrary sentencing decision, in violation of the Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

N. The instructions to the jury in the penalty phase unconstitutionally shifted to Mr. Hall the burden of proving that the mitigating circumstances outweighed the aggravating circumstances, in violation of his rights to due process of law and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

O. The sentencing instructions at Mr. Hall's trial allowed for the arbitrary and capricious infliction of the death sentence by failing to adequately guide and channel the jury's discretion, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

P. The trial court and the Florida Supreme Court improperly found and weighed certain aggravating circumstances and failed to consider and weigh certain mitigating circumstances in violation of Fla. Stat. § 921.141, thereby rendering defendant's death sentence violative of the due process and cruel and unusual punishment provisions of the United States Constitution.

Q. The state court's construction of the "heinous, atrocious, or cruel" aggravating circumstance in Mr. Hall's case was unconstitutionally broad and vague, in violation of Mr. Hall's rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

R. Mr. Hall was deprived of the due process required in capital prosecutions by the state's failure to provide notice of the aggravating circumstances upon which it intended to rely, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

S. As applied, the Florida death penalty statute violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments...

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7 practice notes
  • Hall v. Wainwright, No. 83-3563
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • May 16, 1984
    ...district court decided Hall's ineffective assistance of counsel claims without holding an evidentiary hearing. Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222, 1240-42 (M.D.Fla.1983). It adopted the state court's ruling after holding that Hall had deliberately bypassed his opportunity for an evidentia......
  • Whalen v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Delaware
    • July 2, 1984
    ...Stephens v. Kemp, 721 F.2d 1300, 1303 (11th Cir.1983); Skillern v. Estelle, 720 F.2d 839, 843-849 (5th Cir.1983); Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222, 1235-1237 (M.D.Fla.1983), rev'd in part, aff'd in part, 733 F.2d 766 (11th Cir.1984); Jones v. Thigpen, 555 F.Supp. 870, 877-878 (S.D.Miss.......
  • Hall v. State, No. 92,008.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 1, 1999
    ...A 742 So.2d 226 federal district court granted a temporary stay of execution but eventually denied relief. Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222, 1244 (M.D.Fla.1983). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's decision and remanded the case for an evident......
  • Hall v. State, No. 73029
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • March 9, 1989
    ...States District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted a stay of execution, but eventually denied relief. Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222 (M.D.Fla.1983) (Hall III). The eleventh circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's decision and remanded the case ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Hall v. Wainwright, No. 83-3563
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • May 16, 1984
    ...district court decided Hall's ineffective assistance of counsel claims without holding an evidentiary hearing. Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222, 1240-42 (M.D.Fla.1983). It adopted the state court's ruling after holding that Hall had deliberately bypassed his opportunity for an evidentia......
  • Whalen v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Delaware
    • July 2, 1984
    ...Stephens v. Kemp, 721 F.2d 1300, 1303 (11th Cir.1983); Skillern v. Estelle, 720 F.2d 839, 843-849 (5th Cir.1983); Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222, 1235-1237 (M.D.Fla.1983), rev'd in part, aff'd in part, 733 F.2d 766 (11th Cir.1984); Jones v. Thigpen, 555 F.Supp. 870, 877-878 (S.D.Miss.......
  • Hall v. State, No. 92,008.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 1, 1999
    ...A 742 So.2d 226 federal district court granted a temporary stay of execution but eventually denied relief. Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222, 1244 (M.D.Fla.1983). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's decision and remanded the case for an evident......
  • Hall v. State, No. 73029
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • March 9, 1989
    ...States District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted a stay of execution, but eventually denied relief. Hall v. Wainwright, 565 F.Supp. 1222 (M.D.Fla.1983) (Hall III). The eleventh circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's decision and remanded the case ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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