Jackson v. Dugger, Nos. 73982

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; EHRLICH
Citation14 Fla. L. Weekly 355,547 So.2d 1197
Parties14 Fla. L. Weekly 355 Andrea Hicks JACKSON, Petitioner, v. Richard L. DUGGER, etc., et al., Respondents. Andrea Hicks JACKSON, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decision Date06 July 1989
Docket NumberNos. 73982,74067

Page 1197

547 So.2d 1197
14 Fla. L. Weekly 355
Andrea Hicks JACKSON, Petitioner,
v.
Richard L. DUGGER, etc., et al., Respondents.
Andrea Hicks JACKSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Nos. 73982, 74067.
Supreme Court of Florida.
July 6, 1989.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 20, 1989.

Jeffrey E. Glen of Kaplan, Russin, Vecchi and Kirkwood & Berwin Leighton, New York City, for petitioner/appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., and Carolyn M. Snurkowski, Asst. Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, for respondents/appellee.

PER CURIAM.

Andrea Hicks Jackson, a state prisoner under sentence and warrant of death, petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus, requests a stay of execution, and appeals the trial court's denial of her rule 3.850 motion to vacate or modify the judgment and sentence. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(9), Fla. Const.

Page 1198

Jackson was convicted in February 1984 for the first-degree murder of a police officer. The jury recommended the death penalty, and the trial judge sentenced Jackson to death. The verdict and sentence were affirmed by this Court. Jackson v. State, 498 So.2d 406 (Fla.1986), cert. denied, 483 U.S. 1010, 107 S.Ct. 3241, 97 L.Ed.2d 746 (1987). The Governor signed a death warrant on March 7, 1989, scheduling the date of execution for May 9, 1989.

Jackson filed a motion to stay execution in the trial court pending consideration of her motion for postconviction relief filed in that court on April 6, 1989. Jackson also requested a stay of execution from this Court pending disposition of her petition for writ of habeas corpus. On April 19, 1989, the trial court summarily denied the motion for postconviction relief, and Jackson now appeals that denial. Because some of her claims appeared meritorious, we granted a stay of execution.

Jackson raises four issues in her petition for writ of habeas corpus, only one of which merits discussion. 1 Jackson argues that victim impact evidence was impermissibly presented to the jury during the penalty phase of her trial in violation of Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (1987). The only evidence offered by the state during the penalty phase was the testimony of Sheriff Dale Carson. The sheriff's testimony consisted of statements recounting Officer Bevel's good reputation among his fellow officers in the sheriff's department and detailing the impact the officer's death had on the morale of the other officers and on their ability to effectively carry out their duties. Trial counsel vigorously objected to the introduction of this testimony asserting his belief that the testimony was prejudicial and offered solely to inflame the jurors.

On direct appeal it was further argued that the testimony did not establish any statutory aggravating circumstance. This Court determined that the sheriff's testimony, offered by the state to prove that Jackson killed the officer for the purpose of hindering law enforcement, did not establish this aggravating factor. Because the disruption Jackson caused to law enforcement was to prevent her own arrest, the Court concluded that in such cases the applicable aggravating factor is the commission of the capital offense to avoid lawful arrest or to escape custody and, therefore, consolidated the two factors. The Court went on to state that because the admission of the testimony was presented to prove disruption of law enforcement, which was now consolidated with the aggravating factor of avoiding arrest, the sheriff's testimony was, at most, harmless error.

At the time of Jackson's direct appeal, the United States Supreme Court had not yet decided Booth v. Maryland, in which the Court held that presentation of victim impact evidence to a jury in a capital case violates the eighth amendment of the United States Constitution. The Court reasoned that evidence of victim impact was irrelevant to a capital sentencing decision because this type of information creates a constitutionally unacceptable risk that the jury may impose the death penalty in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Jackson now argues that the penalty phase testimony of Sheriff Dale Carson constitutes victim impact evidence, and thus she is entitled to a new sentencing proceeding under Booth. We agree.

Under this Court's decision in Witt v. State, 387 So.2d 922 (Fla.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1067, 101 S.Ct. 796, 66 L.Ed.2d 612 (1980), Booth represents a fundamental change in the constitutional law of capital sentencing that, in the interests of fairness,

Page 1199

requires the decision to be given retroactive application. We recognized in Grossman v. State, 525 So.2d 833 (Fla.1988), however, that no language in the Booth decision suggests that Booth be applied retroactively to cases in which there was no objection to the victim impact evidence. In this case, trial counsel did institute a timely objection to the introduction of the sheriff's testimony in the lower court and also moved for a mistrial at the close of the testimony. Additionally, this issue was addressed on direct appeal. Therefore, Jackson is not procedurally barred from claiming relief under Booth.

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29 practice notes
  • Williams v. Chrans, No. 87 C 02084.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • July 5, 1990
    ...argument, drawing extended inferences regarding the personal characteristics of the victim, held to violate Booth); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197 (Fla.1989) ("We cannot say beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury would have recommended a sentence of death had it not heard the victim imp......
  • Bottoson v. Moore, No. SC02-1455.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 24, 2002
    ...atrocious, or cruel" aggravating circumstance was held to be impermissibly vague under the Eighth Amendment); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197 (Fla.1989) (applying retroactively Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (1987), wherein the use of victim impact evidenc......
  • Marshall v. Crosby, No. SC02-420.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • September 15, 2005
    ...Constitution prohibited a death sentence for individuals who were younger than sixteen at the time of their crime); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197, 1198-99 (Fla.1989) (applying decision in Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (1987) to Florida law); Harvard v. ......
  • Chandler v. Crosby, No. SC04-518.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • December 9, 2005
    ...120 L.Ed.2d 854 (1992), issued during pendency of successive postconviction appeal, should be retroactively applied); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197, 1198 (Fla.1989) (holding, on successive habeas petition, that Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 502-03, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (198......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Williams v. Chrans, No. 87 C 02084.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • July 5, 1990
    ...argument, drawing extended inferences regarding the personal characteristics of the victim, held to violate Booth); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197 (Fla.1989) ("We cannot say beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury would have recommended a sentence of death had it not heard the victim imp......
  • Bottoson v. Moore, No. SC02-1455.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 24, 2002
    ...atrocious, or cruel" aggravating circumstance was held to be impermissibly vague under the Eighth Amendment); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197 (Fla.1989) (applying retroactively Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (1987), wherein the use of victim impact evidenc......
  • Marshall v. Crosby, No. SC02-420.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • September 15, 2005
    ...Constitution prohibited a death sentence for individuals who were younger than sixteen at the time of their crime); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197, 1198-99 (Fla.1989) (applying decision in Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (1987) to Florida law); Harvard v. ......
  • Chandler v. Crosby, No. SC04-518.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • December 9, 2005
    ...120 L.Ed.2d 854 (1992), issued during pendency of successive postconviction appeal, should be retroactively applied); Jackson v. Dugger, 547 So.2d 1197, 1198 (Fla.1989) (holding, on successive habeas petition, that Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 502-03, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (198......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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