Jackson v. State (Ex parte Jackson), 1190138

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation303 So.3d 845 (Mem)
Docket Number1190138
Parties EX PARTE Jamal O'Neal JACKSON (In re: Jamal O'Neal Jackson v. State of Alabama)
Decision Date28 February 2020

303 So.3d 845 (Mem)


(In re: Jamal O'Neal Jackson
State of Alabama)


Supreme Court of Alabama.

February 28, 2020

SELLERS, Justice.


Bolin, Shaw, Wise, Bryan, Mendheim, and Stewart, JJ., concur.

Parker, C.J., and Mitchell, J., dissent.

MITCHELL, Justice, (dissenting).

We are being asked in this petition for certiorari review to allow briefing on several issues related to Jamal O'Neal Jackson's capital-murder conviction and death sentence.1 I believe that briefing is warranted with respect to only one issue, which is presented in Part IV of Jackson's petition.

In Miller-El v. Dretke, 545 U.S. 231, 125 S.Ct. 2317, 162 L.Ed.2d 196 (2005), the United States Supreme Court granted relief to a petitioner who claimed that the State violated Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986), in his capital trial by using its peremptory strikes to remove black veniremembers based on their race. Among the evidence supporting a finding of discrimination in that case was the fact that "[o]nly 6% of white venire panelists, but 53% of those who were black," were questioned about their feelings on the death penalty using the so-called "graphic script," which described the method of execution in rhetorical and clinical detail, as opposed to the more generic description used with other veniremembers that omitted such details. 545 U.S. at 256, 125 S.Ct. at 2334. The United States Supreme Court provided this example of the graphic script used by the prosecution in Miller-El:

"I feel like you have a right to know right up front what our position is. Mr. Kinne, Mr. Macaluso and myself, representing the people of Dallas County and the state of Texas, are actively seeking the death penalty for Thomas Joe Miller-El....

"We do that with the anticipation that, when the death penalty is assessed, at some point Mr. Thomas Joe Miller-El— the man sitting right down there—will be taken to Huntsville and will be put on death row and at some point taken to the death house and placed on a gurney and injected with a lethal substance until he is dead as a result of the proceedings
that we have in this court on this case. So that's basically our position going into this thing."

545 U.S. at 256, 125 S.Ct. at 2334. Miller-El argued that those questions were designed to elicit plausibly neutral grounds for peremptory strikes of black veniremembers. 545 U.S. at 255, 125 S.Ct. at 2333.

In his...

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