Lockett v. State

Decision Date01 October 1992
Docket NumberNo. 03-DP-64,03-DP-64
Citation614 So.2d 888
PartiesCarl Daniel LOCKETT v. STATE of Mississippi.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Rebecca L. Wiggs, Watkins & Eager, Jackson, for petitioner.

Michael C. Moore, Atty. Gen., Marvin I. White, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Charlene R. Pierce, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for respondent.

En Banc.

DAN M. LEE, Presiding Justice, for the Court:

I.

On December 13, 1985, John Calhoun and his wife, Geraldine, were murdered. The Grand Jury for the Circuit Court of Rankin County returned two (2) indictments against Carl Daniel Lockett, one for each of the murders. Following a change of venue to the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Lockett was subjected to two (2) trials-first for the murder of John, followed by trial for the murder of Geraldine. This Opinion concerns Lockett's post-conviction application for relief from the conviction and death sentence imposed for the murder of John Calhoun-DP-64-Lockett I.1

II.

Lockett was found guilty of murdering John Calhoun and sentenced to death based on the unanimous finding of four (4) aggravated factors:

1. The capital offense was committed for pecuniary gain.

2. The capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

3. The capital offense was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment.

4. The capital offense was committed while defendant was engaged in burglary, robbery, and/or kidnapping, or in an attempt to commit one or more of such crimes.

Lockett timely appealed his conviction and sentence to this Court on the following claims:

1. The admission of evidence seized pursuant to an invalid search warrant that was issued by a partial magistrate and was never served upon the occupant of the house searched, and pursuant to a warrantless arrest within his house, violated Lockett's rights under the fourth amendment.

2. The confessions introduced against Lockett at trial were both involuntary and the fruit of the illegal search, seizure and arrest.

3. When Lockett was brought into the courtroom before the jury in shackles, he was denied his right to due process.

3A. The introduction throughout both phases of Lockett's trial of evidence and argument concerning a distinct crime of murder, and other crimes, deprived Lockett of his rights under the constitutions of this State and of the United States.

4. The State's abuse of its peremptory challenges to exclude all the blacks from Lockett's jury deprived him of his right to a representative jury and to due process of law.

5. The impartiality of the venire selected to try Lockett was reasonably questioned when it became apparent that there were many close associates of law enforcement on it.

6. The charge of capital murder was unacceptably duplicitous, a fault incurred by the jury verdict.

7. The submission to the jury of the aggravating circumstance alleging the commission of a murder in the course of a burglary, robbery and/or a kidnaping denied Lockett his constitutional rights.

7A. The trial court erred in submitting to the jury the aggravating circumstance of a murder committed while under sentence of imprisonment.

8. The submission of the aggravating circumstance of heinous, atrocious and cruel denied Lockett his rights under the constitutions of this state and the United States.

9. The submission of the aggravating circumstance of pecuniary gain constituted double jeopardy, and failed meaningfully to narrow the class of persons eligible for the death sentence.

10. The instructions at the penalty phase deprived Lockett of his rights under the fifth, Sixth, Eighth and fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Mississippi Law.

11. The prosecution committed misconduct that rendered Lockett's trial fundamentally unfair.

13. (sic) The excusal of venireperson Crear without the showing of predisposition against the death penalty required in Fuselier v. State, 468 So.2d 45 (1985) cannot be squared with Lockett's constitutional rights.

14. The imposition of the death penalty upon a person who does not intend to commit murder violates the eighth amendment to the United States Constitution.

15. The death sentence imposed upon Lockett is disproportionate and was the consequence of emotion and caprice.

On September 30, 1987, this Court, by written opinion, affirmed Lockett's conviction of the murder of John Calhoun and sentence of death in this Court's cause number DP-64. Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317 (Miss.1987). This Court denied the Petition for Rehearing January 13, 1988. Lockett then filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court which was denied June 20, 1988. Lockett v. Mississippi, 487 U.S. 1210, 108 S.Ct. 2858, 101 L.Ed.2d 895 (1988). On August 25, 1988, the United States Supreme Court denied Lockett's petition for rehearing. Lockett v. Mississippi, 487 U.S. 1250, 109 S.Ct. 13, 101 L.Ed.2d 963 (1988).

On December 22, 1988, Lockett filed with this Court the subject of this opinion: his first application for post-conviction relief from conviction and death sentence for the murder of John Calhoun. Lockett seeks post-conviction relief on the following grounds:

1. The trial court erred in admitting a prior conviction as an aggravating circumstance.

2. The trial court erred in failing to suppress an invalid search warrant that was issued by a partial magistrate and was never served upon the occupant of the house searched and the fruits of the illegal search including Lockett's confession.

3. Mr. Lockett was brought into the courtroom in shackles in front of the jury and was thereby denied his right to due process.

4. Petitioner was deprived of his right to effective assistance of counsel at the guilt phase of his trial.

5. Mr. Lockett was denied the effective assistance of counsel at the penalty phase of his trial.

6. The prosecutor's exclusion of all potential black jurors from petitioner's trial creates a prima facie violation of Batson v. Kentucky 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986) and Griffith v. Kentucky, 479 U.S. 314, 107 S.Ct. 708, 93 L.Ed.2d 649 (1987).

7. Petitioner's sentence of death is tainted by racial prejudice and discrimination in violation of the eighth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution.

8. The Mississippi Supreme Court failed to make a proportionality review of the sentence in this case as required by State law and thereby violated Petitioner's rights.

9. Use of the "especially heinous, atrocious and cruel" aggravating circumstance failed to channel and limit the jury's discretion as required by the eighth amendment.

10. The trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury regarding the burden of proof when weighing aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

11. The stacking of aggravating circumstances deprived petitioner of his rights under the eighth and fourteenth amendments.

12. Admitting evidence of the murder of Geraldine Calhoun for which petitioner had not yet been tried, at the trial for the murder of Mr. Calhoun, deprived petitioner of his rights under the United States and Mississippi Constitutions.

13. Petitioner's Constitutional rights were violated by the exclusion from the jury of persons opposed to the death penalty.

14. The trial court's refusal to grant a mercy instruction deprived petitioner of his rights under the fifth, sixth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution and Mississippi law.

15. Mississippi's capital sentencing scheme is unconstitutional when viewed as a whole.

Lockett filed two (2) additional Motions December 22, 1988: (1) Motion for Stay Pending Disposition of Motion to Vacate; and (2) Motion for appointment of counsel and for funds. This Court granted the Motion for Stay December 28, 1988; the motion for appointment of counsel and for funds is still pending and is addressed in this opinion.

III.

The procedural bars of waiver, different theories, and res judicata 2 and the exception thereto as defined in Miss.Code Ann. Sec. 99-39-21(1-5) are applicable in death penalty PCR Applications. Irving v. State, 498 So.2d 305 (Miss.1986); Evans v. State, 485 So.2d 276 (Miss.1986). Rephrasing direct appeal issues for post-conviction purposes will not defeat the procedural bar of res judicata. Irving v. State, 498 So.2d 305 (Miss.1986); Rideout v. State, 496 So.2d 667 (Miss.1986); Gilliard v. State, 446 So.2d 590 (Miss.1984). The Petitioner carries the burden of demonstrating that his claim is not procedurally barred. Miss.Code Ann. Sec. 99-39-21(6) (Supp.1991); Cabello v. State, 524 So.2d 313, 320 (Miss.1988). However, "an alleged error should be reviewed, in spite of any procedural bar, only where the claim is so novel that it has not previously been litigated, or, perhaps, where an appellate court has suddenly reversed itself on an issue previously thought settled." Irving v. State, 498 So.2d 305, 311 (Miss.1986).

IV.

Lockett readily admits that some of the PCR claims asserted were raised on direct appeal and decided adversely to him. However, he urges this Court to reconsider precedent governing those issues and address the claims raised because each claim concerns issues still debated in this country's death penalty jurisprudence.

The State contends that all of Lockett's claims, with the exception of the claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, are procedurally barred by waiver and/or the doctrine of res judicata, and are void of any showing of cause or actual prejudice. Miss.Code Ann. Sec. 99-39-21(1-6).

Each of the claims raised in the PCR Application are individually addressed.

1. The trial court erred in admitting a prior conviction as an aggravating circumstance.

This claim was raised on direct appeal as assignment 7(A), addressed by this Court on direct appeal and decided adversely to Lockett. Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317, 1336-37 (Miss.1987). Lockett has not demonstrated a novel claim nor a sudden reversal of...

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