Martinez Chavez v. State, No. 1085

Docket NºNo. 1085
Citation539 N.E.2d 4
Case DateMay 30, 1989
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 4

539 N.E.2d 4
Eladio MARTINEZ CHAVEZ, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
No. 1085 S 426.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
May 30, 1989.

Susan K. Carpenter, Public Defender, M.E. Tuke, Hector L. Flores, Deputy Public Defenders, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Page 5

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Joseph N. Stevenson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

ON PETITION FOR REHEARING

SHEPARD, Chief Justice.

In hearing Martinez Chavez' direct appeal, this Court affirmed his conviction and set aside the penalty of death, remanding for imposition of a sentence of imprisonment. Martinez Chavez v. State (1989), Ind., 534 N.E.2d 731.

The State has petitioned for rehearing, urging adoption of a different standard for those instances in which the jury has recommended against death. This Court described the standard by which the jury's recommendation would be accorded a presumption of correctness as follows:

In order to sentence a defendant to death after the jury has recommended against death, the facts justifying a death sentence should be so clear and convincing that virtually no reasonable person could disagree that death was appropriate in light of the offender and his crime.

Id. at 734. This formulation was derived from the standard adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in Tedder v. State, 322 So.2d 908 (Fla.1975).

The State urges that we adopt instead what it says is a different standard, also from Florida, used in Barfield v. State, 402 So.2d 377 (Fla.1981), as follows:

When a trial judge chooses to override the jury and impose the death sentence, the justification must be clear and convincing and, under the circumstances, the jury's recommendation unreasonable.

Id. at 382.

We see the standards in Tedder and Barfield as being practically indistinguishable. Obviously, the Florida Supreme Court saw them as the same for purposes of precedent, inasmuch as that court cited Tedder as direct authority for the Barfield language. Id.

While the State suggests, as did Justice Pivarnik in his dissent in this case, that the standard calls upon the trial judge to assess whether the members of the jury are reasonable people or not, the proper focus is in fact on the recommendation which the members of the jury have made. A trial judge can proceed to impose a penalty of death only when the charged aggravating circumstances have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt and when all the facts available to the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
20 practice notes
  • Lowery v. Anderson, No. IP 96-71-C-H/G.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • July 6, 1999
    ...although it clarified that the reasonableness applied not to jurors as people but to their recommendation. Martinez Chavez v. State, 539 N.E.2d 4, 5 (Ind.1989). In two later cases, the court applied the Martinez Chavez standard and reversed death sentences that had been imposed contrary to ......
  • Jackson v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 28, 1999
    ...review when the jury has recommended life and the trial judge sentences to death is guided by the standard of Martinez Chavez v. State, 539 N.E.2d 4, 5 (Ind.1989), which requires that before the death sentence is affirmed "it must appear... [to the court] that all the facts available in the......
  • Burris v. Parke, No. 3:95-CV-0917 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • December 26, 1996
    ...stage, it was not necessary that specific intent to kill be proved. Martinez Chavez v. State (1989), Ind., 534 N.E.2d 731, reh'g denied, 539 N.E.2d 4. The aggravating circumstance concerning appellant's intent throughout the entire episode was a matter to be determined upon fixing the sente......
  • Harrison v. State, No. 65S00-9105-DP-380
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • January 4, 1995
    ...the underlying felony of arson need be proven. Martinez Chavez v. State (1989), Ind., 534 N.E.2d 731, 738, reh'g denied (1989), Ind., 539 N.E.2d 4. As noted, defendant does not contest the sufficiency of the evidence with respect to the arson charge. Thus, irrespective of whether defendant ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Lowery v. Anderson, No. IP 96-71-C-H/G.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • July 6, 1999
    ...although it clarified that the reasonableness applied not to jurors as people but to their recommendation. Martinez Chavez v. State, 539 N.E.2d 4, 5 (Ind.1989). In two later cases, the court applied the Martinez Chavez standard and reversed death sentences that had been imposed contrary to ......
  • Jackson v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 28, 1999
    ...review when the jury has recommended life and the trial judge sentences to death is guided by the standard of Martinez Chavez v. State, 539 N.E.2d 4, 5 (Ind.1989), which requires that before the death sentence is affirmed "it must appear... [to the court] that all the facts available in the......
  • Burris v. Parke, No. 3:95-CV-0917 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • December 26, 1996
    ...stage, it was not necessary that specific intent to kill be proved. Martinez Chavez v. State (1989), Ind., 534 N.E.2d 731, reh'g denied, 539 N.E.2d 4. The aggravating circumstance concerning appellant's intent throughout the entire episode was a matter to be determined upon fixing the sente......
  • Harrison v. State, No. 65S00-9105-DP-380
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • January 4, 1995
    ...the underlying felony of arson need be proven. Martinez Chavez v. State (1989), Ind., 534 N.E.2d 731, 738, reh'g denied (1989), Ind., 539 N.E.2d 4. As noted, defendant does not contest the sufficiency of the evidence with respect to the arson charge. Thus, irrespective of whether defendant ......
  • 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