Mitchell v. State (Ex parte Mitchell), 1100363.

Citation84 So.3d 1013
Decision Date18 November 2011
Docket Number1100363.
Parties Ex parte Brandon Deon MITCHELL. (In re Brandon Deon Mitchell v. State of Alabama).
CourtSupreme Court of Alabama

Stephen A. Strickland and Richard S. Jaffe of Jaffe & Drennan, P.C., Birmingham; and Donald L. Colee, Jr., Birmingham, for petitioner.

Luther Strange, atty. gen., Prim F. Escalona, deputy atty. gen., and Tina Coker Hammonds, asst. atty. gen., for respondent.

PER CURIAM.

Brandon Deon Mitchell was convicted of four counts of capital murder for the intentional killing of Kim Olney, John Aylesworth, and Dorothy Smith during the course of a robbery at a hotel, § 13A–5–40(a)(2), Ala.Code 1975, and for killing two or more persons pursuant to one act or course of conduct, § 13A–5–40(a)(10), Ala.Code 1975. The jury that convicted Mitchell recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each conviction. After ordering and receiving a presentence report and holding a sentencing hearing, the trial court overrode the jury's recommendation and sentenced Mitchell to death.

Mitchell's convictions and sentences were affirmed by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Mitchell v. State, 84 So.3d 968 (Ala.Crim.App.2010). Mitchell then petitioned this Court for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals, asserting 17 separate grounds for review pursuant to Rule 39, Ala. R.App. P. This Court granted the petition on May 25, 2011, and issued the writ to examine the sole question whether the trial court had complied with Ala.Code 1975, § 13A–5–47(d) and (e), as those Code sections were construed by this Court in Ex parte Taylor, 808 So.2d 1215 (Ala.2001). Upon receiving the record, we determined that the writ was improvidently issued, and we now quash the writ.

Subsection (d) of § 13A–5–47 requires the trial court in a capital case to "enter specific written findings concerning the existence or nonexistence of" the statutory and nonstatutory mitigating circumstances and the aggravating circumstances contributing to the trial court's determination of the sentence. Subsection (e) provides that, unless an advisory jury verdict has been waived in the sentencing phase, "the trial court shall consider the recommendation of the jury contained in its advisory verdict." The Court in Taylor, construing those subsections together, held that the trial judge was required to "state specific reasons for giving the jury's recommendation the consideration he gave it." 808 So.2d at 1219.

The opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeals, in addressing Mitchell's argument that the trial court failed to consider certain nonstatutory mitigating circumstances in overriding the jury's advisory verdict and sentencing him to death, discussed relevant caselaw and quoted from the trial court's written findings. 84 So.3d at 991. The decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals, however, quoted only introductory sections of the trial court's order, which identified the evidence and the report the trial court had received and reviewed. The Court of Criminal Appeals then concluded in broad language that "the circuit court clearly considered all mitigating circumstances presented to it." 84 So.3d at 997. Both the Court of Criminal Appeals' opinion and Mitchell's petition to this Court appeared to suggest either that the trial court had read its specific determinations with regard to the mitigating circumstances...

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4 cases
  • Phillips v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 18 Diciembre 2015
    ... ... public reputation of judicial proceedings." See 287 So.3d 1084 Ex parte Price , 725 So. 2d 1063 (Ala. 1998), cert. denied, 526 U.S. 1133, 119 S ... Mitchell [v. State ], 84 So. 3d [968] at 1001 [ (Ala. Crim. App. 2010) ]. See ... ...
  • State v. Mitchell
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 6 Agosto 2021
    ... ... Mitchell , 84 So.3d 968. The Alabama Supreme Court ... granted certiorari review but then quashed the writ in 2011 ... Ex parte Mitchell , 84 So.3d 1013 (Ala. 2011). The ... United States Supreme Court denied Mitchell's petition ... for a writ of certiorari in ... ...
  • State v. Mitchell
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 11 Febrero 2022
    ...death sentence. Mitchell, supra. The Alabama Supreme Court granted certiorari review but then quashed the writ in 2011. Ex parte Mitchell, 84 So.3d 1013 (Ala. 2011). United States Supreme Court denied Mitchell's petition for a writ of certiorari in 2012. Mitchell v. Alabama, 568 U.S. 829 (2......
  • State v. Mitchell
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 11 Febrero 2022
    ... ... Mitchell , supra ... The Alabama Supreme Court ... granted certiorari review but then quashed the writ in 2011 ... Ex parte Mitchell , 84 So.3d 1013 (Ala. 2011). The ... United States Supreme Court denied Mitchell's petition ... for a writ of certiorari in ... ...

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