Rojas v. State, No. 44143

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtDEKLE; CARLTON
Citation288 So.2d 234
PartiesEugenio Herberto ROJAS, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 44143
Decision Date05 December 1973

Page 234

288 So.2d 234
Eugenio Herberto ROJAS, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 44143.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Dec. 5, 1973.
Rehearing Denied Feb. 6, 1974.

Page 235

Joel Hirschhorn, Miami, for appellant.

Robert L. Shevin, Atty. Gen., and Peter F. La Porte, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

DEKLE, Justice.

This appeal comes to us pursuant to an order of the District Court of Appeal, Third District, transferring the cause to this Court. For the reasons set forth below, we accept the transfer only as to the trial court's upholding of the validity of Chapter 57--550 and remand the cause to that court as to the remaining issues.

The basis of the transfer, as revealed by the motion therefore, was asserted to be the trial court's ruling on the constitutionality of various state statutes. Of the five points raised on appeal, three (admissibility of certain photographs, competency of appellant to stand trial, and continuing viability of the M'Naghten rule as to insanity) are, if considered alone, insufficient grounds upon which properly to invoke our jurisdiction as to direct appeals under Article V, § 3(b)(1), F.S.A., of the State's Constitution. Thus, jurisdiction in this Court, if present, must rest either on the trial court's ruling on appellant's challenge to the petit jury selection system or on the ruling on his challenge to the Dade County Grand Jury. We deal with these issues in turn.

PETIT JURY ATTACK

By motion, appellant asserted that the petit jury panel was selected in an unconstitutionally

Page 236

discriminatory manner, in that various groups (specified in the motion) had been systematically excluded from the panel in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. Constitution; appellant requested and was granted an evidentiary hearing on these allegations. Following this hearing, the challenge to the jury panel was rejected by the trial court. Neither the motion nor the court's ruling thereon dealt with the constitutional validity of any statute, federal or state. The denial of the petit jury challenge is a basis for direct appeal to this Court only if a provision of the state or federal constitution was directly construed by the trial court. 1

Although our direct appeals jurisdiction includes cases in which the trial court inherently passes upon the constitutionality of a Statute, we may not accept a direct appeal based upon an Inherent construction of a Constitutional provision; it is insufficient to invoke our direct appeals jurisdiction that there was an Inherent construction of a Constitutional provision in the judgment appealed from, but rather there must be a ruling by the trial court which explains, defines or overtly expresses a view which eliminates some existing doubt as to a constitutional provision in order to support a direct appeal. 2 In the present case, there is no such definition or explanation of the Fourteenth Amendment or any other constitutional provision as far as the petit jury challenge is concerned. The trial court, if anything, merely Applied the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the facts it determined existed in the instant case; in fact, the apparent basis of the ruling was that no showing of unconstitutional discrimination was made. Applying is not synonymous with Construing; the former is NOT a basis for our jurisdiction, while the Express construction of a constitutional provision is. Hence, no basis for direct appeal to this Court has been presented in the petit jury challenge.

GRAND JURY ATTACK

There remain, as possible bases for jurisdiction in this Court, the two 'prongs' of the grand jury challenge. By various motions, appellant first sought production of the grand jury master list and dismissal of the information and underlying indictment on the basis of discrimination in selection of the grand jury pool; an evidentiary hearing was also sought by appellant to determine the validity of the grand jury pool, appellant alleging that the method of its selection discriminated...

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25 practice notes
  • Gause v. U.S., No. 06-CF-20.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • October 30, 2008
    ...discovery to make a showing of "facts sufficient to raise a suspicion that the ... jury pool was improperly constituted." Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234, 236 As we understand these decisions, the burden on the defendant is not a demanding one. It appears to be roughly comparable to the reaso......
  • State v. Avcollie
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 14, 1982
    ...in their calendars, and would be especially injurious to the prompt disposition of justice." (Emphasis in original.) Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234, 237 The trial court correctly granted the state's motion to quash the subpoenas. III CHARGE TO THE JURY A The defendant's testimony The defenda......
  • Gause v. U.S., Nos. 06-CF-20, 06-CF-47.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • November 4, 2010
    ...an approach similar to that of the Supreme Court of California in Jackson (and of the division in Gause I ). See, e.g., Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234, 237 (Fla.1973); State v. Avcollie, 188 Conn. 626, 453 A.2d 418, 423 (1982); cert. denied, 461 U.S. 928, 103 S.Ct. 2088, 77 L.Ed.2d 299 (1983......
  • Valle v. State, No. 61176
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 11, 1985
    ...consistently upheld by this Court as both constitutional and effective. See Dykman v. State, 294 So.2d 633 (Fla.1973); Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234 (Fla.1973), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 851, 95 S.Ct. 93, 42 L.Ed.2d 82 (1974); Seay v. State, 286 So.2d 532 (Fla.1973), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 847......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Gause v. U.S., No. 06-CF-20.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • October 30, 2008
    ...discovery to make a showing of "facts sufficient to raise a suspicion that the ... jury pool was improperly constituted." Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234, 236 As we understand these decisions, the burden on the defendant is not a demanding one. It appears to be roughly comparable to the reaso......
  • State v. Avcollie
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 14, 1982
    ...in their calendars, and would be especially injurious to the prompt disposition of justice." (Emphasis in original.) Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234, 237 The trial court correctly granted the state's motion to quash the subpoenas. III CHARGE TO THE JURY A The defendant's testimony The defenda......
  • Gause v. U.S., Nos. 06-CF-20, 06-CF-47.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • November 4, 2010
    ...an approach similar to that of the Supreme Court of California in Jackson (and of the division in Gause I ). See, e.g., Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234, 237 (Fla.1973); State v. Avcollie, 188 Conn. 626, 453 A.2d 418, 423 (1982); cert. denied, 461 U.S. 928, 103 S.Ct. 2088, 77 L.Ed.2d 299 (1983......
  • Valle v. State, No. 61176
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 11, 1985
    ...consistently upheld by this Court as both constitutional and effective. See Dykman v. State, 294 So.2d 633 (Fla.1973); Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234 (Fla.1973), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 851, 95 S.Ct. 93, 42 L.Ed.2d 82 (1974); Seay v. State, 286 So.2d 532 (Fla.1973), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 847......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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