State v. Brown, No. 71101

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtBARKETT; McDONALD
Citation13 Fla. L. Weekly 389,530 So.2d 51
Docket NumberNo. 71101
Decision Date16 June 1988
Parties13 Fla. L. Weekly 389 STATE of Florida, Petitioner, v. Marcus L. BROWN, Respondent.

Page 51

530 So.2d 51
13 Fla. L. Weekly 389
STATE of Florida, Petitioner,
v.
Marcus L. BROWN, Respondent.
No. 71101.
Supreme Court of Florida.
June 16, 1988.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 23, 1988.

Page 52

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen. and Bardford L. Thomas, Asst. Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, for petitioner.

Michael E. Allen, Public Defender and P. Douglas Brinkmeyer, Asst. Public Defender, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee, for respondent.

BARKETT, Justice.

We have for review Brown v. State, 509 So.2d 1164 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987), based on express and direct conflict with Hoefert v. State, 509 So.2d 1090 (Fla. 2d DCA 1987). We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. We approve the result reached below.

Respondent was convicted of armed robbery in the Duval County Circuit Court. After determining that respondent was an habitual offender, the trial court imposed a life sentence on September 30, 1986, instead of the guidelines' recommendation of seven to nine years. In doing so, the trial judge entered two separate orders, one of which found respondent to be an habitual offender falling under an ostensibly mandatory life penalty, see section 775.084(4)(a)1., Fla.Stat. (1985); 1 but see chapters 75-116 and 75-298, Laws of Florida, and the other of which characterized the life sentence as a "departure" under the sentencing guidelines. On appeal, the First District concluded that the sentence was an improper departure under this Court's reasoning in Whitehead v. State, 498 So.2d 863 (Fla.1986). Brown, 509 So.2d at 1165.

We agree with the district court. In Winters v. State, 522 So.2d 816 (Fla.1988), we recently stated:

The central premise underlying Whitehead is that any conflict between the habitual offender statute and the sentencing guidelines must be resolved in favor of the guidelines and their policies. See [498 So.2d] at 865.

Id. This conclusion rests on the settled rule of statutory construction that separate, if apparently conflicting, statutes will be construed as having mutually consistent fields of operation to the greatest extent possible, Carawan v. State, 515 So.2d 161 (Fla.1987); Wakulla County v. Davis, 395 So.2d 540, 542 (Fla.1981), but to the extent of irreconcilable conflict, the most recent statute generally will be considered controlling. Askew v. Schuster, 331 So.2d 297 (Fla.1976). This is especially true where the latter statute specifically addresses an entire field of law, as the statutory basis of the guidelines was meant to do. See Whitehead, 498 So.2d at 865.

The mandatory word "shall" contained in section 775.084(4)(a)1. clearly is at odds with the central policy of the guidelines, that sentences should be...

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32 practice notes
  • State v. Cotton, No. SC94996
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • June 15, 2000
    ...in habitual felony offender statute to be discretionary rather than mandatory, based upon legislative history)(citing State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51 (Fla.1988)). Here, in contrast, it is clear that the Act, where invoked, is intended to operate as a mandatory minimum statute. Second, even tho......
  • Smith v. State, Nos. 89-1954
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 12, 1991
    ...and as the state expressly conceded both in its brief and at oral argument, that such a sentence is not mandatory. State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51, 53 (Fla.1988) (a fortiori holding that section 775.084(4)(a ), providing that life sentence "shall" be imposed upon habitual felony offender, is n......
  • Isom v. State, No. 90-2217
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 25, 1993
    ...v. State, 581 So.2d 928, 929 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991) (quoting Smith v. State, 574 So.2d 1195 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991)); see also State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51, 53 (Fla.1988); McNair v. State, 563 So.2d 804 (Fla. 3d DCA Defendant also argues, and the State concedes, that this case is controlled by the v......
  • King v. State, No. 91-00036
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 4, 1992
    ...our colleagues of the Third District Court of Appeal in their well-reasoned and carefully analyzed opinion in Henry, that State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51 (Fla.1988), remains viable in interpreting the use of the term "shall," as it applies to the sentencing procedure set forth in subsections 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • State v. Cotton, No. SC94996
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • June 15, 2000
    ...in habitual felony offender statute to be discretionary rather than mandatory, based upon legislative history)(citing State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51 (Fla.1988)). Here, in contrast, it is clear that the Act, where invoked, is intended to operate as a mandatory minimum statute. Second, even tho......
  • Smith v. State, Nos. 89-1954
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 12, 1991
    ...and as the state expressly conceded both in its brief and at oral argument, that such a sentence is not mandatory. State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51, 53 (Fla.1988) (a fortiori holding that section 775.084(4)(a ), providing that life sentence "shall" be imposed upon habitual felony offender, is n......
  • Isom v. State, No. 90-2217
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 25, 1993
    ...v. State, 581 So.2d 928, 929 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991) (quoting Smith v. State, 574 So.2d 1195 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991)); see also State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51, 53 (Fla.1988); McNair v. State, 563 So.2d 804 (Fla. 3d DCA Defendant also argues, and the State concedes, that this case is controlled by the v......
  • King v. State, No. 91-00036
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 4, 1992
    ...our colleagues of the Third District Court of Appeal in their well-reasoned and carefully analyzed opinion in Henry, that State v. Brown, 530 So.2d 51 (Fla.1988), remains viable in interpreting the use of the term "shall," as it applies to the sentencing procedure set forth in subsections 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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