State v. Jackson, No. 65857

CourtFlorida Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtOVERTON; BOYD; EHRLICH, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with an opinion, in which SHAW; EHRLICH; SHAW
Citation478 So.2d 1054,10 Fla. L. Weekly 564
Docket NumberNo. 65857
Decision Date17 October 1985
Parties10 Fla. L. Weekly 564 STATE of Florida, Petitioner, v. Alfred Floyd JACKSON, Respondent.

Page 1054

478 So.2d 1054
10 Fla. L. Weekly 564
STATE of Florida, Petitioner,
v.
Alfred Floyd JACKSON, Respondent.
No. 65857.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Oct. 17, 1985.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 27, 1985.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen., and Wallace E. Allbritton and Raymond L. Marky, Asst. Attys. Gen., Tallahassee, for petitioner.

Michael E. Allen, Public Defender and Michael J. Minerva, Asst. Public Defender, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee, for respondent.

OVERTON, Justice.

This is a petition to review Jackson v. State, 454 So.2d 691 (Fla. 1st DCA 1984), in

Page 1055

which the district court held that the trial judge failed to properly set forth written reasons for departing from the sentencing guidelines and remanded to the trial judge with directions to apply the guidelines in effect on the date of the original sentencing proceeding. We find conflict with Brady v. State, 457 So.2d 544 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984), and Burke v. State, 456 So.2d 1245 (Fla. 5th DCA 1984). 1 We approve that part of the district court's decision directing a written order expressing reasons for departure, but we quash that part of the decision directing the trial court to use sentencing guidelines which were effective at the time of the original sentencing, rather than the current guidelines.

The respondent, Jackson, was convicted and placed on probation prior to the adoption of new sentencing guidelines. After the guidelines' effective date, Jackson's probation was revoked. The trial judge refused Jackson's request to be sentenced pursuant to the new guidelines and imposed a sentence that constituted a departure from the approved guidelines range. The trial judge commented that, even if sentence should have been according to the guidelines, he would "be of a mind to depart from the guidelines" because of Jackson's failure to comply with probation conditions.

First, as the state concedes, it was firmly established subsequent to Jackson's sentencing that he was entitled to be sentenced under the sentencing guidelines statutes and rules. State v. Boyett, 467 So.2d 997 (Fla.1985). See also Duggar v. State, 446 So.2d 222 (Fla. 1st DCA 1984). These statutes and rules clearly mandate that a trial judge state in writing reasons for any departure from the guidelines. Section 921.001(6), Florida Statutes (1983), provides:

The sentencing guidelines shall provide that any sentences imposed outside the range recommended by the guidelines be explained in writing by the trial court judge.

(Emphasis added.) Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.701(b)(6) states:

While the sentencing guidelines are designed to aid the judge in the sentencing decision and are not intended to usurp judicial discretion, departures from the presumptive sentences established in the guidelines shall be articulated in writing and made only for clear and convincing reasons.

(Emphasis added.) Finally, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.701(d)(11) requires that

[a]ny sentence outside of the guidelines must be accompanied by a written statement delineating the reasons for the departure.

(Emphasis added.) See also Hendrix v. State, 475 So.2d 1218 (Fla.1985).

We reject the state's contention that a transcript of oral statements made by the judge during sentencing should be sufficient to justify departure from the guidelines. The necessity for written reasons for departure is explained by Judge Barkett in Boynton v. State, 473 So.2d 703 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985):

The alternative of allowing oral pronouncements to satisfy the requirement for a written statement is fraught with disadvantages which, in our judgment, compel the written reasons.

First, it is very possible ... that the "reasons for departure" plucked from the record by an appellate court might not have been the reasons chosen by the trial judge were he or she required to put them in writing. Much is said at hearings by many trial judges which is intentionally discarded by them after due consideration and is deliberately omitted in their written orders.

Second, an absence of written findings necessarily forces the appellate courts to delve through sometimes lengthy colloquies

Page 1056

in expensive transcripts to search for the reasons utilized by the trial courts. In R.B.S. v. Capri, the court noted:

It is not the function of an appellate court to cull the underlying record in an effort to locate findings and underlying reasons which would support the order. The statute should be complied with in the future.

384 So.2d at 696-697.

Lastly, the development of the law would best be served by requiring the precise and considered reasons which would be more likely to occur in a written statement than those tossed out orally in a dialogue at a hectic sentencing hearing. The efforts of the State of Florida to provide badly needed reforms in the sentencing aspect of the criminal justice system are in the embryonic stages. A mammoth effort has been expended by the Legislature and by the Sentencing Guidelines Commissions, past and present, to develop some uniformity and to respond to some of the major problems which surround the entire sentencing process. For the first time in this state, a body of law is being developed...

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305 practice notes
  • Maddox v. State, No. SC92805
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 11, 2000
    ...of sentences. See Davis v. State, 661 So.2d 1193, 1196 (Fla.1995); Smith v. State, 598 So.2d 1063, 1067 (Fla. 1992); State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054, 1056 (Fla.1985). Further, we recognized that requiring written reasons for departure allows effective appellate review of the trial court's ......
  • Torres-Arboledo v. State, TORRES-ARBOLED
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • March 24, 1988
    ...notation written by the clerk at the court's direction was not a "written reason for departure" is without merit. See State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985); Boynton v. State, 473 So.2d 703 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985), approved, 478 So.2d 351 (Fla.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1029, 106 S.Ct. ......
  • Sanders v. State, No. 92-1302
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 28, 1993
    ...At the time Sanders was sentenced for his crimes in this case written reasons for departure were required. See State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985). But, the requirement that written reasons be given "contemporaneously" with pronouncing the sentence had not yet been promulgated. That......
  • Smith v. State, No. 76235
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 2, 1992
    ...judge never issued written reasons. Because this was clearly contrary to the requirements of our previous decision in State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985), abrogated on other grounds, Miller v. Florida, 482 U.S. 423, 107 S.Ct. 2446, 96 L.Ed.2d 351 (1987), we were justified in making ......
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305 cases
  • Maddox v. State, No. SC92805
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 11, 2000
    ...of sentences. See Davis v. State, 661 So.2d 1193, 1196 (Fla.1995); Smith v. State, 598 So.2d 1063, 1067 (Fla. 1992); State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054, 1056 (Fla.1985). Further, we recognized that requiring written reasons for departure allows effective appellate review of the trial court's ......
  • Torres-Arboledo v. State, TORRES-ARBOLED
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • March 24, 1988
    ...notation written by the clerk at the court's direction was not a "written reason for departure" is without merit. See State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985); Boynton v. State, 473 So.2d 703 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985), approved, 478 So.2d 351 (Fla.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1029, 106 S.Ct. ......
  • Sanders v. State, No. 92-1302
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 28, 1993
    ...At the time Sanders was sentenced for his crimes in this case written reasons for departure were required. See State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985). But, the requirement that written reasons be given "contemporaneously" with pronouncing the sentence had not yet been promulgated. That......
  • Smith v. State, No. 76235
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 2, 1992
    ...judge never issued written reasons. Because this was clearly contrary to the requirements of our previous decision in State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985), abrogated on other grounds, Miller v. Florida, 482 U.S. 423, 107 S.Ct. 2446, 96 L.Ed.2d 351 (1987), we were justified in making ......
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