State v. Moore, No. 2014–0120.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPFEIFER, J.
Citation149 Ohio St.3d 557,2016 Ohio 8288,76 N.E.3d 1127
Docket NumberNo. 2014–0120.
Decision Date22 December 2016
Parties The STATE of Ohio, Appellee, v. MOORE, Appellant.

149 Ohio St.3d 557
76 N.E.3d 1127
2016 Ohio 8288

The STATE of Ohio, Appellee,
v.
MOORE, Appellant.

No. 2014–0120.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

Submitted Feb. 4, 2015.
Decided Dec. 22, 2016.


76 N.E.3d 1128

Paul J. Gains, Mahoning County Prosecuting Attorney, and Ralph M. Rivera, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

Jones Day and Rachel S. Bloomekatz, Columbus, for appellant.

Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Stephen P. Hardwick, Assistant Public Defender, urging reversal for amicus curiae Office of the Ohio Public Defender.

Marsha Levick, urging reversal for amicus curiae Juvenile Law Center.

Jenner & Block, L.L.P., Matthew S. Hellman, and Erica L. Ross, urging reversal for amicus curiae Criminal Law Scholars.

Covington & Burling, L.L.P., Anna P. Engh, and Matthew Kudzin, urging reversal for amici curiae James M. Petro, Nancy Hardin Rogers, and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.

Pinales, Stachler, Young, Burrell & Crouse Co., L.P.A., and Candace C. Crouse, urging reversal for amicus curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Sidley Austin, L.L.P., Joseph R. Guerra, Kwaku A. Akowuah, and Jennifer J. Clark ; and Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, L.L.P., Alycia N. Broz, and Daniel E. Shuey, Columbus, in support of neither party, for amici curiae Dr. Beatriz Luna, Dr. Charles Alexander Nelson III, Dr. Silvia Bunge, Dr. Adriana Galván, and Dr. Linda Patia Spear.

Ron O'Brien, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney, and Seth L. Gilbert, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, urging affirmance for amicus curiae Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

PFEIFER, J.

149 Ohio St.3d 557

{¶ 1} We decide in this case whether the United States Supreme Court's holding in Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (2010), prohibiting the imposition of sentences of life imprisonment without parole on juvenile nonhomicide offenders also prohibits the imposition of a term-of-years prison sentence that exceeds the offender's life expectancy on a juvenile nonhomicide offender. We hold that pursuant to Graham, a

76 N.E.3d 1129

term-of-years prison sentence that exceeds a defendant's life expectancy violates the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution when it is imposed on a juvenile nonhomicide offender.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Moore's Crimes

{¶ 2} The facts of this case do not engender a sense of sympathy for appellant, Brandon Moore. Moore embarked on a criminal rampage of escalating depravity on the evening of August 21, 2001, in Youngstown. He was then 15 years old. Early that evening, Moore robbed at gunpoint Jason Cosa and Christine Hammond in the driveway of Cosa's home. Cosa and Hammond saw Moore get into an awaiting dark, older automobile as he fled the scene.

149 Ohio St.3d 558

{¶ 3} Later that night, at around 10:20, M.K., a 21–year–old student at Youngstown State University, arrived for her night-shift job at a group home for mentally handicapped women. While removing some things from the trunk of her car, she noticed a black car driving up the street and stopping a few houses away. Moore, wearing a mask, emerged from the vehicle and started running toward her. When he arrived at her vehicle, he pressed a gun against her and instructed her to give him all her money and belongings. When a porch light came on at the group home, Moore ordered M.K. to get into the passenger seat of her car. Moore then got into the driver's seat, ordered M.K. to start the car, and drove away with her.

{¶ 4} As they were driving, he ordered her to give him her jewelry. After they drove a short distance, Moore stopped the car briefly behind the black car. Chaz Bunch entered the victim's car through the rear passenger door. Bunch put a gun to her head and demanded her money.

{¶ 5} Moore continued driving, following the black car, which was being driven by Andre Bundy. As Moore drove, he inserted his fingers into M.K.'s vagina. M.K. pleaded for her life. At one point, Moore drove close enough to the black car that he almost hit it, jerking to a stop; at that point, the cars were so close that M.K. could make out the black car's license plate. She memorized the number.

{¶ 6} Eventually, Moore pulled ahead of the black car and drove down a dead-end street. The black car followed. Both cars parked near a gravel lot, and Bunch ordered M.K. out of the car. Once outside the car, Moore and Bunch assaulted M.K., grabbing her by the hair and forcing their penises into her mouth; one would orally rape her while the other forced her head down. This was repeated two or three times, at gunpoint.

{¶ 7} Moore and Bunch then directed M.K. to the trunk of her car. At this point, another man, Jamar Callier, exited the black car and went through M.K.'s belongings in the trunk. M.K. was told to pull her pants down and turn around. M.K. resisted, and in an attempt to avoid any further violence, told the attackers she was pregnant (she was not, in fact, pregnant). But they showed no mercy; Moore and Bunch pushed her against the car, and at least one of them anally raped her.

{¶ 8} After the anal rape, Bunch threw M.K. to the ground, and he and Moore proceeded to vaginally and orally rape her. While one raped her vaginally, the other would force his penis into her mouth, and they would then switch places. Both were armed during the rapes.

{¶ 9} The attack finally ended when Callier pushed Bunch off M.K. Bunch said that he wanted to kill M.K., but Callier

76 N.E.3d 1130

would not let him, telling Bunch that he could not kill a pregnant woman. Moore put his gun into M.K.'s mouth and told

149 Ohio St.3d 559

her, "Since you were so good, I won't kill you." Moore warned her that they knew who she was; he threatened to harm her and her family if she told anyone what had happened.

{¶ 10} Hysterical, M.K. got back into her car and drove immediately to the home of a relative of her boyfriend, where she had been attending a cookout before leaving to go to work. She arrived back at the party, got out of her car, and ran through the yard, screaming for help. When people came to her aid, she immediately yelled out the license-plate number she had memorized. Based on the license-plate number, police were eventually able to arrest all four people involved in the attack on M.K.

{¶ 11} In her testimony at trial, M.K. described the effect of the attack on her life: "[T]hey killed a part of me. They killed a part of my [soul] that I can never get back."

Moore's Convictions

{¶ 12} After Moore was taken into custody, juvenile proceedings were initiated against him. The case was transferred to the General Division of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas; a 12–count complaint with 11 firearm specifications was filed against Moore on May 16, 2002, for the crimes committed against Jason Cosa, Christine Hammond, and M.K. The complaint included three counts of aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), three counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2), three counts of complicity to commit rape in violation of R.C. 2923.03(A)(2) and 2907.02(A)(2), one count of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2923.01(A)(1) and 2911.01(A)(1), and one count of aggravated menacing in violation of R.C. 2903.21(A).

{¶ 13} Moore, Bunch, and Bundy were tried together. The trial began on September 23, 2002. On October 2, 2002, the jury found Moore guilty of all 12 counts and all the specifications. At the October 23, 2002 sentencing hearing, the trial court concluded that Moore "[could not] be rehabilitated, that it would be a waste of time and money and common sense to even give it a try." The court announced to Moore, "I want to make sure you never get out of the penitentiary, and I'm going to make sure that you never get out of the penitentiary." It sentenced Moore to the maximum prison term for each count, to be served consecutively, except for the menacing charge, which was to be served concurrently with the other sentences. The court also sentenced Moore to a prison term for each of the 11 firearm specifications, also to be served consecutively. The sentence totaled 141 years in prison.

149 Ohio St.3d 560

Moore's Appeals

{¶ 14} Moore's appellate history is lengthy and knotty. We untangle it enough to establish the relevant through-line for purposes of the present appeal from the court of appeals' denial of Moore's application for reconsideration in his third direct appeal.

{¶ 15} In Moore's first appeal, State v. Moore, 161 Ohio App.3d 778, 2005-Ohio-3311, 832 N.E.2d 85 (7th Dist.) ("Moore I "), the appellate court vacated Moore's conviction for conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery as well as the accompanying firearm specification.Id. at ¶ 23. As for the other ten...

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62 practice notes
  • Willbanks v. Mo. Dep't of Corr., No. SC 95395
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 11, 2017
    ...sentences for multiple nonhomicide convictions that exceed the defendant's life expectancy. State v. Moore, No. 2016-Ohio-8288, 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 76 N.E.3d 1127(2016).5 Moore held that Graham ' s rationale requires all juvenile defendants be given an actual meaningful opportunity to obtai......
  • Commonwealth v. Foust, No. 1118 WDA 2016
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • February 21, 2018
    ...prohibition on LWOP sentences by imposing lengthy term-of-years punishments that equate to the unlawful sanction. See State v. Moore , 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 76 N.E.3d 1127, 1140 (2016), cert. denied , ––– U.S. ––––, 138 S.Ct. 62, 199 L.Ed.2d 183 (2017) (A sentencer "that imposed an unconstitu......
  • State v. Nicholas, No. 2018-CA-25
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • June 26, 2020
    ...is the ‘precept of justice that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense.’ " State v. Moore , 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 2016-Ohio-8288, 76 N.E.3d 1127, ¶ 31, quoting Weems v. United States , 217 U.S. 349, 367, 30 S.Ct. 544, 54 L.Ed. 793 (1910). " ‘Protection agai......
  • McCullough v. State, No. 1081, Sept. Term, 2016.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • August 30, 2017
    ...206 So.3d 5 (Fla. 2016) ; Johnson v. State , 215 So.3d 1237 (Fla. 2017) ; State v. Boston , 363 P.3d 453 (Nev. 2015) ; State v. Moore , 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 76 N.E.3d 1127 (Ohio 2016), petition for cert. filed , No. 16–1167 (Mar. 22, 2017); State v. Zuber , 227 N.J. 422, 152 A.3d 197 (2017),......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
61 cases
  • Willbanks v. Mo. Dep't of Corr., No. SC 95395
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 11, 2017
    ...sentences for multiple nonhomicide convictions that exceed the defendant's life expectancy. State v. Moore, No. 2016-Ohio-8288, 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 76 N.E.3d 1127(2016).5 Moore held that Graham ' s rationale requires all juvenile defendants be given an actual meaningful opportunity to obtai......
  • Commonwealth v. Foust, No. 1118 WDA 2016
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • February 21, 2018
    ...prohibition on LWOP sentences by imposing lengthy term-of-years punishments that equate to the unlawful sanction. See State v. Moore , 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 76 N.E.3d 1127, 1140 (2016), cert. denied , ––– U.S. ––––, 138 S.Ct. 62, 199 L.Ed.2d 183 (2017) (A sentencer "that imposed an unconstitu......
  • State v. Nicholas, No. 2018-CA-25
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • June 26, 2020
    ...is the ‘precept of justice that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense.’ " State v. Moore , 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 2016-Ohio-8288, 76 N.E.3d 1127, ¶ 31, quoting Weems v. United States , 217 U.S. 349, 367, 30 S.Ct. 544, 54 L.Ed. 793 (1910). " ‘Protection agai......
  • McCullough v. State, No. 1081, Sept. Term, 2016.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • August 30, 2017
    ...206 So.3d 5 (Fla. 2016) ; Johnson v. State , 215 So.3d 1237 (Fla. 2017) ; State v. Boston , 363 P.3d 453 (Nev. 2015) ; State v. Moore , 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 76 N.E.3d 1127 (Ohio 2016), petition for cert. filed , No. 16–1167 (Mar. 22, 2017); State v. Zuber , 227 N.J. 422, 152 A.3d 197 (2017),......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • THE TRILOGY AND BEYOND.
    • United States
    • South Dakota Law Review Vol. 62 Nbr. 3, September 2017
    • September 22, 2017
    ...State v. Zuber, 152 A.3d 197, 214-16(N.J. 2017) (applying Graham and Miller to 110-year and 75-year sentences); State v. Moore, 76 N.E.3d 1127, 1128-29 (Ohio 2016) (holding that Graham applies to 112-year aggregate sentence for multiple non-homicide (74.) See Ramos, 387 P.3d at 660 (finding......
  • Reasonable Minds May Differ: The Application of Miller and Graham to Consecutive Sentences for Juvenile Offenders in Missouri.
    • United States
    • Missouri Law Review Vol. 83 Nbr. 3, June 2018
    • June 22, 2018
    ..."life," which was clearly not the case for Bunch. Id. at 551 (quoting Graham v Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 82 (2010)). (95.) Id. at 552. (96.) 76 N.E.3d 1127 (Ohio 2016), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 62 (2017) (97.) 152 A.3d 197 (N.J. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 152 (2017) (mem.). (98.) State v. ......

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