State v. Paz, No. 17452

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtMcDEVITT; Burnett's; This Court, through Johnson; Johnson; BAKES, C.J., and BOYLE; BISTLINE; JOHNSON; BISTLINE
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Federico PAZ, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date13 June 1990
Docket NumberNo. 17452

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798 P.2d 1
118 Idaho 542
STATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
Federico PAZ, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 17452.
Supreme Court of Idaho.
June 13, 1990.
Dissent On Denial of Rehearing
Sept. 25, 1990.

[118 Idaho 545]

Page 4

Van Bishop, Nampa, for defendant-appellant.

Jim Jones, Atty. Gen., Lynn E. Thomas, Sol. Gen. (argued), Boise, for plaintiff-respondent.

McDEVITT, Justice.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On August 29, 1987, Federico Paz encountered Gerry Bright (the victim) and two of his companions, Randall Gould and Larry Page, in a restaurant.

Events led to a verbal exchange between Bright and Paz. Bright then continued eating at a table in the restaurant with his companions.

After finishing his breakfast, Paz left the restaurant, secured a semi-automatic weapon from his friend's motor vehicle, sent his friend away so he would not be implicated, and some minutes later returned to the restaurant. Paz approached the table where Bright, Gould and Page were seated, concealing the weapon as he approached.

At close range, Paz opened fire with the weapon, killing Bright and seriously wounding Gould and Page. After emptying the weapon, Paz attempted to flee, but was stopped and disarmed by the wounded Gould.

Paz was taken into custody and subsequently charged with first degree murder.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The appellant, Federico Paz, was charged by information with murder in the first degree arising out of this incident.

After preliminary proceedings, Paz's trial was scheduled for February 1, 1988. On January 20, 1988, appellant filed a motion to quash the Jury Pool and Panel on the ground of systematic underrepresentation of Hispanics. The Motion to Quash alleged that the appellant was of Hispanic descent; Hispanics are recognized as a cognizable group in the community; the initial Jury Pool and Panel selected for the pending trial of appellant did not represent a fair cross-section of the population of Canyon County, Idaho; such unfair and disproportionate representation resulted from the systematic exclusion of an undue percentage of Hispanics, causing Hispanic representation in the Jury Pool and Panel disproportionately lower than that of the percentage of Hispanics in the community; this disproportionate representation was caused by the utilization by the Canyon County Jury Commission of driver's license lists and voter registration lists; the application of I.C. § 2-209(2)(a) and (b) resulted in an impermissible and unconstitutional standard and caused the systematic exclusion of Hispanics as qualified jurors; and that the procedures employed by the Canyon County Jury Commission for method of selection further resulted in the systematic exclusion of Hispanics.

The trial court ruled that the Motion to Quash was not timely filed, that appellant had not complied with the procedures to challenge jury selection set forth in I.C. § 2-213, and that appellant had no statutory basis to pursue the Motion to Quash. The court did proceed to permit evidence to be presented on the constitutional issues raised by appellant in the Motion to Quash.

Appellant produced evidence through an assistant jury commissioner for Canyon County and an associate of counsel for appellant, who had reviewed the records of the Jury Commission and the names of potential jurors, disqualified jurors, and "not found" jurors appearing on those lists in that office for the years 1986, 1987, and 1988. Following conviction Paz requested the court that the jury pass sentence, which motion was denied.

The trial court held a sentencing hearing pursuant to I.C. § 19-2515 for the imposition of a sentence and the presentation of evidence in connection with the sentencing process.

At that hearing the presentence investigation was reviewed by the court. It contained a statement of the father of the victim Bright, concerning the victim and his family immediately prior to his demise, and

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[118 Idaho 546] a statement of Randall Gould concerning his opinion of the disposition that should be made by the court of the appellant. The court caused a presentence report to be prepared, and the trial court conducted sentencing hearings. Included as part of the presentence investigation were police reports and a presentence investigation from an Oregon case in which the appellant Paz had been charged with murder, as well as police reports and a probation report involving a juvenile charge brought against Paz some years earlier.

The court also had available to it a presentence investigation and a post-sentence report, as well as a psychiatric report prepared while Paz was serving time in 1982. The presentence investigation also contained a statement from Paz's victim's father. In addition, the presentence report contained a statement from one of the individuals wounded by Paz in the shooting at the restaurant.

Following the sentencing hearing, the trial court made findings concerning aggravation and mitigation pursuant to I.C. § 19-2515(g) and sentenced Federico Paz to death. The trial court weighed each aggravating circumstance against all the mitigating circumstances, which would overcome or outweigh the aggravating circumstance, and found:

Each statutory aggravating circumstance which this court has found by itself, outweighs the mitigating circumstances. The supporting factor of the statutory aggravating circumstances found by this court clearly demonstrate that this defendant is easily provoked, that he irrationally reacts to that provocation, that he justifies his irrational behavior and does not understand why society is shocked by his conduct.

The defendant has not been rehabilitated or deterred by past efforts of society. Society has not been protected from this defendant. It is obvious to this court that there is a substantial risk and likelihood that this defendant would kill again. This court does not find that the mitigating circumstances presented outweigh the gravity of any aggravating circumstance found, nor do such mitigating circumstances make the imposition of death unjust.

This Court has before it the mandatory review of the death sentence imposed on Federico Paz, together with appeals from his conviction and from the denials of post-conviction relief by the court.

ISSUES RAISED ON APPEAL

Appellant raises the following issues on appeal:

1. The trial court erred in denying the appellant's Motion to Quash the Jury Pool and Panel.

(a) The trial court erred in ruling that appellant had not established a prima facie case of underrepresentation.

(b) The trial court erred in not requiring the State to offer responsive evidence to that of Paz at the hearing on his Motion to Quash the Jury Pool and Panel.

2. Idaho Code § 19-2515 is violative of the Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, by not requiring sentencing in a capital case by a jury of appellant's peers.

3. Idaho Code § 19-2515(g) is so vague in its terms that it violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

4. The trial court erred in relying upon inadmissible hearsay i.e., the presentence investigation report and the statements of Bright's father and Gould, and statements concerning Paz's conviction in Oregon as a grounds for finding aggravating circumstances.

5. The findings of the trial court were not sufficient to support the finding of "utter disregard for human life" as an aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt.

6. The trial court erred by allowing a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing.

7. The trial court erred in admitting and relying upon statements made in a prior criminal investigation which had occurred

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[118 Idaho 547] in Oregon which statements had been ruled inadmissible in a prior Oregon court proceeding.

8. The appellate review provision of I.C. § 19-2719 limiting time of capital convicts to proceed thereunder, are violative of article I, § 18 of the Idaho Constitution and the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

I.

MOTION TO QUASH THE JURY POOL

Paz timely moved to quash the Jury Pool and Panel on the following grounds:

1. Paz is of Hispanic descent.

2. Hispanics are recognized as a cognizable group.

3. Hispanics were underrepresented in the Jury Pool and Panel selected for use in this trial.

4. The Canyon County Jury Commission's utilization of only two jury source lists, i.e. driver's license lists and voter registration lists, systematically excluded the Hispanic population from consideration as jurors.

5. Idaho Code § 2-209(2)(a) and (b), establishing prospective juror qualifications and the manner of selecting a juror panel, unconstitutionally excludes Hispanics from becoming qualified jurors.

6. The methodology employed by the Canyon County Jury Commission in dealing with jurors who are "non-found" as a result of improper addresses and the return of jury qualification forms undelivered to the Commission, together with the absence of any provision in the Idaho Code as to a procedure to be used in such a situation, also results in the systematic exclusion of the Hispanic population in Canyon County, Idaho, from consideration as jurors.

At the time established for hearing this motion, the trial court ruled that Paz's statutory challenge was untimely in that it was not filed within seven (7) days of discovery of the basis for the motion and failed to comply with I.C. § 2-213, but that it would consider the constitutional issues raised by the motion. The motion filed on behalf of Paz did not raise statutory issues other than those included in the constitutional issues and therefore does not create a separate legal issue on appeal.

The result of jury underrepresentation is to encroach upon the accused's right to an impartial jury in criminal prosecutions, which is guaranteed to the accused as part of the due process protection afforded by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, made...

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26 practice notes
  • Pizzuto v. Arave, No. 97-99017.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 6, 2002
    ...cases using the HAC factor, possibly five (nearly one-third) involved no suffering on the part of the victim. The murder in State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 798 P.2d 1 (1990), was not "unnecessarily torturous" because the defendant shot his victim with a semi-automatic weapon at close range. In......
  • State v. Gibbs
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • September 19, 2000
    ...section requirement has occurred." (Citation omitted.) United States v. Shinault, 147 F.3d 1266, 1271 (10th Cir. 1998); see State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 548, 798 P.2d 1 (1990). In State v. Castonguay, supra, 194 Conn. 430, we concluded that an under-representation of "slightly more than one......
  • Beam v. Paskett, No. 90-35616
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • September 2, 1993
    ...638, 851 P.2d 934, 937, 943-45 (1993) (applying both sections 19-2719 and 19-2827); Card, 825 P.2d at 1086-87, 1094 (same); State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 798 P.2d 1, 18-19 (1990) (same), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 2911, 115 L.Ed.2d 1074 (1991); State v. Lankford, 116 Idaho 860, 7......
  • Pizzuto v. Arave, No. 97-99017.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 20, 2004
    ...cases using the HAC factor, possibly five (nearly one-third) involved no suffering on the part of the victim. The murder in State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 798 P.2d 1 (1990), was not "unnecessarily torturous" because the Page 1265 shot his victim with a semi-automatic weapon at close range. In......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Pizzuto v. Arave, No. 97-99017.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 6, 2002
    ...cases using the HAC factor, possibly five (nearly one-third) involved no suffering on the part of the victim. The murder in State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 798 P.2d 1 (1990), was not "unnecessarily torturous" because the defendant shot his victim with a semi-automatic weapon at close range. In......
  • State v. Gibbs
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • September 19, 2000
    ...section requirement has occurred." (Citation omitted.) United States v. Shinault, 147 F.3d 1266, 1271 (10th Cir. 1998); see State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 548, 798 P.2d 1 (1990). In State v. Castonguay, supra, 194 Conn. 430, we concluded that an under-representation of "slightly more than one......
  • Beam v. Paskett, No. 90-35616
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • September 2, 1993
    ...638, 851 P.2d 934, 937, 943-45 (1993) (applying both sections 19-2719 and 19-2827); Card, 825 P.2d at 1086-87, 1094 (same); State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 798 P.2d 1, 18-19 (1990) (same), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 2911, 115 L.Ed.2d 1074 (1991); State v. Lankford, 116 Idaho 860, 7......
  • Pizzuto v. Arave, No. 97-99017.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 20, 2004
    ...cases using the HAC factor, possibly five (nearly one-third) involved no suffering on the part of the victim. The murder in State v. Paz, 118 Idaho 542, 798 P.2d 1 (1990), was not "unnecessarily torturous" because the Page 1265 shot his victim with a semi-automatic weapon at close range. In......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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