Williams v. State

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtSHAW.
Citation830 So.2d 45
Decision Date25 May 2001
PartiesJimmy WILLIAMS, Jr. v. STATE of Alabama.

830 So.2d 45

Jimmy WILLIAMS, Jr.
v.
STATE of Alabama

CR-00-0442.

Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.

May 25, 2001.

Rehearing Denied August 10, 2001.

Certiorari Quashed April 12, 2002.


830 So.2d 47
Paul R. Cooper, Montgomery; and Mary Dixon Torbert, Montgomery, for appellant

Bill Pryor, atty. gen., and Joseph G.L. Marston III, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.

Alabama Supreme Court 1001988.

SHAW, Judge.

The appellant, Jimmy Williams, Jr., appeals from his conviction for murder made capital pursuant to § 13A-5-40(a)(2), Ala. Code 1975 ("[m]urder by the defendant during a robbery in the first degree or an attempt thereof"), and for conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, a violation of § 13A-4-3, Ala.Code 1975. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole on the capital-murder count and to 20 years on the conspiracy-to-commit-robbery count. We affirm.

The following issues are presented for review:

1. Whether the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution1 or § 13A-4-5(b)(3), Ala.Code 1975,2 barred the trial court from convicting and sentencing the appellant both for capital murder and for conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery;
2. Whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain the appellant's conviction of capital murder;
3. Whether the trial court erred in denying the appellant's motion to suppress his statements to the police; and
4. Whether the appellant is entitled to a new trial on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.

With respect to the first issue, the appellant contends that, because the offense of capital murder required proof that the victim was killed during the commission of a first-degree robbery, he could not be convicted and sentenced both for capital murder and for conspiracy to commit firstdegree robbery. The gravamen of the appellant's argument is that the first-degree robbery element of the capital-murder offense and the conspiracy-to-commit-firstdegree-robbery offense were both based on and arose out of the same course of conduct; therefore, he says, the first-degree robbery element of the capital-murder offense and the conspiracy-to-commitfirst-degree-robbery offense constituted the same offense for purposes of applying the Double Jeopardy Clause. Along this same vein, the appellant contends that he was "`convicted on the basis of the same course of conduct of both the actual commission of an offense [murder made capital pursuant to § 13A-5-40(a)(2) ] and ... [c]riminal conspiracy of the offense [conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery],'" in violation of § 13A-4-5(b)(3). (Appellant's brief at p. 8, quoting § 13A-4-5(b).) We disagree with both contentions.

The established test for determining whether two offenses are sufficiently distinguishable to permit the imposition of cumulative punishment was stated in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 52 S.Ct. 180, 76 L.Ed. 306 (1932). Where the same act or transaction constitutes a violation of two distinct statutory provisions, the test to be applied to determine whether there are two offenses or only one is whether each provision requires proof of an additional fact that the other does not. The test emphasizes the elements of the two offenses. If each offense requires

830 So.2d 48
proof of a fact that the other does not, then the Blockburger test is satisfied, notwithstanding a substantial overlap in the proof offered to establish the offenses. In essence, the Blockburger rule is one of statutory construction. The assumption underlying the rule is that the legislative branch of government ordinarily does not intend to punish for the same offense under two different statutes. Therefore, where two statutory provisions proscribe the "same offense," they are construed not to authorize cumulative punishments, at least in the absence of a clear indication of contrary legislative intent. See Ex parte Rice, 766 So.2d 143 (Ala.1999)

Under § 13A-4-3, "[a] person is guilty of criminal conspiracy if, with the intent that conduct constituting an offense be performed, he agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct, and any one or more of such persons does an overt act to effect an objective of the agreement." On the other hand, the offense of murder made capital pursuant to § 13A-5-40(a)(2), requires no agreement to effect that offense. See §§ 13A-6-2(a)(1); 13A-8-41; and 13A-8-43, Ala.Code 1975. Likewise, the offense of murder made capital pursuant to § 13A-5-40(a)(2) requires proof of an intentional killing; § 13A-4-3 requires no such proof. Clearly, the two offenses for which the appellant was convicted and sentenced are not the same under the Blockburger test. Therefore, we find no merit in the appellant's argument that his rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause were violated.

Neither are we persuaded that the appellant's convictions ran afoul of § 13A-4-5. That provision specifically prohibits a person from being convicted on the basis of the same course of conduct of both the actual commission of an offense and criminal conspiracy to commit that same offense. See Perkins v. State, 715 So.2d 888 (Ala.Crim.App.1997). Section 13A-4-5(b)(3) merges the inchoate offense into the conviction for the substantive offense to the extent that it bans a double conviction for both the substantive offense and a conspiracy to commit that offense. See the Commentary to § 13A-4-5.

Based on the evidence presented, the appellant is correct that the jury had to have found him guilty of committing a first-degree robbery in order to have returned a guilty verdict on the capital-murder count. However, the jury also necessarily had to have found that the appellant intentionally killed the victim. Based on the finding of that additional...

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11 practice notes
  • Williams v. State, CR–12–1862.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 4, 2014
    ...conspiracy-to-commit-robbery conviction.This Court affirmed Williams's convictions and sentences on direct appeal. See Williams v. State, 830 So.2d 45 (Ala.Crim.App.2001). Williams sought certiorari review in the Alabama Supreme Court; that Court, however, ultimately quashed the writ of cer......
  • Collins v. State, CR-14-0753
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 13, 2017
    ...for capital-murder and conspiracy to commit murder do not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. As this Court stated in Williams v. State, 830 So. 2d 45 (Ala. Crim. App. 2001), when considering whether Williams's convictions for robbery/murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery con......
  • Wilson v. State, CR–07–0684.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • September 20, 2013
    ...discovered as a result of his statement ... would have been admissible under the rule stated in New York v. Harris”);Williams v. State, 830 So.2d 45, 50 (Ala.Crim.App.2001). Here, Investigator Luker had probable cause to arrest Wilson for Walker's murder.11See Dixon v. State, 588 So.2d 903,......
  • State v. Montgomery, CR-04-2011.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 3, 2006
    ...App.1998), aff'd, 727 So.2d 173 (Ala. 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 833 120 S.Ct. 91, 145 L.Ed.2d 77 (1999)." Williams v. State, 830 So.2d 45, 49 (Ala. Exigent circumstances for a warrantless arrest are not necessary in this circumstance. "`[P]robable cause' to justify an arrest means facts......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Williams v. State, CR–12–1862.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 4, 2014
    ...conspiracy-to-commit-robbery conviction.This Court affirmed Williams's convictions and sentences on direct appeal. See Williams v. State, 830 So.2d 45 (Ala.Crim.App.2001). Williams sought certiorari review in the Alabama Supreme Court; that Court, however, ultimately quashed the writ of cer......
  • Collins v. State, CR-14-0753
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 13, 2017
    ...for capital-murder and conspiracy to commit murder do not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. As this Court stated in Williams v. State, 830 So. 2d 45 (Ala. Crim. App. 2001), when considering whether Williams's convictions for robbery/murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery con......
  • Wilson v. State, CR–07–0684.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • September 20, 2013
    ...discovered as a result of his statement ... would have been admissible under the rule stated in New York v. Harris”);Williams v. State, 830 So.2d 45, 50 (Ala.Crim.App.2001). Here, Investigator Luker had probable cause to arrest Wilson for Walker's murder.11See Dixon v. State, 588 So.2d 903,......
  • State v. Montgomery, CR-04-2011.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 3, 2006
    ...App.1998), aff'd, 727 So.2d 173 (Ala. 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 833 120 S.Ct. 91, 145 L.Ed.2d 77 (1999)." Williams v. State, 830 So.2d 45, 49 (Ala. Exigent circumstances for a warrantless arrest are not necessary in this circumstance. "`[P]robable cause' to justify an arrest means facts......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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