CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo

AfterTheTrial.com... Because There’s Hope After the Trial

BLOG

After The Trial Blog

The After The Trial blog presents insights on ongoing and recent trials around the state of Alabama, including weekly criminal law round-ups.

Massive Death Penalty Reform in AL

J.D. Lloyd - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The first bill signed into law by recently-elevated Gov. Kay Ivey repeals Alabama's "judicial override" provision in our death penalty sentencing laws. "Judicial override" refers to situations where a jury recommends that someone convicted of capital murder be punished with life without parole, but the judge "overrides" that recommendation to sentence the defendant to death.

In Alabama, capital murder trials go through two stages: the guilt stage and the penalty stage. In the guilt stage, a jury must decide whether a defendant committed the capital offense he's been charged with. If they convict, the case moves to the penalty phase. In the penalty phase, the State presents a case for the the death penalty and the defense makes a case for life without parole (LWOP). Death or LWOP are the only two sentences possible. The jury hears the evidence and makes a recommendation to the judge as to what the sentence should be. Under Alabama law, the jury has to vote 10-2 in favor of death to make a death recommendation to the court; anything lower is considered a recommendation for LWOP. The judge then has the final sentencing authority. A judge could "override" a jury's LWOP recommendation and sentence a defendant to life.

 

This practice has received extreme criticism through the years. Alabama is the last state to do away with judicial override.
 
Read more about it here.

 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.


Supreme Court Update - New Protections Against Executing The Mentally Disabled

J.D. Lloyd - Thursday, March 30, 2017

 

Moore v. Texas (U.S. Supreme Court, March 28/2017)

 

Moore was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. In post-trial proceedings, a circuit court concluded that Mr. Moore was intellectually disabled and, thus, ineligible for execution under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) and Hall v. Florida, 572 U.S. ___ (2014). The circuit court based its decision on the most current medical guidelines. However, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (“CCA”) rejected that conclusion and re-instated Moore’s death sentence. The CCA concluded that the circuit court erred in not following factors laid out in Ex parte Briseno, 135 S. W. 3d 1( 2004), which relied upon medical authority from 1992. Moore appealed, claiming the CCA’s reasoning violated the Eighth Amendment.

 

REVERSED.

In Atkins, the Supreme Court opened the door to allow states to develop their own tests for determining intellectual disability and ineligibility for the death penalty. However, as the states have developed different tests, the Court has indicated it will review these procedures to determine whether the states have created “an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed.” Hall v. Florida, 572 U.S. at ___. Here, the Court took aim at Texas’ Atkins test for determining intellectual disability which was centered around out-dated medical information and court-created “factors” that have been widely criticized.

 

In holding that Mr. Moore was ineligible for the death penalty under Atkins, the circuit court relied on medical diagnostic standards coming from the 11th edition of the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities (“AAIDD”) clinical manual and the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM-5”) published by the American Psychiatric Association. The court followed the “generally accepted, uncontroversial intellectual-disability diagnostic definitions” in reaching their conclusion. Basically, the circuit court relied on the most up-to-date diagnostic material in assessing Moore.

 

The CCA rejected the circuit court’s conclusion and chastised it for not applying the Briseno test for determining intellectual disability. The Briseno test was based upon the 9th edition of the AAIDD and included a seven-factor test that was not grounded in any medical authority -- just a judicial creation. The CCA recognized that the standards in the AAIDD may have changed, but concluded that the Briseno test “remained adequately informed by the medical community’s diagnostic framework.”

 

The Supreme Court concluded that the CCA’s reliance on out-dated medical information and “factors” that have been widely criticized and rejected in the legal and medical community could not comport with the Eighth Amendment as well as Atkins and Hall. While the State’s have leeway in formulating their own approach to addressing Atkins claims, the cornerstone of any scheme must be “the medical community’s diagnostic framework.”

 

 

Read the decision here

 

 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.



 


Recent Posts


Tags

boaz alabama illegal gambling birchfield v north dakota bailey v us Justice Sotomayor Woods v State baltimore city circuit court greene county alabama aziz sayyed Etowah County Alabama, eric sterling Jefferson County Alabama hanceville alabama texas road rage concealed carry anniston alabama, decatur alabama unlawful manufacturing endangerment of a child tarrant alabama LWOP baldwin county alabama state of alabama blountsville alabama hurst v florida public assistance fraud home repair fraud pell city alabama theft editorial hoover alabama blount county alabama OJ Simpson Made in America apprendi v new jersey attempted murder drug possession, department of justice, Wesley Adam Whitworth bernard v north dakota West Alabama brian fredick lucas domestic violence robberies netflix criminal justice shelby county maryland court of special appeals capital offenses gadsden alabama warrantless blood draws levins v state Fentanyl scotus Samuel Alito beylund v north dakota eugene lee jones v state OJ Simpson Donald Trump, Gardendale Alabama fort payne alabama § 13A-3-23(d) immunity hearing street racing operation bullseye hurst mandamus 2016 election, adger alabama CCA update fraud john earle redfearn IV v state battles v state alabama criminal law roundup embezzlement gun control constitutional law, campbell v state peyton pruitt brady v maryland theft of property Neil Gorsuch Mike Hubbard huntsville drug trafficking, christian guitierez hall v florida dora alabama drug crimes 28 U.S.C. § 2254 sentencing law and policy blog summaries huntsville alabama Kay Ivey avondale alabama morgan county alabama Adamsville alabama trussville alabama state of arizona Hillary Clinton, second amendment bomb threat limestone county alabama Lucky D Arcade marion county lauderdale county alabama alabama supreme court jerry bohannon mountain brook alabama Tracie Todd criminal justice reform, drug activity forced isolation fourth amendment kimberly alabama sixth amendment kidnapping mike gilotti cullman alabama nathan woods Thomas Hardiman narcotics investigation debtor prison pelham alabama birmingham alabama montgomery alabama mccalla alabama criminal mischief south carolina domestic abuse christmas shooting judicial override talladega superspeedway Alabaster alabama brendan dassey, steve avery, making a murderer, scotus, netflix car accident terell corey mcmullin William Pryor moore v texas death penalty, abuse shooting death mulga alabama nicholas hawkins burglary Briarwood Presbyterian Church underage drinking drug smuggling death penalty alabama law enforcement agency Pleasant Grove Alabama benjamin todd acton aiding and abetting moving violations arson shooting ferguson missouri asia mcclain US Supreme Court Update Rule 32 keith v state eleventh circuit ruling heritage christian university sarah koenig § 13A-3-23 banville v state serial abduction sexual assault Malone v State Easter executions Benn v State self defense Xavier Beasley court of criminal appeals Eutaw Alabama ring v arizona adnan syed, breaking and entering rainbow city alabama brookside alabama operation crackdown strickland v washington clarence thomas capital punishment mount olive alabama Dylann Roof court systems, heflin alabama debit card skimming scams foley alabama mcwilliams v dunn lethal injection drugs utah v strieff utah supreme court Tommy Arthur lamar county ex parte briseno morris alabama Stephen Breyer sheffield v state alabama illegal gun carry Guy Terrell Junior oneonta alabama the mannequin challenge brendan dassey homicide rate negligent homicide armed robbery stoves v state russell calhoun Ingmire v State mobile alabama alfonso morris department of justice bessemer alabama dekalb county alabama springville alabama fultondale alabama kenneth eugene billups implied consent ake v oklahoma madison alabama legende v state habeas corpus relief hoax destructive devices albertville alabama lethal injection Kareem Dacar Gaymon social media animal cruelty capital murder Glaze v State economic growth crime of passion pruitt v state npr eighth amendment, shoplifting homicide midazolam florence alabama fraudulent checks Marengo County Alabama felony assaults edwards v arizona Sardis Alabama fairfield alabama, minor offenses constitutional violations murder Alonzo Ephraim tuscaloosa alabama Joshua Reese making a murderer Shonda Walker, church robberies pinson alabama cherokee county alabama abandonment New York Times SCOTUS, prostitution sting towles v state Walker County Alabama fake kidnapping, betton v state steve avery stanley brent chapman dothan alabama identity theft drug seizure assault gun rights calhoun county alabama parole st clair county alabama court of criminal appeal releases drug busts smith v state warrior alabama

Archive

DISCLAIMER

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among  other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Get Free Legal Advice  Contact us for a complimentary legal consultation

I am interested in scheduling a free legal consultation and receiving additional information.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you, your  entry has been  received.

© 2017 The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. |

 

As required by Rule 7.2(e), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.