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

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

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.