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U.S. Supreme Court YOUNG v. GEORGIA , 464 U.S. 1057 (1984) 464 U.S. 1057 Charlie YOUNG, Jr.v. GEORGIANo. 83-5365 Supreme Court of the United States January 9, 1984 On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Georgia. The petition for writ of certiorari is denied. Justice MARSHALL, with whom Justice BRENNAN joins, dissenting from denial of certiorari. I dissent from the Court's denial of certiorari because it lets stand a ruling of the Georgia Supreme Court which violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment as made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 794, 2062 (1969). Because of the Georgia Supreme Court's blatant misreading of a decision by the United States Court of Appeals which granted habeas corpus relief to the petitioner, he will again be subjected to the State's attempt to impose a death sentence upon him even though a federal district court has made an undisturbed ruling that a death sentence recommended by a jury was invalid due to insufficiency of the evidence. In February 1976, the petitioner, Charlie Young, Jr., was convicted of murder, armed robbery and robbery by intimidation. At the sentencing phase of the trial, the jury condemned the petitioner to death after finding that the murder was accompanied by two statutorily defined aggravating circumstances: the murder was committed while the petitioner was engaged in the commission of another capital felony, Ga.Code 17-10- 30(b)(2),




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and the petitioner committed the murder for the purpose of receiving money, id., (b)(4).1 The Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed the conviction and the sentence. Young v. State, 237 Ga. 852, 230 S.E.2d 287 (1976). Subsequently, the Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed a lower state court's denial of Young's application for habeas corpus relief. Young v. Ricketts, 242 Ga. 559, 250 S.E.2d 404 (1978), cert. denied sub nom. Young v. Zant, 442 U.S. 934 (1979). Young then initiated habeas corpus proceedings in United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The District Court rejected Young's challenge to the validity of his conviction but set aside his death sentence. Young v. Zant, 506 F. Supp. 274 (M.D.Ga.1980). The District Court's order was based upon two holdings. First, the court held that Young had been denied effective assistance of counsel at the sentencing stage of his trial, in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the federal constitution. Id., at 278.2 Second, the District Court held that [464 U.S. 1057 , 1059]


464 U.S. 1057 Charlie YOUNG, Jr.v. GEORGIANo. 83-5365 Supreme Court of the United States January 9, 1984 On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Georgia. The petition for writ of certiorari is denied. Justice MARSHALL, with whom Justice BRENNAN joins, dissenting from denial of certiorari. I dissent from the Court's denial of certiorari because it lets stand a ruling of the Georgia Supreme Court which violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment as made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 794, 2062 (1969). Because of the Georgia Supreme Court's blatant misreading of a decision by the United States Court of Appeals which granted habeas corpus relief to the petitioner, he will again be subjected to the State's attempt to impose a death sentence upon him even though a federal district court has made an undisturbed ruling that a death sentence recommended by a jury was invalid due to insufficiency of the evidence. In February 1976, the petitioner, Charlie Young, Jr., was convicted of murder, armed robbery and robbery by intimidation. At the sentencing phase of the trial, the jury condemned the petitioner to death after finding that the murder was accompanied by two statutorily defined aggravating circumstances: the murder was committed while the petitioner was engaged in the commission of another capital felony, Ga.Code 17-10- 30(b)(2),


The United States Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's rejection of Young's challenge to his conviction. Young v. Zant, 677 F.2d 792 (CA11 1982). The Court of Appeals held that Young had also been denied effective assistance of counsel at the guilt phase of his trial. [Footnote 3] Finding the conviction invalid, the appellate court directed the District Court to grant the petitioner habeas corpus relief. The Court of Appeals noted the District Court's holding that Young had been denied effective assistance of counsel at the sentencing phase of the trial, id., at 795, and its holding that insufficiency of the evidence nullified the jury's finding of aggravating circumstances. Id., at 799 and n. 12. However, the Court of Appeals did not discuss either of these holdings. In the wake of the federal appellate decision, the State reindicted Young for the same offenses. Moreover, the State again sought the death penalty based upon the same two aggravating circumstances previously charged, along with an additional allegation that the murder was " outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim." Ga. Code 17-10-30(b)(7).4 Young resisted the State's renewed attempt to impose the death penalty upon him, claiming that such an attempt would expose him to double jeopardy in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The trial court, however, denied his plea of dou-


This Court has indicated in a wide variety of contexts that in matters involving capital punishment, a heightened degree of judicial scrutiny is warranted given the special nature of the interest at stake: the very life of the accused. Here, however, the Court is willing to allow the State of Georgia to seek anew to impose the death penalty upon Charlie Young, Jr. even though it is almost certainly the case that absent the Georgia Supreme Court's egregious misreading of the United States Court of Appeals' decision in Young v. Zant, supra, the State would be barred from again seeking the death penalty. I therefore dissent from the Court's denial of a writ of certiorari. Footnotes Footnote 1 In addition to the death sentence, the jury also sentenced Young to life imprisonment for armed robbery and to 20 years' imprisonment for robbery by intimidation. Footnote 2 The District Court found that the petitioner's attorney had no understanding whatsoever of the Georgia capital trial and sentencing procedures. In a capital case in Georgia, there is first a trial to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant. A separate sentencing hearing follows a determination of guilt. In effect, capital sentencing is a trial on the issue of punishment, embodying the hallmarks of the trial on guilt or innocence. See infra, at 1061-1062. Petitioner's attorney failed to present any evidence during the sentencing hearing in mitigation of punishment, and refused to allow the petitioner to take the stand in his own behalf, thereby depriving the petitioner of the only sentencing phase witness for the defense-the petitioner himself. Young v. Zant, 506 F. Supp. 274, 278-280 (M.D.Ga.1980). The District Court rejected the petitioner's claim that he had been deprived of effective assistance of counsel at the guilt-or-innocence phase of the trial, finding that the petitioner's attorney afforded him " reasonably effective assistance." Id., at 278. This finding, however, is inconsistent with the court's observation that the petitioner's attorney " had no apparent understanding whatsoever of the bifurcated nature of the Georgia capital trial and sentencing procedures," id., at 278-279, and that the attorney had used the utterly ridiculous strategy of admitting guilt but pleading for a life sentence at the guilt phase of the trial. Id., at 279. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals reversed this finding, holding instead that the petitioner had also been denied effective assistance at the guilt phase of his trial. Young v. Zant, 677 F.2d 792 ( CA5 1982). Footnote 3 According to the Court of Appeals, the attorney "did not accord Young even a modicum of professional assistance at any time" during the trial. Young v. Zant, 677 F.2d, at 794-795. Footnote 4 The District Court practically invited the State to renew its attempt to seek the death penalty against Young by suggesting that "the circumstances of this murder may justify a finding of some other aggravating circumstance, such as aggravated battery." Young v. Zant, supra, 506 F.Supp., at 281. Subsequent to the District Court's suggestion but prior to the State's decision to seek the death penalty at Young's retrial, this Court held, in Bullington v. Missouri, 451 U.S. 430, 101 S. Ct. 1852 (1981), that the Double Jeopardy Clause was applicable to capital sentencing hearings like the one to which the petitioner was subjected at his first trial. See infra, at 1061-1062. Footnote 5 The Court of Appeals did not review the District Court's finding of insufficiency of the evidence at the sentencing phase of the trial because, having ruled that Young's conviction was illegal, there was no need to review the propriety of the sentence. The Court of Appeals thus left that aspect of the District Court's ruling undisturbed. Search This CaseGoogle ScholarGoogle BooksGoogle WebGoogle NewsYOUNG v. GEORGIA, 464 U.S. 1057 (1984)


Fourteen years ago, prosecutor Jessica Yardley's husband went to prison for a series of brutal murders. She's finally created a life with her daughter and is a well-respected attorney. She's moving on. But when a new rash of homicides has her ex-husband, Eddie, written all over them - the nightmares of her past come back to life. 041b061a72


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