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Granted Petitions on Criminal Cases for the Month of September

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis, Supreme Court of Georgia, Uncategorized

The Supreme Court has granted two petitions for certiorari and one application for discretionary appeal so far this month. Below is an overview of each case

Bunn v. State

In its Order granting Cert., from September 6, 2011, the Court notes that it is particularly concerned with the following issue:

Does the Child Hearsay Statute allow a witness to testify as to what one of the defendant’s victims said she saw done to a second victim? See OCGA Section 24-3-16; Woodard v. State, 269 Ga. 317 (1998); Assad v. State, 195 Ga. App. 692 (1990). See also Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).

The opinion form the Court of Appeals may be accessed here. The COA opinion was authored by Judge Smith, who wrote for a unanimous panel with Judges Mikell and Adams.

The Cert. petition has been pending for approximately 9 months from the time that the COA denied reconsideration on December 14, 2010

Jones v. State

On September 12, 2011, the Court entered an Order granting cert, noting that it wished to consider two issues:

  1. Did the Court of Appeals err in upholding the trial court’s denial of Jones’ request for a subpoena? See Yeary v. State, 289 Ga. 394 (2011).
  2. Did the court of Appeals err in holding that the trial court was authorized to conclude that Jones’ encounter with the police trooper at Jones’ truck was consensual?

The opinion cannot be found because the Court of Appeals Ordered that it not be officially published. Judge Ellington wrote for a unanimous panel joined by Andrews and Doyle. This case is another in a continuing saga by defense attorneys to obtain the source code for the intoxilyzer machine, a popular device used by law enforcement to measure blood alcohol concentration, with an added twist of a Fourth Amendment issue.

Notice of Intent was filed on March 17, 2010, and the cert petition was pending approximately 5 months before cert. was granted.

Harper v. State

On September 23, 2011, the Court granted an interlocutory appeal on this case. The case comes to the Court by way of transfer from the Court of Appeals because there is a constitutional questions involved. The Petitioner is indicted for a violation of RICO, involving allegations of theft from Glock, the company that manufactures firearms. The constitutional issue is whether the provision that extends the statute of limitations for offenses where a victim is over the age of 65 violates equal protection where, as here, the victim is a senior citizen who is a multimillionaire, runs a multi-billion dollar corporation, and is likely heavily armed (I editorialized the heavily armed stuff. It’s not really part of the opinion). Justices Nahmias and Carley dissented from the grant of interlocutory appeal.