Criminal Appellate Decisions – Supreme Court of Mississippi – 2/16/2023


2/16/2023 – Hand Down List and Published Opinions

Alberto Julio Garcia v. State of Mississippi – Death Penalty – Post Conviction Relief – Garcia confessed to raping and murdering five-year-old JT.  He pled guilty to capital murder and waived jury sentencing.  At his sentencing hearing, the trial judge sentenced Garcia to death.  On appeal, the Court affirmed his sentence.  He filed a motion for post-conviction relief and argues his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to pursue and present at the sentencing hearing evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD) as a mitigating factor.  The court found that his trial counsel did obtain medical records, psychological histories, and assistance of a psychological expert.  He pursued avenues of mitigation.  Furthermore, the Court rejected the suggestion that FASD is akin to intellectual disability, making one morally less culpable.  Instead, FASD can be a double-edged sword and just as likely be aggravating as mitigating.  The Court held that Garcia failed to show deficiency and resulting prejudice on his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Daryl Hawkins v. State of Mississippi (Pro Se PCR)

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