September 19th, 2017
Supreme Court of Louisiana Opinions
Louisiana v. King
Opinion Date: September 18, 2017
Judge: Jefferson D. Hughes, III
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
Defendant Calvin King was tried by jury and convicted of second degree murder and armed robbery following the 2007 death of Javier Sanchez. The issue this case presented involved the trial court’s grant of a motion for new trial on the basis that the verdict was contrary to the law and the evidence pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure article 851(1). Defendant filed a motion for new trial, which focused on inconsistencies in the evidence presented to the jury, arguing that the testimony of the one eyewitness contained internal inconsistencies and was at least partially irreconcilable with the physical evidence. The trial court granted the motion, ordering a new trial for the defendant. The appellate court reversed. When a motion for a new trial is granted pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure article 851(1), the Louisiana Supreme Court held there is no threshold requirement that the trial court make a finding that an injustice has been done to the defendant that is reviewable as a matter of law. Nor may the court of appeal or the Supreme Court review the findings of fact of the trial court in granting such a motion based on the constitutional prohibition of the appellate courts reviewing factual findings in a criminal case. The Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s judgment and the trial court judgment granting defendant’s motion for a new trial was reinstated.
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