Hale v. Belleque

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 03-20-2013
  • Case #: A143075
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Wollheim, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When an element of a crime depends on the specific crime that a defendant intends to commit, at least 10 of the same jurors must concur on the underlying crime that the defendant intended to commit before the defendant can be convicted.

Hale was sentenced to death after being convicted of aggravated murder of three victims, burglary, theft, kidnapping, rape, and many other offenses. In a post-conviction proceeding, Hale attempted to have his conviction set aside due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court rejected Hale’s claims and he appealed. Hale asserted 19 assignments of error on appeal. The Court of Appeals held that petitioner’s trial counselor made objectively reasonable tactical decisions and was not inadequate on all but one claim of error. In this case the jury had to determine whether Hale intended to commit criminal mischief or theft while inside the dwelling in order to find him guilty of burglary. Petitioner’s trial counselor failed to request that a concurrence instruction be given to the jury that ten of the same jurors must agree about which of the underlying crimes Hale intended to commit. The Court held that, because of this, Hale’s counselor was inadequate and reversed and remanded the conviction of burglary. Otherwise affirmed.

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