State of Tennessee v. James Henderson Dellinger and Gary Wayne Sutton

State of Tennessee v. James Henderson Dellinger and Gary Wayne Sutton
E1997-00196-SC-DDT-DD

James Henderson Dellinger and Gary Wayne Sutton were convicted of first degree premeditated murder in the death of Tommy Mayford Griffin. Dellinger and Sutton were both sentenced to death, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed their convictions and sentences. We entered an order designating the following issues for oral argument:1 1) whether the indictments violate the United States Constitution as construed in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); 2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant the defendants a severance or to grant separate juries for each defendant; 3) whether the trial court erred in dismissing the jury selection expert previously granted the defendants; 4) whether the trial court erred in refusing to suppress evidence seized from Dellinger’s residence under a search warrant; 5) whether the evidence supports the jury’s finding of aggravating circumstance (i)(2); 6) whether the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury at sentencing that the identity of the defendants in prior convictions must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt; 7) whether the trial court erred in refusing to charge the jury as a mitigating factor that the defendants are human beings; 8) whether the trial court erred in refusing to answer the jury’s question about the manner of serving life sentences; and 9) whether the sentences of death are excessive or disproportionate under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-206(c)(1)(D). Having carefully reviewed these issues and the remainder of the issues raised by Dellinger and Sutton, we find no merit to their arguments.2 Accordingly, we affirm the Court of Criminal Appeals in all respects.

Authoring Judge: 
Justice Janice M. Holder
Originating Judge: 
Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Date Filed: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2002