Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hargrove et al. v. State case brief

Hargrove et al. v. State case brief 321 S.E.2d 104

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendants appealed an order of the Mitchell Superior Court (Georgia), which convicted them of dogfighting, gambling, and commercial gambling in violation of Ga. Code Ann. § 16-12-37.

FACTS: On appeal, defendants contended that § 16-12-37 was unconstitutional. The court affirmed, holding that the statute was not unconstitutionally vague because it prohibited one from causing or allowing a dog to fight another dog for sport or gaming purposes, and thus it was sufficiently definite to put those of common intelligence on notice that knowing participation in a dogfighting event was prohibited. The court held that as a matter of law a $ 5,000 fine with an optional one year in prison for dogfighting was not cruel and unusual punishment. The statute was not invalid on equal protection grounds for punishing dogfighting as a felony while cockfighting was only a misdemeanor because the legislature acted within its discretion in mandating that those who participated in a dogfight organized for gaming purposes should be dealt with more harshly. The court also held the circumstantial evidence, together with the equipment found at the scene, the time and place of the event, and the evidence as to the nature of dogfighting were sufficient evidence of gambling, and that dogfighting was not as a matter of law a lesser included offense of commercial gambling.

CONCLUSION: The court affirmed defendants' conviction for dogfighting, gambling, and commercial gambling.

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