Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jones v. State case brief

Jones v. State case brief 473 So.2d 1197

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant sought review of a decision of the Jefferson Circuit Court (Alabama), which entered judgment convicting and sentencing him for unlawfully owning, possessing, keeping, or training a dog or dogs with the intent that such dog or dogs be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog in violation of Ala. Code § 3-1-29 (1975).

FACTS: Defendant contended on appeal that Ala. Code § 3-1-29 (1975) was void for vagueness and therefore unconstitutional, that it had been applied to him ex post facto, and that the trial court erred in permitting the state to present inflammatory evidence concerning the condition of the dogs when confiscated from him. The court affirmed the judgment. The court stated that § 3-1-29 was not unconstitutionally vague, noting that otherwise innocent conduct was protected in that minimal guidelines had been established to aid law enforcement officials and triers of fact in determining what conduct was prohibited, and that it conveyed a sufficient and definite meaning and warning as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common understanding and practice. The court held that defendant's ex post facto claim was without merit because there was sufficient evidence before the jury to convict him of activities after the effective date of § 3-1-29. The court stated that the testimony on the dogs' conditions and propensity for viciousness was relevant to prove the issue of intent to fight the dogs, and found no abuse of the trial court's discretion in admitting it.

CONCLUSION: The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting and sentencing defendant for keeping dogs with the intent that they be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog.

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