Friday, November 15, 2013

Green v. State case brief

Green v. State case brief summary
470 S.E.2d 884 (1996)

Defendant appealed the judgment from the Chatham Superior Court (Georgia), which convicted him of felony murder.

Defendant's wife died of a stress ulcer a week after defendant stabbed her. As a result, defendant was convicted of felony murder.


  • The court affirmed the conviction because defendant failed to show that his trial counsel's failure to object or request certain charges fell outside the range of reasonable professional conduct. 
  • The jury was instructed to consider whether the State proved all of the elements of both felony murder and voluntary manslaughter and that it could not find defendant guilty of felony murder if it found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter. 
  • Moreover, the jury verdict form indicated that the jury specifically considered voluntary manslaughter. Thus, the jury charge did not constitute a sequential charge. 
  • Although the experts at trial disputed the primary cause of death, they agreed that stress caused the ulcer. 
  • The evidence at trial was sufficient for the jury to have found that defendant stabbed his wife, thus setting in motion a series of events that resulted in her death, and that the hospital's treatment of her wound was a secondary, rather than intervening, cause of death.

The court affirmed defendant's conviction for felony murder.

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