Anthony Ray Hinton v. State of Alabama

Download as PDF REL: 08/26/2011 Notice: T h i s o p i n i o n i s s u b j e c t t o f o r m a l r e v i s i o n b e f o r e p u b l i c a t i o n i n t h e advance s h e e t s o f Southern R e p o r t e r . R e a d e r s a r e r e q u e s t e d t o n o t i f y t h e R e p o r t e r o f D e c i s i o n s , A l a b a m a A p p e l l a t e C o u r t s , 300 D e x t e r A v e n u e , M o n t g o m e r y , A l a b a m a 3 6 1 0 4 - 3 7 4 1 ((334) 2 2 9 - 0 6 4 9 ) , o f a n y t y p o g r a p h i c a l o r o t h e r e r r o r s , i n o r d e r t h a t c o r r e c t i o n s may b e made b e f o r e t h e o p i n i o n i s p r i n t e d i n Southern R e p o r t e r . ALABAMA COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OCTOBER TERM, 2010-2011 CR-04-0940 Anthony Ray H i n t o n v. S t a t e o f Alabama A p p e a l from J e f f e r s o n C i r c u i t C o u r t (CC-85-3363.10 and CC-85-3364.10) On R e t u r n KELLUM, t o S e c o n d Remand Judge. I n 1986, A n t h o n y Ray H i n t o n was c o n v i c t e d o f two c o u n t s of m u r d e r made c a p i t a l b e c a u s e t h e m u r d e r s were during the course o f a robbery. committed By a v o t e o f 1 0 - 2 , t h e j u r y recommended t h a t H i n t o n be s e n t e n c e d t o death, and t h e t r i a l CR-04-0940 c o u r t a c c e p t e d t h e j u r y ' s recommendation and s e n t e n c e d H i n t o n to death. affirmed State, Both this Hinton's Court and convictions 548 So. 2d 547 t h e Alabama and d e a t h Supreme sentence, Court H i n t o n v. ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 8 8 ) , a f f ' d , 548 So. 2d 562 ( A l a . 1 9 8 9 ) , and t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s Supreme C o u r t d e n i e d certiorari review. A thorough statement opinion H i n t o n v. A l a b a m a , 493 U.S. 969 (1989). of the f a c t s i s s e t out i n t h i s Court's a f f i r m i n g H i n t o n ' s c o n v i c t i o n s and s e n t e n c e . Hinton subsequently postconviction challenging relief filed a pursuant his convictions Rule and that April denial on i n a written appeal. 28, 2 0 0 6 ] ___ So. 3d ___ v. [Ms. ( A l a . C r i m . App. P., After court This Court State, for Crim. of death. the c i r c u i t order. Hinton petition 32, A l a . R. sentence c o n d u c t i n g an e v i d e n t i a r y h e a r i n g , Hinton's p e t i t i o n timely denied affirmed CR-04-0940, 2006). The A l a b a m a Supreme C o u r t g r a n t e d c e r t i o r a r i r e v i e w as t o one i s s u e : W h e t h e r H i n t o n ' s t r i a l c o u n s e l was i n e f f e c t i v e f o r not p r o c u r i n g testify a qualified i n Hinton's firearms-identification defense. The Court held expert to that i t was p r e m a t u r e t o a d d r e s s t h e i s s u e b e c a u s e no s p e c i f i c f i n d i n g o f f a c t h a d b e e n made b y t h e c i r c u i t 2 court, as r e q u i r e d b y R u l e CR-04-0940 32.9, A l a . R. C r i m . P., as t o w h e t h e r Andrew P a y n e , whom t r i a l counsel in had procured Hinton's defense, was, in q u a l i f i e d as an e x p e r t i n f i r e a r m s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . Hinton, [Ms. 2008). The Court's 1051390, O c t o b e r Court quoted opinion 2008] So. t h e n J u d g e Shaw's affirming H i n t o n ' s R u l e 32 p e t i t i o n , 17, the circuit 1 i n pertinent part, Ex p a r t e 3d (Ala. dissent court's as fact, to this denial of follows: " ' A f t e r c a r e f u l l y r e v i e w i n g the b r i e f s and a f t e r e x a m i n i n g b o t h t h e r e c o r d on d i r e c t a p p e a l and t h e R u l e 32 r e c o r d , I am s a t i s f i e d t h a t t h e r e i s o n l y one i s s u e t h a t has b e e n p r o p e r l y r a i s e d and t h a t m e r i t s t h i s C o u r t ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n -- w h e t h e r , b a s e d on t h e s t a n d a r d s e t o u t i n S t r i c k l a n d v. W a s h i n g t o n , 466 U.S. 668 ( 1 9 8 4 ) , H i n t o n ' s trial counsel rendered ineffective a s s i s t a n c e b y r e t a i n i n g and p r o c e e d i n g t o t r i a l w i t h an u n q u a l i f i e d f i r e a r m s w i t n e s s . II I "'... I f e e l t h a t i t i s premature t o reverse the circuit court's judgment b e c a u s e i t does n o t a p p e a r t o me, after e x a m i n i n g t h e r e c o r d on d i r e c t a p p e a l and t h e R u l e 32 r e c o r d , t h a t a s p e c i f i c f i n d i n g as t o w h e t h e r Andrew Payne was a q u a l i f i e d f i r e a r m s and t o o l m a r k s e x p e r t has e v e r b e e n made Payne t e s t i f i e d t h a t he was a c i v i l engineer w i t h a m i l i t a r y background p r i m a r i l y i n h e a v y weapons and o r d n a n c e and J u d g e Shaw i s now Supreme C o u r t . 1 an A s s o c i a t e J u s t i c e 3 on the Alabama CR-04-0940 t h a t he h a d h a d l i m i t e d e x p e r i e n c e d u r i n g his career i n toolmarks examination of handguns. To s a y t h a t Payne was s o u n d l y d i s c r e d i t e d a t t r i a l on c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n by the prosecutor would be an understatement. However, prosecutors s u c c e s s f u l l y challenge the c r e d i b i l i t y of even q u a l i f i e d e x p e r t defense w i t n e s s e s i n many cases and f o r many reasons. T h e r e f o r e , t o me i t i s n o t d i s p o s i t i v e t h a t the prosecutor successfully challenged Payne's credibility before the jury. Rather, the d i s p o s i t i v e i s s u e i s whether Payne was a qualified firearms and toolmarks expert. "'... [T]he t r i a l court never s p e c i f i c a l l y f o u n d Payne t o be q u a l i f i e d t o testify about toolmarks. Likewise, the r e c o r d o f t h e R u l e 32 p r o c e e d i n g s also r e f l e c t s t h a t t h e c i r c u i t c o u r t made no s p e c i f i c f i n d i n g s on t h i s q u e s t i o n II I "'... The c i r c u i t court d i d not a d d r e s s d i r e c t l y t h e i s s u e w h e t h e r Payne was q u a l i f i e d t o be t e s t i f y i n g i n t h e f i r s t place. A d d i t i o n a l l y , although the c i r c u i t c o u r t n o t e d i n p a s s i n g t h a t Payne h a d "been q u a l i f i e d as an e x p e r t b a l l i s t i c s w i t n e s s for s e v e r a l c r i m i n a l and c i v i l cases i n Alabama," that statement does not n e c e s s a r i l y r e f l e c t a f i n d i n g t h a t Payne was q u a l i f i e d t o t e s t i f y as a t o o l m a r k s e x p e r t i n t h i s case " ' "'If Payne was i n f a c t a q u a l i f i e d f i r e a r m s and t o o l m a r k s e x p e r t , even i f h i s q u a l i f i c a t i o n s d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y m a t c h up 4 CR-04-0940 with those possessed by the State's e x p e r t s , then I would a f f i r m the c i r c u i t c o u r t ' s j u d g m e n t d e n y i n g R u l e 32 r e l i e f . Sorting out conflicting testimony from q u a l i f i e d experts presented at t r i a l i s s o l e l y w i t h i n the p r o v i n c e of the j u r y . R u l e 32 i s n o t a mechanism b y w h i c h t h o s e c o n v i c t e d o f c r i m i n a l o f f e n s e s may argue many y e a r s a f t e r t r i a l t h a t t h e y now have found b e t t e r expert w i t n e s s e s t h a t a newly s e l e c t e d j u r y should hear. On t h e o t h e r h a n d , i f Payne was n o t q u a l i f i e d t o t e s t i f y a u t h o r i t a t i v e l y as a f i r e a r m s and t o o l m a r k s e x p e r t , t h e n , b a s e d on t h e S t r i c k l a n d v. W a s h i n g t o n s t a n d a r d , I w o u l d have no c h o i c e but t o r e v e r s e the c i r c u i t c o u r t ' s judgment d e n y i n g R u l e 32 r e l i e f on t h e g r o u n d t h a t trial c o u n s e l had rendered ineffective assistance to Hinton. I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t , w i t h knowledge t h a t s u f f i c i e n t f u n d s were a v a i l a b l e t o have a q u a l i f i e d firearms and toolmarks expert, no reasonable c r i m i n a l defense lawyer would s e e k o u t and h i r e an u n q u a l i f i e d f i r e a r m s witness. Such a l a w y e r w o u l d be charged w i t h the knowledge t h a t i n a s i t u a t i o n where t h a t w i t n e s s ' s t e s t i m o n y was c r u c i a l to the p i v o t a l i s s u e i n the case, the w i t n e s s w o u l d be s u b j e c t e d t o a w i t h e r i n g cross-examination that could ultimately r e s u l t i n t h e c o m p l e t e impeachment o f h i s or h e r c r e d i b i l i t y . I n a d d i t i o n , b a s e d on the evidence p r e s e n t e d at t r i a l , i f the t e s t i m o n y or the o n l y p h y s i c a l evidence that connected Hinton to the capital m u r d e r s was, in fact, presented by a w i t n e s s who was n o t c o m p e t e n t t o r e n d e r an o p i n i o n , t h e n i t was u s e l e s s t o h i m i n rebutting the o p i n i o n s of the State's experts, thereby r e s u l t i n g i n prejudice under the Strickland v. Washington standard.'" 5 CR-04-0940 Ex p a r t e H i n t o n , [Ms. CR-04-0940, A p r i l C r i m . App. 2006) The So. 3d a t Supreme ( q u o t i n g H i n t o n v. S t a t e , 28, 2006] So. 3d (Shaw, J . , d i s s e n t i n g ) Court then reversed this , (Ala. (footnote omitted)). Court's judgment and remanded t h e c a s e f o r t h i s C o u r t t o remand t h e c a s e " f o r t h e trial c o u r t t o e n t e r an o r d e r p u r s u a n t t o R u l e 32.9, A l a . R. C r i m . P., m a k i n g s p e c i f i c f i n d i n g s as t o w h e t h e r Andrew Payne was i n d e e d q u a l i f i e d identification a n d c o m p e t e n t t o t e s t i f y as a f i r e a r m s - expert based on experience, t r a i n i n g , or education." 3d a t his knowledge, skill, Ex p a r t e H i n t o n , So. . On December 19, 2008, t h i s Court remanded t h i s case t o the c i r c u i t c o u r t f o r p r o c e e d i n g s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e Alabama Supreme C o u r t ' s o p i n i o n . December 19, (opinion after circuit 2008] H i n t o n v. S t a t e , So. 3d [Ms. CR-04-0940, ( A l a . Crim. App. remand f r o m t h e A l a b a m a Supreme C o u r t ) . court then conducted 2008) The a h e a r i n g and i s s u e d a w r i t t e n o r d e r p u r p o r t i n g t o c o m p l y w i t h t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s o p i n i o n and s u b m i t t e d i t s r e t u r n t o remand. This Court p e r m i t t e d the parties to f i l e briefs on r e t u r n t o remand. examining the p a r t i e s ' b r i e f s , t h e p r o c e e d i n g s on remand, a n d 6 After carefully CR-04-0940 t h e c i r c u i t c o u r t ' s o r d e r on remand, t h i s C o u r t c o n c l u d e d t h a t the circuit court had f a i l e d Supreme C o u r t ' s o p i n i o n . t o comply with t h e Alabama I n s t e a d o f "making s p e c i f i c findings as t o w h e t h e r Andrew Payne was i n d e e d q u a l i f i e d a n d c o m p e t e n t to testify knowledge, as a f i r e a r m s - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n skill, parte Hinton, experience, So. 3d a t training, expert based on h i s o r e d u c a t i o n , " Ex , t h e c i r c u i t c o u r t appeared t o d i s a g r e e w i t h t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t no f i n d i n g had been made r e g a r d i n g whether Payne was q u a l i f i e d as an e x p e r t i n f i r e a r m s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , and i s s u e d a w r i t t e n o r d e r q u o t i n g v a r i o u s p o r t i o n s o f t h e t r a n s c r i p t from Hinton's and the t r a n s c r i p t from trial t h e e v i d e n t i a r y h e a r i n g on H i n t o n ' s R u l e 32 p e t i t i o n a n d c o n c l u d i n g t h a t t h e o r i g i n a l t r i a l who h a d p r e s i d e d o v e r H i n t o n ' s t r i a l and t h e i n i t i a l judge R u l e 32 p r o c e e d i n g s had, i n d e e d , f o u n d Payne t o be a q u a l i f i e d e x p e r t , albeit implicitly. 2 The c i r c u i t c o u r t made no independent T h e c i r c u i t j u d g e who p r e s i d e d o v e r H i n t o n ' s t r i a l a l s o c o n d u c t e d t h e i n i t i a l e v i d e n t i a r y h e a r i n g on H i n t o n ' s R u l e 32 p e t i t i o n and i s s u e d t h e i n i t i a l w r i t t e n o r d e r denying Hinton's p e t i t i o n . However, t h a t j u d g e r e t i r e d w h i l e H i n t o n ' s c a s e was on a p p e a l a n d a d i f f e r e n t c i r c u i t j u d g e i n h e r i t e d t h e c a s e on remand. 2 7 CR-04-0940 f i n d i n g s o f f a c t r e g a r d i n g w h e t h e r Payne was q u a l i f i e d as an expert i n firearms Thereafter, by order Court's identification. this f o r the c i r c u i t opinion expert. court to testify case a second t o comply w i t h a n d t o make s p e c i f i c Payne was q u a l i f i e d as a time t h e Supreme f i n d i n g s as t o w h e t h e r firearms-identification On s e c o n d remand, t h e c i r c u i t c o u r t c o m p l i e d w i t h t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s that C o u r t remanded t h i s Payne was, opinion, and i s s u e d a w r i t t e n o r d e r i n fact, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , and s u b m i t t e d its order the a qualified expert in finding firearms i t s r e t u r n t o s e c o n d remand. on r e t u r n t o s e c o n d remand, t h e c i r c u i t following findings: c o u r t made "The c o u r t makes t h e f o l l o w i n g f i n d i n g s o f f a c t f r o m the t r i a l testimony: "1) D u r i n g h i s s e r v i c e i n t h e A i r F o r c e Mr. Payne was an i n s t r u c t o r i n t h e g u n n e r y p r o g r a m a n d w o r k e d on ' d e v e l o p m e n t r e s e a r c h o f g u n s ' (R-DA. 1573) ; "2) T h r o u g h o u t h i s 30 y e a r c a r e e r w i t h t h e A i r F o r c e , Mr. Payne was i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e d e s i g n o f gun b a r r e l s (R-DA. 1 5 7 4 - 7 5 ) ; "3) D u r i n g h i s A i r F o r c e C a r e e r Mr. Payne was i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e t e s t i n g o f f i r e a r m s and b u l l e t s on a d a i l y b a s i s . (R-DA. 1 5 7 5 ) ; "4) D u r i n g h i s A i r F o r c e c a r e e r he e x a m i n e d bullets fired from machine guns and 8 In CR-04-0940 e x a m i n e d b u l l e t s f i r e d f r o m handguns on r e g u l a r b a s i s (R-DA. 1 S 7 6 ) ; a "5) D u r i n g t h e 1950's he s e r v e d on t h e weapons e v a l u a t i o n b o a r d o f t h e A i r F o r c e and e x a m i n e d f i r e d b u l l e t s a p p r o x i m a t e l y 6000 t i m e s (R-DA. 1 5 7 6 ) ; "6) He w o r k e d at the Pentagon as t h e ' t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n t to the deputy c h i e f of s t a f f f o r r e s e a r c h and t e c h n o l o g y ' w h i c h included r e s e a r c h and design of a l l w e a p o n s , non n u c l e a r (R-DA. 1 5 7 7 ) ; "7) He was a member o f t h e A m e r i c a n Academy of F o r e n s i c Sciences through which he received a l l publications of the criminalistics branch which included firearms i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (R-DA. 1578-79, 1642-43); "8) T h r o u g h o u t h i s c a r e e r he l e a r n e d ' b a r r e l s and b u l l e t s p u t t o o l m a r k s on a n o t h e r ' (R-DA. 1 5 7 7 ) ; how one "9) P r i o r t o h i s e x a m i n a t i o n o f H i n t o n ' s gun he had viewed bullets under a comparison microscope 'thousands' of times (R-DA. 1 6 0 1 ) ; "10) T h r o u g h o u t h i s c a r e e r he s p e n t much o f h i s time matching ammunition back t o a particular gun barrel. Even more s p e c i f i c a l l y Payne had spent s i x t o n i n e months o f h i s c a r e e r i n v o l v e d 100 p e r c e n t of the time 'specifically matching a p r o j e c t i l e t o a b a r r e l ' (R-DA. 1 6 4 1 - 4 2 ) ; and "11) P a y n e h a d p r e v i o u s l y b e e n q u a l i f i e d as an expert witness i n both civil and 9 CR-04-0940 criminal courts i n Jefferson (R-DA. 1577; 1654-55) . County. " T h e r e f o r e , b a s e d on t h e ... l a w , w h i c h was i n e f f e c t a t t h e t i m e o f Mr. H i n t o n ' s t r i a l [ ] and t h e f i n d i n g s o f f a c t from t h a t t r i a l t h i s Court f i n d s and t h e r e f o r e r u l e s t h a t Mr. Andrew P a y n e was an e x p e r t w i t n e s s when he t e s t i f i e d d u r i n g s a i d t r i a l i n S e p t e m b e r 1986 due t o t h e f a c t t h a t he c l e a r l y h a d more e x p e r i e n c e a n d k n o w l e d g e i n t h e a r e a o f f i r e a r m s and t o o l m a r k s comparisons than t h a t o f t h e average l a y w i t n e s s o r j u r o r . " 3 ( R e c o r d on R e t u r n t o S e c o n d Remand "RTR2", C. 5-6.) 4 This C o u r t t h e n a l l o w e d t h e p a r t i e s t o f i l e s u p p l e m e n t a l b r i e f s on r e t u r n t o second remand. "'[W]hen t h e f a c t s a r e u n d i s p u t e d a n d an a p p e l l a t e c o u r t i s p r e s e n t e d w i t h pure q u e s t i o n s of l a w , t h a t c o u r t ' s r e v i e w i n a R u l e 32 p r o c e e d i n g i s de n o v o . ' Ex p a r t e W h i t e , 792 So. 2d 1097, 1098 (Ala. 2001). 'However, where t h e r e a r e d i s p u t e d f a c t s i n a p o s t c o n v i c t i o n p r o c e e d i n g and t h e c i r c u i t court r e s o l v e s those d i s p u t e d f a c t s , "[t]he standard of r e v i e w on a p p e a l ... i s w h e t h e r t h e t r i a l j u d g e a b u s e d h i s d i s c r e t i o n when he d e n i e d t h e p e t i t i o n . " ' B o y d v. S t a t e , 913 So. 2d 1113, 1122 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 2003) ( q u o t i n g E l l i o t t v . S t a t e , 601 So. 2d 1118, 1119 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 9 2 ) ) . " R u l e 1103, A l a . R. E v i d . , p r o v i d e s , i n r e l e v a n t p a r t , t h a t " t h e s e r u l e s s h a l l a p p l y i f t h e p r o c e e d i n g b e g i n s on o r a f t e r J a n u a r y 1, 1996." B e c a u s e H i n t o n ' s t r i a l o c c u r r e d some 10 y e a r s b e f o r e t h e A l a b a m a R u l e s of Evidence became e f f e c t i v e , those r u l e s are i n a p p l i c a b l e here. 3 R e f e r e n c e s t o t h e r e c o r d on r e t u r n t o s e c o n d remand w i l l be t o "RTR2," r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e r e c o r d f r o m H i n t o n ' s i n i t i a l R u l e 32 p r o c e e d i n g s w i l l be t o "R32," a n d r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e r e c o r d f r o m H i n t o n ' s d i r e c t a p p e a l w i l l be t o "DA." 4 10 CR-04-0940 B r y a n t v. S t a t e , [Ms. CR-08-0405, F e b r u a r y 4, 2011] ___ , ___ On on ( A l a . C r i m . App. remand, Supreme C o u r t ' s court did no "summarily again failed instructions more 3d 2011). appeal, H i n t o n f i r s t contends second So. than to t h a t the c i r c u i t c o u r t , comply because, list Payne's c o n c l u d e [ ] " t h a t he was the Alabama says, he with the circuit experience and then an e x p e r t " b e c a u s e he knew more a b o u t f i r e a r m s t h a n t h e a v e r a g e l a y p e r s o n . " (Hinton's s u p p l e m e n t a l b r i e f on r e t u r n t o s e c o n d remand, ("RTR2 b r i e f " ) , at p. order Court's 23.) on However, we second remand instructions conclude complies to w h e t h e r Andrew P a y n e was testify as knowledge, a t h a t the with "mak[e] indeed specific qualified firearms-identification skill, parte Hinton, experience, So. 3d a t training, . the The circuit court's Alabama Supreme findings and expert or as competent based knowledge, s k i l l , in his education." Ex c i r c u i t court thoroughly t h a t P a y n e had and e x p e r i e n c e t o q u a l i f y h i m firearms i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . to on examined Payne's t e s t i m o n y r e g a r d i n g h i s m i l i t a r y c a r e e r from t h a t t e s t i m o n y , determined to the and, necessary as an expert I n a d d i t i o n , as e x p l a i n e d b e l o w , t h e c i r c u i t c o u r t a p p l i e d t h e p r o p e r s t a n d a r d -- t h e 11 standard CR-04-0940 in effect at the determination, f i r e a r m s and time of Hinton's trial i . e . , w h e t h e r P a y n e had toolmarks examination -- i n making i t s a c q u i r e d knowledge b e y o n d t h a t o f an of average layperson. Hinton a l s o contends on appeal that the circuit court f a i l e d t o a d d r e s s i n i t s f i n d i n g s t h e e v i d e n c e he p r e s e n t e d a t t h e R u l e 32 h e a r i n g f r o m h i s f i r e a r m s - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n from the S t a t e ' s f i r e a r m s - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n trial counsel, qualifications regarding in e x p e r t s , and f r o m h i s Payne's firearms and experts, alleged toolmarks lack of examination. However, c o n t r a r y t o H i n t o n ' s c o n t e n t i o n , t h e o p i n i o n o f o t h e r witnesses as t o w h e t h e r P a y n e was qualified i d e n t i f i c a t i o n expert i s i r r e l e v a n t . as a firearms- "'Whether a w i t n e s s i s s u f f i c i e n t l y q u a l i f i e d t o t e s t i f y as an e x p e r t i s a q u e s t i o n f o r the t r i a l 1064 1997) ( A l a . Crim. A r t h u r v. S t a t e , 711 App. 1996), ( q u o t i n g B a i l e y v. C r i m . App. qualified skill, court 1990)). as aff'd, S t a t e , 574 711 So. So. 2d So. 1031, 2d 1097 (Ala. 1001, 1003 (Ala. As e x p l a i n e d b e l o w , w h e t h e r a w i t n e s s i s an e x p e r t i s b a s e d on the w i t n e s s ' s knowledge, e x p e r i e n c e , t r a i n i n g , o r e d u c a t i o n , and n o t on person's 2d o p i n i o n of the w i t n e s s ' s 12 qualifications. another CR-04-0940 Finally, finding expert. Judge H i n t o n contends t h a t the t h a t P a y n e was q u a l i f i e d as a He a r g u e s t h a t P a y n e ' s own Shaw's d i s s e n t and c i r c u i t court erred i n firearms-identification t e s t i m o n y , as w e l l as t h e n J u d g e Cobb's d i s s e n t then to this C o u r t ' s o r i g i n a l o p i n i o n a f f i r m i n g the d e n i a l of Hinton's Rule 32 petition, shows o r d n a n c e and and that artillery, t h a t P a y n e had to a b a r r e l " and only "no Payne's and not expertise i n firearms was in heavy identification, l i m i t e d experience "matching experience comparing a b u l l e t bullets recovered f r o m a c r i m e s c e n e t o a handgun f o r f o r e n s i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n purposes." (Hinton's RTR2 b r i e f , a t p. t h a t Payne's l a c k of q u a l i f i c a t i o n s alleged this incompetent case. According inappropriate to use the examination to failed bullets Payne used microscope Alabama Department of F o r e n s i c and the equipment," dropped a b u l l e t , comparison to t e s t - f i r e the also weapon at at argues Payne's issue "outdated d i d not provided Sciences' 13 He i s e v i d e n c e d by of Hinton, 33.) to in and know how at the him ("DFS") l a b o r a t o r y , issue which, Hinton CR-04-0940 claims, is an "absolutely identification. Hinton's circuit Hinton's (Hinton's arguments court's Payne RTR2 b r i e f , testified f r o m T u l a n e U n i v e r s i t y i n 1933. was on a c t i v e States duty gunnery program. that "supervisor 5 Moreover, the by t h e r e c o r d . At he was a consulting Payne t e s t i f i e d t h a t he h a d A i r F o r c e i n t h e 1940s a n d t h a t he f o r four years as an i n s t r u c t o r i n t h e A f t e r l e a v i n g a c t i v e d u t y , Payne and c h i e f firearms a c i v i l - e n g i n e e r i n g degree employment w i t h t h e A i r F o r c e i n r e s e r v e as in a t pp. 3 5 - 3 6 . ) are supported e n g i n e e r a n d t h a t he h a d r e c e i v e d j o i n e d the United step are unpersuasive. findings trial, essential" engineer status, f i r s t of the f l e x i b l e continued serving gunnery H i n t o n a l s o appears t o argue t h a t because t h e S t a t e d i s c r e d i t e d Payne a t t r i a l and then " e x p l o i t e d " Payne's l a c k o f c r e d i b i l i t y , he c o u l d n o t have b e e n an e x p e r t . (Hinton's RTR2 b r i e f , a t p. 41.) However, as t h e Supreme C o u r t n o t e d i n Ex p a r t e H i n t o n : 5 "'[P]rosecutors s u c c e s s f u l l y challenge the credibility o f even qualified expert d e f e n s e w i t n e s s e s i n many c a s e s a n d f o r many r e a s o n s . Therefore, ... i t i s n o t dispositive that the prosecutor s u c c e s s f u l l y c h a l l e n g e d Payne's c r e d i b i l i t y before the j u r y . ' " So. 3d a t ( q u o t i n g H i n t o n v . S t a t e , [Ms. CR-04-0940, A p r i l 28, 2006] So. 3d , ( A l a . C r i m . App. 2006) (Shaw, J . , d i s s e n t i n g ) ) 14 CR-04-0940 engineering fuses division," and e n s u r i n g were k e p t service, which that worked on bombs a n d " t h e guns t h a t t h e A i r [ F o r c e ] s t a t e of the a r t . " Payne i n c l u d e d working (DA, R. 1573.) i n research used Also during h i s and development o f non- n u c l e a r weapons, s e r v e d as d i r e c t o r o f t h e t e c h n i c a l - s e r v i c e s laboratory, served as d i r e c t o r o f t h e armament-development l a b o r a t o r y , was on a "weapons e v a l u a t i o n b o a r d " Force f o r the A i r (DA, R. 1 5 7 6 ) , a n d a t one p o i n t was " t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n t t o t h e deputy c h i e f o f s t a f f f o r r e s e a r c h and t e c h n o l o g y " f o r "all weapons, n o n - n u c l e a r . " (DA, R. 1577.) Payne t e s t i f i e d t h a t , d u r i n g h i s e n t i r e time w i t h t h e A i r F o r c e , he was i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e d e s i g n o f gun b a r r e l s a n d t h a t he t e s t e d and examined f i r e a r m s and b u l l e t s " a l m o s t on a d a i l y b a s i s . " (R. 1575.) fired f r o m guns A c c o r d i n g t o P a y n e , he spent t h e m a j o r i t y o f h i s c a r e e r d e a l i n g w i t h heavy ordnance and that examining b u l l e t s f r o m s u c h weapons as m a c h i n e g u n s , b u t " i n t h e 1 9 5 0 ' s , " when he was on t h e board, weapons-evaluation he e x a m i n e d " a l l t h e weapons w h i c h were i n t h e a r s e n a l of the A i r Force," i n c l u d i n g handguns. (DA, R. 1576.) s t a t e d t h a t he h a d e x a m i n e d b u l l e t s f i v e o r s i x t h o u s a n d Payne times i n h i s c a r e e r , a n d t h a t he h a d u s e d a c o m p a r i s o n m i c r o s c o p e t o 15 CR-04-0940 compare b u l l e t s had examined thousands of times. and compared bullets He a l s o s t a t e d t h a t he t o weapons barrels to d e t e r m i n e w h i c h weapon t h e y h a d come f r o m a n d t h a t he h a d , i n fact, spent 100 p e r c e n t o f h i s t i m e f o r approximately nine months o f h i s c a r e e r d o i n g n o t h i n g b u t e x a m i n i n g b u l l e t s i n an e f f o r t t o m a t c h them t o w e a p o n s . Payne also testified 6 extensively regarding his f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h t o o l m a r k s on b u l l e t s a n d how t h e y a r e p l a c e d t h e r e , w i t h t h e m a n u f a c t u r i n g p r o c e s s o f gun b a r r e l s a n d t h e rifling characteristics left on t h e b a r r e l s as a r e s u l t o f t h a t p r o c e s s , and w i t h t h e c o r r o s i v e e f f e c t o f v a r i o u s t y p e s of p r i m e r s u s e d i n b u l l e t s on t h e r i f l i n g gun b a r r e l s . actual characteristics of He a l s o t h o r o u g h l y e x p l a i n e d t o t h e j u r y , u s i n g bullets and s l i d e s of actual bullets, how t o make comparisons o f b u l l e t s b a s e d on t h e i r t o o l m a r k s a n d how s u c h comparisons c a n be i m p a c t e d by d e f o r m i t i e s i n the b u l l e t . B e c a u s e P a y n e had, i n f a c t , e x a m i n e d a n d c o m p a r e d b u l l e t s a n d / o r o r d n a n c e f r a g m e n t s t o b a r r e l s t o d e t e r m i n e w h i c h weapon t h e y h a d come f r o m , t h i s c a s e i s m a t e r i a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e f r o m Bowden v . S t a t e , 610 So. 2d 1256, 1258 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 9 2 ) , on w h i c h H i n t o n r e l i e s , i n w h i c h t h i s C o u r t f o u n d no abuse o f d i s c r e t i o n on t h e p a r t o f t h e t r i a l c o u r t i n r e f u s i n g t o a l l o w a d e f e n s e w i t n e s s t o t e s t i f y as an e x p e r t i n f i r e a r m s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n where t h e w i t n e s s h a d n e v e r b e f o r e "compared a s h e l l o f unknown o r i g i n w i t h any p a r t i c u l a r weapon." 6 16 CR-04-0940 P a y n e f u r t h e r s a i d t h a t he h a d p r e v i o u s l y b e e n q u a l i f i e d i n c o u r t as an e x p e r t At the time admission study, i n firearms of Hinton's of expert practice, identification. trial, testimony experience "[t]he [was] t h a t or criterion the witness, observation as to for by the p a r t i c u l a r subject, [had] a c q u i r e d k n o w l e d g e b e y o n d t h a t o f an ordinary witness." Meade v. S t a t e , 390 So. 2d 685, 693 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 8 0 ) . expert veil "Whether a w i t n e s s depends on h i s a c q u i r e d endeavor not ventured c a n be c o v e r e d w i t h t h e knowledge i n a f i e l d i n t o by t h e layman. of I f t h a t knowledge e x t e n d s b e y o n d o r s u p e r s e d e s t h a t o f an o r d i n a r y w i t n e s s , as determined an expert." 327, 329 State, by the t r i a l Cobb v. S t a t e , judge, c a n become 50 A l a . App. 707, 710, 282 So. 2d ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 7 3 ) . 350 So. 2d 730 the witness As e x p l a i n e d i n Charles ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 7 7 ) : "An ' e x p e r t w i t n e s s ' i s one who c a n e n l i g h t e n a j u r y more t h a n t h e a v e r a g e man i n t h e s t r e e t . Woods v. S t a t e , 54 A l a . App. 5 9 1 , 310 So. 2d 891 ( 1 9 7 5 ) . A witness c a n be q u a l i f i e d as an e x p e r t i f his k n o w l e d g e e x t e n d s b e y o n d o r s u p e r c e d e s t h a t o f an ordinary witness. Cobb v. S t a t e , 50 A l a . App. 707, 282 So. 2d 327 ( 1 9 7 3 ) ; N e s b i t t v. S t a t e , 55 A l a . App. 534, 317 So. 2d 501, c e r t . d e n i e d , 294 A l a . 766, 317 So. 2d 504 ( 1 9 7 5 ) . An ' e x p e r t w i t n e s s ' i s one who i s shown, e i t h e r b y t r a i n i n g o r e x p e r i e n c e , t o be b e t t e r i n f o r m e d t h a n t h e h y p o t h e t i c a l a v e r a g e juror. Ward v. S t a t e , 44 A l a . App. 229, 206 So. 2d 17 v. CR-04-0940 897, c e r t . d e n i e d , 281 A l a . 650, 206 So.2d 922 (1966). An e x p e r t w i t n e s s , by d e f i n i t i o n , i s any p e r s o n whose o p p o r t u n i t y o r means o f k n o w l e d g e i n a s p e c i a l i z e d a r t o r s c i e n c e i s t o some d e g r e e b e t t e r than t h a t found i n the average j u r o r or w i t n e s s . F r a z i e r v. S t a t e , 40 A l a . App. 67, 112 So. 2d 212, c e r t . d e n i e d , 269 A l a . 696, 112 So. 2d 218 (1959)." 350 So. 2d a t In he this had 733. case, i t i s e v i d e n t from acquired identification Although he knowledge in the b e y o n d t h a t o f an had not spent Payne's t e s t i m o n y field of ordinary witness his entire career that firearms or juror. engaged in f i r e a r m s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , as d i d t h e S t a t e ' s e x p e r t w i t n e s s e s , Payne clearly possessed characteristics, layperson. using a He had Payne Payne had never crime scene" to so. has gained w i t h examining Contrary gun beyond microscope, also weapons. do toolmarks of extensive experience comparison times. career and knowledge to before having specific bullets and barrels, that an average i n examining bullets done of rifling so thousands experience his them t o certain Hinton's c o n t e n t i o n , merely because compared "a b u l l e t t o a weapon i n no way ( H i n t o n ' s RTR2 b r i e f , matching during of renders a t p. 33.) recovered Payne from a unqualified Indeed, Hinton c i t e d no a u t h o r i t y , and we have f o u n d none, t h a t r e q u i r e s 18 CR-04-0940 a witness t o have p r e v i o u s l y worked on a c r i m i n a l case i n o r d e r t o be q u a l i f i e d as a f i r e a r m s - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n e x p e r t i n a criminal In case. addition, although Hinton alleges that Payne's e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e b u l l e t s i n t h i s c a s e was i n c o m p e t e n t , we do not f i n d t h a t Payne's a c t i o n s d u r i n g h i s e x a m i n a t i o n him unqualified Payne came calipers, to as an e x p e r t . the DFS laboratory, a magnifying glass, old-school instruments. Hinton i s correct he brought and a s c a l e , comparison t h a t when with him a l l traditionally However, Payne t e s t i f i e d t h a t he u s e d t h o s e i n s t r u m e n t s t o measure a n d w e i g h t h e b u l l e t s . the rendered microscope provided by microscopic examination of the b u l l e t s , DFS He used t o perform the f r o m w h i c h he came t o h i s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e b u l l e t s f r o m t h e c r i m e s were n o t f i r e d from t h e gun r e c o v e r e d from Hinton's mother. Additionally, H i n t o n i s a l s o c o r r e c t t h a t Payne d i d n o t t e s t - f i r e t h e gun a t issue during h i s examination. Rather, Payne u s e d something much more damning t o t h e S t a t e ' s c a s e t o r e a c h h i s c o n c l u s i o n -- t h e S t a t e ' s own t e s t - f i r e d b u l l e t s . Furthermore, although i t i s c l e a r f r o m t h e r e c o r d t h a t Payne r e q u i r e d a s s i s t a n c e i n u s i n g the comparison microscope 19 a t t h e DFS l a b o r a t o r y , Payne CR-04-0940 s p e c i f i c a l l y t e s t i f i e d t h a t he h a d n e v e r u s e d t h a t p a r t i c u l a r brand -- A m e r i c a n O p t i c a l -- of comparison microscopes. t h i s Court noted i n i t s o r i g i n a l o p i n i o n a f f i r m i n g the c o u r t ' s d e n i a l o f H i n t o n ' s R u l e 32 p e t i t i o n , circuit e v e n one of the f i r e a r m s - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n experts t e s t i f i e d S t a t e ' s own his As during deposition for the Rule 32 proceedings that such a s s i s t a n c e w o u l d be n e c e s s a r y , s t a t i n g t h a t "on t h e s c o p e had at that time, unless that model, you w o u l d n e e d someone f a m i l i a r w i t h i t t o show y o u . " (R32, C. emphasis Payne 2210; you were f a m i l i a r w i t h we added.) Finally, d r o p p e d a b u l l e t w h i l e a t t h e DFS his qualifications After as an reviewing c i r c u i t c o u r t abused qualified Alabama as an Supreme the the fact that l a b o r a t o r y i n no way a f f e c t s expert. record, we cannot say that i t s d i s c r e t i o n i n f i n d i n g t h a t Payne expert i n firearms Court noted in identification. quoting then Judge As the was the Shaw's d i s s e n t to t h i s Court's o r i g i n a l o p i n i o n a f f i r m i n g the c i r c u i t c o u r t ' s d e n i a l o f H i n t o n ' s R u l e 32 petition: " ' I f Payne was i n f a c t a q u a l i f i e d f i r e a r m s and t o o l m a r k s e x p e r t , e v e n i f h i s q u a l i f i c a t i o n s d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y m a t c h up with those possessed by the State's e x p e r t s , then I would a f f i r m the c i r c u i t c o u r t ' s j u d g m e n t d e n y i n g R u l e 32 r e l i e f . 20 CR-04-0940 Sorting out conflicting testimony from q u a l i f i e d experts presented at t r i a l i s s o l e l y w i t h i n the p r o v i n c e of the j u r y . R u l e 32 i s n o t a mechanism by w h i c h t h o s e c o n v i c t e d o f c r i m i n a l o f f e n s e s may argue many y e a r s a f t e r t r i a l t h a t t h e y now have found b e t t e r e x p e r t w i t n e s s e s t h a t a newly s e l e c t e d j u r y should hear. ...'" Ex p a r t e H i n t o n , [Ms. CR-04-0940, A p r i l C r i m . App. a So. 2006) qualified 28, 2006] a So. 3d d i d not match t h o s e qualified of the c o u n s e l was , (Ala. B e c a u s e Payne i n firearms i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , Hinton's c l a i m that h i s t r i a l procuring ( q u o t i n g H i n t o n v. S t a t e , (Shaw, J . , d i s s e n t i n g ) ) . expert qualifications 3d a t even State's i f his experts, i n e f f e c t i v e f o r not firearms-identification expert m e r i t l e s s and h i s R u l e 32 p e t i t i o n was p r o p e r l y d e n i e d on g r o u n d by t h e c i r c u i t court. was is this 7 We n o t e t h a t i n W i l s o n v. G r e e n , 155 F.3d 396 ( 4 t h C i r . 1998), the U n i t e d S t a t e s C o u r t of Appeals f o r the F o u r t h C i r c u i t e x a m i n e d w h e t h e r a c r i m i n a l d e f e n d a n t was e n t i t l e d t o the e f f e c t i v e a s s i s t a n c e of a m e n t a l - h e a l t h e x p e r t and r e c o g n i z e d t h a t no s u c h c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r i g h t e x i s t s . The Court e x p l a i n e d : 7 "The C o n s t i t u t i o n does n o t e n t i t l e a c r i m i n a l d e f e n d a n t t o t h e e f f e c t i v e a s s i s t a n c e o f an e x p e r t witness. To e n t e r t a i n s u c h c l a i m s w o u l d immerse f e d e r a l j u d g e s i n an e n d l e s s b a t t l e o f t h e e x p e r t s to determine whether a particular psychiatric e x a m i n a t i o n was a p p r o p r i a t e . See H a r r i s v. V a s q u e z , 949 F.2d 1497, 1518 (9th C i r . 1990); S i l a g y v. 21 CR-04-0940 B a s e d on t h e f o r e g o i n g , t h e j u d g m e n t o f t h e c i r c u i t court is affirmed. AFFIRMED. W e l c h , P . J . , and Windom, B u r k e , and J o i n e r , J J . , c o n c u r . Peters, 905 F.2d 986, 1013 (7th C i r . 1990). Furthermore, i t would undermine the f i n a l i t y of s t a t e c r i m i n a l c o n v i c t i o n s , which would c o n s t a n t l y be s u b j e c t t o p s y c h i a t r i c r e a p p r a i s a l y e a r s a f t e r t h e t r i a l had ended. H a r r i s , 949 F.2d a t 1517-18; S i l a g y , 905 F.2d a t 1013." 155 F.3d a t 401. T h i s C o u r t has f o l l o w e d t h e r a t i o n a l e o f Wilson i n d i f f e r i n g circumstances i n v o l v i n g mental-health experts. See B u r g e s s v. S t a t e , 962 So. 2d 272 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 2005) ( u p h o l d i n g c i r c u i t c o u r t ' s d e n i a l o f p o s t c o n v i c t i o n p e t i t i o n e r ' s r e q u e s t f o r funds t o h i r e a m e n t a l - h e a l t h e x p e r t where p e t i t i o n e r h a d t h r e e s u c h e x p e r t s a t h i s o r i g i n a l t r i a l and t h e r e was no e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e s t a n d a r d s i n Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68 ( 1 9 8 5 ) , had n o t b e e n m e t ) , and N i c k s v. S t a t e , 783 So. 2d 895 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1999) ( u p h o l d i n g d e n i a l of c l a i m i n p o s t c o n v i c t i o n p e t i t i o n t h a t p e t i t i o n e r had b e e n d e n i e d due p r o c e s s u n d e r Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68 ( 1 9 8 5 ) , where p e t i t i o n e r had t h r e e m e n t a l - h e a l t h e x p e r t s a t t r i a l ) . L i k e w i s e , a t l e a s t f o u r o f o u r s i s t e r s t a t e s have f o l l o w e d t h e r a t i o n a l e of Wilson r e g a r d i n g m e n t a l - h e a l t h e x p e r t s . See W a l l s v. S t a t e , 926 So. 2d 1156 ( F l a . 2 0 0 6 ) ; S t a t e v. L e o n a r d , 157 O h i o App. 3d 653, 813 N.E.2d 50 ( 2 0 0 4 ) ; Brown v. S t a t e , 798 So. 2d 481 ( M i s s . 2 0 0 1 ) ; and T u r p i n v. B e n n e t t , 270 Ga. 584, 513 S.E.2d 478 ( 1 9 9 9 ) . Although these cases i n v o l v e d o n l y m e n t a l - h e a l t h e x p e r t s , by f i n d i n g i n Ex p a r t e H i n t o n t h a t t h e d i s p o s i t i v e i s s u e i n t h i s c a s e i s w h e t h e r Payne was a q u a l i f i e d f i r e a r m s and t o o l m a r k s e x a m i n e r , t h e A l a b a m a Supreme Court, at l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y , extended the Wilson r a t i o n a l e to other experts. 22