Arizona v. PrinceAnnotate this Case
Appellant Wayne Prince, Jr. was convicted of first degree murder for the death of his step-daughter and for the attempted murder of his wife. The jury found Appellant guilty, and the trial judge sentenced Appellant to death. The sentence was vacated and remanded by the Supreme Court. Under the law in effect when Appellant killed his step-daughter, the trial judge decided whether to impose the death penalty, but a jury needed to determine whether there were mitigating circumstances from the case that might warrant life imprisonment. A penalty-phase was impaneled, and it found no mitigating factors to spare Appellant from the death sentence. The second jury sentenced Appellant to death. Appellant appealed, citing among other issues that the second jury’s sentence gave the State a second chance to seek a death sentence thus violating the ex post facto clauses of the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions. Upon re-review, the Supreme Court was not persuaded by Appellant’s ex post facto argument, and affirmed the trial court’s death sentence.