Ellington v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
A jury convicted Appellant Clayton Jerrod Ellington of murdering his wife Berna Ellington and their twin two-year-old sons, Cameron and Christian. The jury found two statutory aggravating circumstances related to each of the three murders and recommended three death sentences, which the trial court imposed. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed Ellington's convictions. As to his death sentences, however, the Court held hold that the trial court abused its discretion in prohibiting
Ellington from asking prospective jurors in voir dire whether they would consider all three sentencing options (death, life without parole, and life with the possibility of parole) in a case involving the murder of young children, where that was clearly a critical fact in this case, as shown by, among other things, the responses of prospective jurors who knew or inferred that fact from other sources and by the way the prosecutor tried and argued the case. "We cannot say that this error was harmless, so we must reverse Ellington’s death sentences and remand the case for further proceedings."