Benton v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Devonni Benton appealed his convictions and sentences for felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission
of a felony in connection with the 2009 shootings of Jasmine Lynn, who died, and Jarvis Jones, who survived. Jury deliberations in Benton’s trial began on a Friday; the court arranged for the jury to resume deliberations the next morning. Generally, the courthouse was not open to the public on Saturdays. The next day, several individuals were allowed entry to the courthouse, but a number were turned away, including Benton’s sister, mother, and grandmother. Benton contends that this violated his rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, Sec. I, Par. XI (a) of the Georgia Constitution of 1983. Furthermore, Benton argued that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to present certain witness testimony. Finding no error in either of Benton’s arguments made on appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed his convictions.