from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Steven L. Taylor, for
Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, Kathryn L. Sandford, and
Randall L. Porter, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Kareem M. Jackson, appeals
from the decision of the Franklin County Court of Common
Pleas that denied his motion for leave to file a new motion
for a mitigation trial under Crim.R. 33. We affirm the
decision of the trial court.
2} In 1998, Jackson was sentenced to death for the
aggravated murders of Terrence Walker and Antonio Hunter.
Jackson also received sentences of incarceration for
convictions on multiple counts of kidnapping, aggravated
robbery, and felonious assault. His convictions were affirmed
on direct appeal. State v. Jackson, 92 Ohio St.3d
436 (2001). Jackson subsequently, and unsuccessfully, pursued
relief through postconviction review in state court and a
petition for habeas corpus in federal court. State v.
Jackson, 10th Dist. No. 01AP-808, 2002-Ohio-3330;
Jackson v. Bradshaw, 681 F.3d 753 (6th Cir.2012).
3} On January 11, 2017, Jackson filed a motion in
the trial court for leave to file a motion for a new
mitigation trial under Crim.R. 33. He argued that the
decision of the United States Supreme Court in Hurst v.
Florida, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 616 (2016), had
rendered Ohio's death penalty statute unconstitutional
under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments because Ohio's
statute allows a judge to engage in independent fact finding
after a jury's recommendation of a sentence of death.
Thus, Jackson believed that the sentence he received was both
contrary to law and based on insufficient factual findings,
entitling him to a new mitigation trial under Crim.R. 33(A).
4} The trial court disagreed and denied
Jackson's motion. (Nov. 7, 2017 Decision and Entry.)
Jackson appealed, asserting the following assignment of
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT DENIED KAREEM JACKSON'S
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE HIS MOTION FOR A NEW MITIGATION
5} In Jackson's briefing, he noted that the
precise issue he raised as grounds for relief was pending
before the Supreme Court of Ohio in State v. Mason,
S.Ct. No. 2017-0200. Accordingly, we stayed these proceedings
until the opinion in that case was issued.
6} The Supreme Court rendered its decision in
State v. Mason on April 18, 2018. State v.
Mason, Ohio St.3d, 2018-Ohio-1462. In Mason,
the Supreme Court held that Ohio's death penalty statute,
R.C. 2929.03 through 2929.04, did not violate the Sixth or
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution under
Hurst. Id. at ¶ 29-43. The Supreme Court
distinguished Ohio's statute from the Florida death
penalty statute that Hurst held was
In Hurst, the court held that the Florida scheme
violated the Sixth Amendment because it did not require the
jury to find that Hurst was guilty of committing a specific
aggravating circumstance. Hurst at ___, 136 S.Ct. at
Ohio law, in contrast, requires a jury to find the defendant
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of at least one aggravating
circumstance, R.C. 2929.03(B), before the matter proceeds to
the penalty phase, when the jury can recommend a death
sentence. Ohio's scheme differs from Florida's