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State v. Mack

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

May 6, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
SAMUEL E. MACK, JR

APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 482-029, SECTION " G" . Honorable Julian A. Parker, Judge.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Andrew Pickett, Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA.

Justin C. Harrell, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SAMUEL E. MACK, JR.

Court composed of Judge Dennis R. Bagneris, Sr., Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano).

Page 1285

ON REMAND FROM THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT

Dennis R. Bagneris, Sr., Judge

[2012-0625 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] The defendant, Samuel Mack, Jr., appealed his conviction and sentence for second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. This Court reversed the defendant's conviction, reasoning that the circumstantial evidence upon which defendant's conviction was based was insufficient to convict.[1] However, the Supreme Court reversed; reinstated the defendant's conviction and sentence; and remanded the matter to this Court to address defendant's remaining claims of trial error that were not considered in his original appeal.[2] Finding that defendant's

Page 1286

other errors lack merit, upon remand, we affirm defendant's conviction and sentence.

DISCUSSION

In addition to claiming that the evidence was insufficient to convict, defendant's other assignments of error argued that the trial court erred in admitting multiple gory crime scene photos wherein the probative value was substantially outweighed by their prejudicial effect; the trial court erred in denying defendant's [2012-0625 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] motion to declare La. C.Cr.P. art. 782(A) unconstitutional; and that defendant's sentence was unconstitutionally excessive.[3] We shall first consider defendant's claim that the trial court erred in permitting the State to introduce into evidence multiple photographs of the victim's body.

Introduction of Photographs

The Louisiana Supreme Court set forth the following applicable law in State v. Magee, 2011-0574, pp. 54-55 (La. 9/28/12), 103 So.3d 285, 323, to determine the admissibility of photographs:

" Photographs are generally admissible if they illustrate any fact, shed any light upon an issue in the case, or are relevant to describe the person, thing, or place depicted." State v. Sepulvado, 93-2692, p. 7 (La. 4/8/96), 672 So.2d 158, 164. A district court's ruling with respect to the admissibility of photographs will not be overturned unless it is clear the prejudicial effect of the evidence outweighs ...

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