Ga. Code § 17-10-35

Current through 2023-2024 Legislative Session Chapters 1-600 and 602-709
Section 17-10-35 - Review of death sentences by Supreme Court; forwarding of record and transcript; scope of review; written briefs and oral argument; similar cases to be included in decision; direct appeal to be consolidated with sentence review
(a) Whenever the death penalty is imposed, upon the judgment becoming final in the trial court, the sentence shall be reviewed on the record by the Supreme Court of Georgia. The clerk of the trial court, within ten days after receiving the transcript, shall transmit the entire record and transcript to the Supreme Court together with a notice prepared by the clerk and a report prepared by the trial judge. The notice shall set forth the title and docket number of the case, the name of the defendant and the name and address of his attorney, a narrative statement of the judgment, the offense, and the punishment prescribed. The report shall be in the form of a standard questionnaire prepared and supplied by the Supreme Court.
(b) The Supreme Court shall consider the punishment as well as any errors enumerated by way of appeal.
(c) With regard to the sentence, the court shall determine:
(1) Whether the sentence of death was imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor;
(2) Whether, in cases other than treason or aircraft hijacking, the evidence supports the jury's or judge's finding of a statutory aggravating circumstance as enumerated in subsection (b) of Code Section 17-10-30; and
(3) Whether the sentence of death is excessive or disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases, considering both the crime and the defendant.
(d) Both the defendant and the state shall have the right to submit briefs within the time provided by the court and to present oral argument to the court.
(e) The court shall include in its decision a reference to those similar cases which it took into consideration. In addition to its authority regarding correction of errors, the court, with regard to review of death sentences, shall be authorized to:
(1) Affirm the sentence of death; or
(2) Set the sentence aside and remand the case for resentencing by the trial judge based on the record and argument of counsel. The records of those similar cases referred to by the Supreme Court in its decision and the extracts prepared as provided for in subsection (a) of Code Section 17-10-37 shall be provided to the resentencing judge for his consideration.
(f) The sentence review shall be in addition to direct appeal, if taken, and the review and appeal shall be consolidated for consideration. The court shall render its decision on legal errors enumerated, the factual substantiation of the verdict, and the validity of the sentence.

OCGA § 17-10-35