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Norman v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

December 17, 2013

Allison Lamont NORMAN, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Delaware, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.

Submitted: Sept. 20, 2013.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below— Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, Cr. ID No. 0504005647A.

Before HOLLAND, JACOBS and RIDGELY, Justices.

ORDER

RANDY J. HOLLAND, Justice.

This 17th day of December 2013, it appears to the Court that:

(1) The appellant, Allison Lamont Norman, has appealed the Superior Court's denial of his motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61. After careful consideration of the parties' briefs on appeal and the Superior Court record, the Court has concluded that the denial of postconviction relief should be affirmed.

(2) The record reflects that on April 7, 2005, Norman went on a shooting spree that began in Laurel, Delaware, and ended in Salisbury, Maryland. Along the way, Norman shot at several people, killing two and wounding several others, leaving one woman paralyzed.

(3) Norman was indicted in Maryland and Delaware for murder and other offenses. Maryland authorities, however, decided not to prosecute Norman after determining that, under Maryland law, Norman was suffering from a mental disorder on April 7, 2005 that made him " not criminally responsible" for his conduct that day.[1]

(4) In Delaware, Norman asserted an insanity defense at his Superior Court jury trial. Hoping to obtain a verdict of " not guilty by reason of insanity," Norman sought to convince the jury that he lacked " substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of [his] conduct." [2] The jury also considered the option of rendering a verdict of " guilty, but mentally ill." [3]

(5) In his case in chief, Norman presented expert testimony that supported his insanity defense and a " not guilty by reason of insanity" verdict. In rebuttal, the State sought to negate the insanity defense and a " not guilty by reason of insanity" verdict by presenting expert and other testimony that Norman's mental state on April 7, 2005 was proximately caused by voluntary intoxication. [4]

(6) On June 21, 2007, after a three-week trial, the jury found Norman guilty of Murder in the First Degree and the other offenses that were charged in the Delaware indictment. The jury rejected Norman's insanity defense and a " guilty, but mentally ill" verdict. After a four-day penalty hearing, the jury voted unanimously in favor of the death penalty. On September 28, 2007, the Superior Court sentenced Norman to death.

(7) On direct appeal, this Court affirmed the Superior Court judgment of conviction but reversed the death sentence and remanded for a new penalty hearing.[5] On remand the State elected not to pursue a second penalty hearing, and on July ...


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