SC Number:
CA Number:
Case Title:
State of Oregon v. Samuel Adam Lawson
09:00 AM
Reynolds High School, Troutdale
Daniel J. Casey on behalf of Petitioner on Review
Anna Joyce on behalf of Respondent on Review
Statement of Issues:
State of Oregon v. Samuel Adam Lawson, (S059234) (A132640) (appeal from Douglas County Circuit Court; opinion reported at 239 Or App 363, 244 P3d 860 (2010)).

Defendant Samuel Adam Lawson has been granted review of a divided Court of Appeals decision that affirmed his convictions for aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, and first-degree robbery.

On review, the issues are:

(1) Did the Court of Appeals err in concluding that the state had met its burden, under State v. Classen, 285 Or 221 (1979), of proving that an eyewitness identification obtained through concededly suggestive procedures was nonetheless independently reliable?

(2) Was the Court of Appeals correct in suggesting that any error in admitting eyewitness testimony in suggestive-identification cases can be cured at trial by cross-examination, expert testimony, closing arguments, and jury instructions?

(3) Does the state's failure to disclose to the defense that the victim had been shown a single photograph of defendant before trial, and brought to a pretrial hearing to see him, violate the defendant's state and federal constitutional right to compulsory process, and his federal due process right to the production of exculpatory evidence?

(4) Is it a violation of defendant's state and federal constitutional right to
compulsory process and federal right to due process to preclude his trial counsel from reviewing records about a double-homicide involving a nearby shooting, which occurred while defendant was incarcerated and under circumstances allegedly similar to the shooting for which he was in trial?

(5) Is it a violation of OEC 401, OEC 403, and the state and federal
constitutional right to present a defense, to exclude evidence of other shootings allegedly similar to the one for which the defendant was on trial, which occurred near the crime scene at a time when the defendant was incarcerated?

(6) Is it an abuse of discretion, and a violation of defendant's federal Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments rights, to deny defendant's motion for a mistrial based on the trial court's receipt of various juror notes during guilt-phase deliberations -- which asked legal questions and expressed concerns about juror illness -- without notifying defense counsel of those notes or allowing an opportunity to be heard before the court responded to the juror notes?

(7) Is it an abuse of discretion, and a violation of a defendant's state and federal constitutional right to a fair trial, to deny the defendant's motion for a new trial when a juror failed to disclose, until guilt-phase deliberations, that she had a weakened immune system because of chemotherapy, another juror was so sick with the flu no one wanted to be in the same room with him, and the trial court did not disclose that information to defense counsel?

The foregoing summary of a Supreme Court case that is scheduled for oral argument has been prepared for the benefit of the public. Parties and practitioners should rely on neither the factual summary set out above, nor the statement of issues to be decided, as delineating the questions that the Supreme Court ultimately may consider on review. See generally Oregon Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.20.
Justice(s) NOT Participating:
Merit Briefs

Last Revised: 10/03/2011