The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly.  This information, however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied on for statistical or legal purposes.


BANKS, Chadwick (B/M)

DC #   582127

DOB: 06/15/71


Second Judicial Circuit, Gadsden County, Case #92-841-CFA

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable William Gary

Trial Attorney: Stephen Seliger – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Teresa Sopp – Special Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Gary Printy (State) & Terri Backhus (Federal)

Dates of Offense:       09/24/92

Date of Sentence:       04/29/94


Circumstances of Offense:


Chadwick Banks, the defendant, was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of his wife, Cassandra Banks, and the murder and sexual battery of his 10-year-old stepdaughter, Melody Cooper.


In the early morning hours of 09/24/92, Banks entered his wife’s trailer, proceeded to her bedroom and shot her execution style while she lay sleeping.  Reports indicated that Mrs. Banks died without ever gaining consciousness.


The defendant then went to Cooper’s bedroom, brutally raped her for approximately 20 minutes, and then shot her in the head.


Additional Information:


Prior to the instant offense, Banks was charged with two violent felonies in which the adjudication of guilt was withheld.  Upon the commission of these murders, however, Banks was adjudicated guilty on the two aggravated assault charges and was sentenced to five years on each charge.


Trial Summary:


09/28/92          Defendant arrested.

10/02/92          Defendant indicted on:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II:         First-Degree Murder

                                    Count III:        Sexual Battery/Victim Under 12

03/13/94          The defendant entered a plea of no contest on all counts.

03/14/94          The jury found the defendant guilty on all counts.

03/18/94          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 9 to 3 majority, voted for

  the death penalty for the murder of Melody Cooper.

04/29/94          The defendant was sentenced as followed:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder (Cassandra Banks) - Life

                                    Count II:         First-Degree Murder (Melody Cooper) - Death

                                    Count III:        Sexual Battery/Victim Under 12 – Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #83,774

700 So. 2d. 363


05/31/94          Appeal filed.

08/28/97          FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence of death.

10/14/97          Rehearing denied.

11/13/97          Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC #97-7522

523 U.S. 1026


01/12/98          Petition filed.

03/23/98          Petition denied.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #92-841


06/10/99          Motion filed.

04/30/01          Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #01-1153

842 So.2d 788


05/22/01          Appeal filed.

03/20/03          3.850 denial affirmed.

04/21/03          Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC #SC02-63

842 So.2d 788


01/11/02          Petition filed.

03/20/03          Petition denied.

04/21/03          Mandate issued.


U.S. District Court, Northern District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 03-328


12/01/04          Petition filed.

07/29/05          USDC dismissed petition.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:


Banks’ Direct Appeal took over three years to complete.


Case Information:


Chadwick Banks filed his Direct Appeal, pertaining only to the penalty phase for the murder of Melody Cooper, in the Florida Supreme Court on 05/31/94.  In addition to the issues raised in the appeal, Banks argued the following issues: the trial court erred in instructing the jury on the cold, calculated, and premeditated (CCP) factor when the state did not provide sufficient evidence for the claim; the court erred in its application of the heinous, atrocious, or cruel (HAC) aggravating factor; and the court doubled the aggravating factors, which could be consolidated into one.  Banks also contended that the court did not adequately weigh the mitigating factors presented on his behalf.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence of death on 08/28/97.  The mandate was issued on 11/13/97.


The defendant filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari on 01/12/98, which was denied on 03/23/98.


Next, Banks filed a 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court on 06/10/99.  The motion was denied on 04/30/01, and an appeal was filed on that motion in the Florida Supreme Court on 05/22/01.  The 3.850 denial was affirmed on 03/20/03.


On 01/11/02, Banks filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court, which was denied on 03/20/03.


Banks filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the U.S. District Court, Northern District, on 12/01/04 that was dismissed on 07/29/05. 


 Institutional Adjustment: 


 DATE          DAYS           VIOLATION                            LOCATION      

 --------            ----          ----------------------------               -------------------

 07/28/97         0            UNARMED ASSAULT                UNION C.I.

 08/27/01         180        UNARMED ASSAULT                UNION C. I.        

 09/19/01         30         POSS OF CONTRABAND            UNION C. I.        

 07/22/02         30               FIGHTING                                UNION C. I.        

 07/26/04         0            POSS OF CONTRABAND            UNION C. I.




10/29/01 – ew

11/07/01 – approved – ws

12/11/07 – updated – klh