Florida Supreme Court Considers Overturning Death Sentences – New Posts 2016



By: Matt Galka
May 5th, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nearly 400 prisoners on Death Row anxiously wait to see if their death sentences will stand. The case that forced Florida’s death penalty system to be ruled unconstitutional was back before the state’s high court Thursday.

Timothy Lee Hurst was recommended death 7-5 by a jury for the 1998 murder of his manager at Popeye’s in Pensacola.

His case caused the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme – which only called for jury recommendations and gave final authority to a judge.

Hurst’s attorneys were back in front of state Supreme Court justices Thursday, saying his death sentence needed to be converted to life imprisonment.

“In the event the death penalty in a capital felony is held to be unconstitutional by this court or the U.S. Supreme Court, the court shall sentence such person to life imprisonment. Very clear,” said David Davis, Hurst’s attorney.

Attorneys for the state argued that the death penalty itself was never declared unconstitutional – only the sentencing scheme.

“It doesn’t say the death penalty statute, it doesn’t say “Florida’s death penalty statute” it simply says the death penalty,” said Assistant Attorney General Carine Mitz.

The Florida legislature since voted to require a simple majority of a minimum 10 jurors recommend death in order to carry out capital punishment. Justices weren’t sure that would fix the situation.

“The worst thing would be, if we don’t agree with the defendant, would be to start down the path of a new statue that has unconstitutional infirmities,” said Justice Barbara Pariente.

The case could have far reaching impact on 390 death row inmates, but Hurst’s lawyer made clear to the court he was only making a case for his client.

Attorney General Pam Bondi maintains that only inmates who have not yet had their direct appeals heard by the court are eligible for life without parole.

A coalition of former state Supreme Court justices and lawyers has urged the Florida Supreme Court to convert all sentences to life imprisonment in the wake of the federal ruling.

By: Associated Press
May 5, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s Supreme Court has heard arguments in a case where they will decide whether a death row inmate’s sentence should be reduced to life, a ruling that could have implications for nearly 400 condemned prisoners in the state.

David Davis, the attorney for inmate Timothy Lee Hurst, on Thursday argued that his client’s sentence should be reduced to life following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found Florida’s system for sentencing people to death was unconstitutional.

The nation’s high court said Florida’s system gave too much power to judges, not juries, in imposing capital punishment.

Florida Assistant Attorney General Carine Mitz argued that Hurst should not receive a life sentence. She said if Hurst’s death sentence is tossed out by the court he should undergo a new penalty phase.

By: Associated Press
May 5, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP — Florida’s Supreme Court is hearing a second round of oral arguments in a case that could decide whether nearly 400 death row inmates will instead spend their lives in prison.

The hearing Thursday morning comes in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that found Florida’s death sentencing law unconstitutional.

The nation’s high court said Florida’s system gave too much power to judges, not juries, in imposing capital punishment.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments and later decide whether to reduce the sentences of 389 death row inmates who were sentenced under the old system.

Earlier this week, a group of former judges and legal officials urged the court to impose life sentences.

Florida’s attorneys have objected, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling should not apply to cases already decided.

MESHMODEL.COM– New Posts 2016

KAYNAK : http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Florida-Supreme-Court-Considers-Overturning-Death-Sentences-378220071.html

Add a Comment

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir