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death row

Justices reject resentencing in 1976 murder

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In a case stemming from the 1976 strangulation of a 13-year-old girl, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected arguments that a Death Row inmate should receive a new sentencing hearing. The arguments by attorneys for inmate James Ernest Hitchcock were rooted in a major 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling and subsequent Florida decisions that have led to requiring unanimous jury recommendations before defendants can be sentenced to death.

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New lethal injection drug focus of execution fight

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It’s not unusual for lawyers representing Death Row prisoners whose execution dates have been set to file last-minute appeals to try to get more time to argue about why their clients should be spared. But an attempt by death-penalty lawyer Marty McClain on behalf of Mark James Asay, scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection late this month, is even more complicated.

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Florida Supreme Court throws out 4 death sentences

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The Florida Supreme Court is ordering new sentencing hearings for four inmates currently on the state’s death row, including one of three women residing there. The high court on Thursday threw out the sentences because a jury did not unanimously recommend the death penalty in the cases. The Court ruled last year that death sentences have to be unanimous, and anyone sentenced after a 2002 ruling could be eligible for a new sentence. Among those getting a new hearing is…

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Rick Scott signs death penalty overhaul into law

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Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law a measure that overhauls Florida’s death penalty by requiring that at least 10 out of 12 jurors recommend an execution for it to be ordered. Scott approved the bill (HB 7101) on Monday, according to a statement from his office. Florida previously only required that a majority of jurors recommend a death sentence but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state’s sentencing law was unconstitutional. “It is my solemn duty to uphold the laws of…

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