For the first time in state history, Florida is expecting to execute a white man Thursday for killing a black person — and it plans to do so with the help of a drug that has never been used before in any U.S. execution. Barring a stay, Mark Asay, 53, is scheduled to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated, premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987.
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.
Gov. Rick Scott is asking the state’s top court to throw out a lawsuit that aims to stop the Republican governor from appointing three Supreme Court justices on his last day in office. Attorneys for Scott on Wednesday filed a response to a lawsuit filed last month by the League of Women Voters of Florida and government watchdog Common Cause.
If the state thinks a law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion is constitutional, it needs to prove it, a Tallahassee judge said during a Wednesday hearing. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis—a 28-year veteran of the bench—gave the Attorney General’s Office 60 days to develop evidence to counter a Supreme Court decision this February temporarily halting enforcement of the waiting period, passed in 2015.
The Florida Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a challenge of Gov. Rick Scott‘s veto of reimbursements to homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down by the state. The homeowners had asked the court to undo Scott’s veto of more than $37 million by filing a petition for writ of mandamus, an order to an elected official to perform a certain action. In a 6-1 decision, the court declined, mentioning lower court actions that had been filed.
The new president of The Florida Bar says the organization is standing by to offer “technical legal” support to the Constitution Revision Commission as it readies to amend the state’s governing document, which could include changes affecting the judicial branch. But Michael J. Higer, a partner in Berger Singerman’s Miami office, won’t say which public proposals already filed he favors—or fears. He assumed the Bar presidency on June 23. “It is too early in the process to focus on any…
A judge ruled Monday that Florida’s lawmakers overstepped their authority in updating the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. In ruling the law unconstitutional, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch said Monday that the changes should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court instead of by the Legislature. The Miami Herald reports that the 14-page order is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law. Critics have said the law makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and…