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Hurst V. Florida

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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After Asay decision, anti-death penalty advocates call for commutations

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The state’s leading death penalty opposition group is calling for more than 200 Florida death row inmates to have their sentences reduced to life imprisonment. Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) says a Florida Supreme Court decision on convicted killer Mark Asay out Thursday means that many are “entitled to be resentenced.” The court determined that this year’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Hurst v. Florida, requiring Florida juries—not judges—”to (determine) the facts necessary to sentence a defendant to death”…

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Florida asks court to deny inmate’s execution-delay request

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Florida asked the state’s high court on Thursday to reject a condemned inmate’s request to delay his execution based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s finding that its procedure for imposing the death penalty is illegal. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s office said the U.S. Supreme Court’s finding should not be applied retroactively to already-settled death penalty cases. Ruling on the Hurst v. Florida case Tuesday, the nation’s highest court ruled 8-1 that Florida’s procedure is flawed because it allows judges,…

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