Florida cop killer’s death sentence overturned for 3rd time

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A Florida man sentenced to death three times for killing a deputy and two others during a drug-addled rampage is off of death row again – at least for now.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new sentencing hearing for Paul Beasley Johnson. It’s the third time the court has removed Johnson from death row, including twice after separate governors signed death warrants.

The court cited two U.S. Supreme Court rulings requiring juries, not judges, to impose sentences. That includes a decision that led the state high court to rule in October that jury decisions have to be unanimous.

The court did uphold Johnson’s murder convictions in the January 1981 shooting deaths of Polk County Deputy Theron Burnham, cab driver William Evans and Darrell Ray Beasley.