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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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Richard Corcoran flails Florida Supreme Court’s death ruling

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Florida House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran denounced a Florida Supreme Court ruling Friday requiring unanimous jury votes to impose the death penalty. “Today’s ruling in Hurst v. Florida is just the latest example of the Florida Supreme Court’s ongoing effort to subvert the will of the people as expressed by their elected representatives,” Corcoran said in a written statement. “This decision is indicative of a court that comes to a conclusion, then seeks a judicial pathway, however tortured, to achieve its…

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Florida Supreme Court considers new death penalty law

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Florida’s Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether the legislature’s changes to the state death penalty law can be applied to pending cases. Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal has asked justices whether the new law can be applied in the case of Larry Darnell Perry, who is accused of killing his 3-month-old son in 2013. Perry, of St. Cloud, Florida, is scheduled to stand trial beginning Aug. 23. It is one of a number of cases the state’s highest…

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Bevy of big cases awaits state Supreme Court

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A plethora of high-profile matters is scheduled for argument before the Florida Supreme Court next week. The state’s justices will consider questions related to gambling, guns, capital punishment and medical malpractice. Another case involves claim bills, passed by lawmakers to pay people for injuries suffered at the hands of government or a public entity. Still two others involve attorneys fighting to keep their law licenses following accusations they set up an opposing lawyer to be arrested on a drunk-driving charge. First up on June…

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Supreme Court hears arguments on overturning death sentences

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The Florida Supreme Court weighed arguments on whether the state will execute a convicted murderer or overturn his death sentence on Thursday. Timothy Hurst‘s legal counsel argued errors in the sentencing process should invalidate his sentence in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court court ruling that briefly invalidated Florida’s death penalty regime. Attorneys for the state, on the other hand, said procedural problems — including too much deference to judges rather than juries and relatively low jury vote thresholds for…

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Florida’s high court urged to throw out death sentences

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With the fate of hundreds of Florida death row inmates in limbo, a group of former top judges and legal officials called on the state Supreme Court to impose life sentences on nearly 400 people now awaiting execution. The group, which includes three former state Supreme Court justices and two former presidents of the American Bar Association, filed a legal brief Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of Florida’s death penalty. After the U.S. Supreme Court declared…

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Rick Scott signs into law overhaul of Florida death penalty

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a major overhaul of Florida’s death penalty on Monday in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring the previous system unconstitutional. The new law requires at least 10 out of 12 jurors recommend execution for it to be carried out. Florida previously required that a majority of jurors recommend the death sentence. The law was found unconstitutional in January because jurors served an advisory role while judges had the final say in…

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