Florida's Death Penalty Laws Deemed Unconstitutional
Florida's particular method of sentencing prisoners to death has been deemed unconstitutional by Miami U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez today. The decision will not immediately strike down the law and didn't find the death penalty in and of itself unconstitutional. Though, it will guarantee convicted murderer Paul H. Evans will receive a new sentencing trial.
According to the AP, Martinez ruled the law unconstitutional because "jurors are not required to announce specific findings on aggravating factors required to justify the death penalty."
Jurors in Florida are only asked to vote on whether a convict deserves the death penalty by a simple majority vote, and only announce the finding. Though, the judge gets the final say in sentencing.
Martinez's ruling cited a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that jurors must disclose aggravating factors.
It's up to Attorney General Pam Bondi's office to appeal the decision.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- South Beach Tow's Bernice Named Florida's First Female High School Football...
Fri., Feb. 12, 7:30pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 6:00pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 7:00pm
Mon., Feb. 15, 7:30pm
- MLB Player Delmon Young Threatened to Kill a Brickell Valet, Went on Anti-Cuban Rant
- Poll: In Florida Rubio Moves to Second, While Sanders Remains Niche