Here’s what happening in the Florida Death Penalty Statute flux this week:
1. New Law in the Works
The Florida Legislature is working hard on revising the Florida Death Penalty Statute after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the current law is unconstitutional in Hurst.
The Florida House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice approved a bill earlier this week (PCB CRJS 16-07) that will require Florida juries in capital case to find a minimum of one (1) aggravating factor before recommending a death sentence. This vote has to be unanimous.
This bill doesn’t make the jury vote 100% for death, however. In Florida, the new law would allow a majority of nine (9) jurors voting for capital punishment to be sufficient for a death recommendation.
2. Florida Supreme Court Halts February 2016 Execution
On Tuesday, the Florida Supreme Court decided that the execution of Cary Michael Lambrix will not take place on February 11, 2016, as it had been scheduled.
This may be an important development for the other 400 or so Florida Death Row inmates, because Lambrix was arguing that his execution could not go forward in the face of Hurst.
Expect this to fuel many a fire that new sentencing hearings are required for many of those individuals who reside on Florida’s Death Row.