Image: Terence Lenamon in foreground, with client Andrew Castor and Terry’s co-defense counsel, LenamonLaw’s Melissa Ortiz, during trial. Photo by Marisa Kendall / The News-Press
Pictured above is Terry Lenamon at work during the recent trial of Andrew Castor over in Cape Coral, Florida. The death penalty was taken off the table early on in the case; the jury came back with a guilty verdict last week.
For Terry, this latest trial is just one more in his list of criminal cases going back many years. He’s adept at trying cases, and he has built a practice out of defending people facing the death penalty – particularly, those facing capital punishment in the State of Florida.
Florida is about as well known as Texas for executing people and sentencing folk to death. Needless to say, Terry is a busy man.
However, what lawyers in Texas and lots of other attorneys and members of the general public may not know is that Florida gives Terry an even bigger burden than his colleagues in other states might face.
What’s the big deal about Florida death penalty defense? Well, it’s the juries. In Florida, it is not necessary to have 100% agreement of all the jurors in order for someone to be sentenced to death. Nope.
Florida does not require the entire jury to support the death penalty for the death penalty to be sentenced in a case.
This summer, Florida State Senator Thad Altman proposed legislation to the Florida Legislature that, if passed, would have required Florida juries to be unanimous before the death penalty could be imposed. Altman’s bill never made it out of committee.
Which means, for Terence Lenamon and others in the position of setting at a Florida defense table, as he’s doing in this photo, the defense has the job of convincing most of those jurors, not just one or two (like in Texas where an unanimous agreement among jurors for death penalty is required).