Right now, in Florida, it’s shocking but true that not everyone on the jury has to agree on execution of the defendant as punishment for the crime before that recommendation can come forward from the jury room.
Florida and Alabama juries don’t need unanimous votes to recommend the death penalty. That may change.
Florida Senate Bill 148 (SB148) looks to be gaining steam up in Tallahassee — and if SB 148 is passed, then Florida’s death penalty process will change.
If SB 148 becomes law, then Florida death penalty cases will have to have every single juror voting in favor of the death penalty before the defendant can face a sentence of death. Right now, Florida requires all jurors to agree on the verdict of guilty (unanimous verdict) but in sentencing, not all jurors have to agree on the death penalty in order for the jury to recommend capital punishment to the judge.
CBS-Miami is reporting that this bill almost came up for vote in the Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee last week, but the clock ran out – so look for a vote within the next week or so.