Entries tagged with “Bessman Okafor

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Dec 01, 2020

Florida Supreme Court Limits Retroactive Scope of Its Ruling Permitting Death Sentences After Non-Unanimous Jury Votes

In two long-await­ed deci­sions that will alter the land­scape of Florida’s death row, the Florida Supreme Court has lim­it­ed the reach of a land­mark rul­ing that over­turned the state’s con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­hi­bi­tion against death sen­tences imposed after a non-unan­i­mous jury vote for death. The court’s January 2020 deci­sion in State v. Poole had raised the specter that the court might rescind orders that had over­turned the death sen­tences of more than 100 Florida death-row pris­on­ers and grant­ed them new sen­tenc­ing trials.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Feb 08, 2017

Problems in Florida, Arizona Crime Labs Renew Questions About Reliability of Forensic Testimony

More than 2,600 Florida cas­es — includ­ing at least one cap­i­tal case — may have been taint­ed by erro­neous fin­ger­print analy­sis by a long-term employ­ee of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, accord­ing to let­ters sent to defense coun­sel by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office. The rev­e­la­tions were anoth­er in a series of events rais­ing ques­tions about the reli­a­bil­i­ty of foren­sic evi­dence that is being used in cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tions across the United States. In ear­ly February 2017, the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office con­tact­ed defense attor­neys in cas­es that involved Marco Palacio, a 17-year employ­ee of…