Entries tagged with “Jury Instructions

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Jul 17, 2023

Application of Florida’s New 8 – 4 Capital Sentencing Scheme Moves the Goalposts” and Violates Constitutional Prohibition on Ex Post Facto Laws

Florida’s new death sen­tenc­ing law can­not apply to defen­dants who com­mit­ted their crimes before the law was passed ear­li­er this year, Florida Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney rules. Florida law pre­vi­ous­ly required that a sen­tenc­ing jury must unan­i­mous­ly vote for death before the court could impose a death sen­tence, but in April of 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that allows a jury to rec­om­mend a death sen­tence with as few as 8 votes. The rul­ing in Bryan Riley’s case means that the new law will not apply…

Jun 27, 2023

Florida’s New Non-Unanimous Capital Sentencing Law Faces Retroactivity Challenge in State Supreme Court

The resen­tenc­ing hear­ings of sev­er­al death-sen­tenced men in Florida came to an abrupt halt last week as the Florida Supreme Court con­sid­ers the effect of the state’s new cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing law. Earlier this year, the Florida leg­is­la­ture passed a new cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing law to allow juries to impose a death sen­tence if at least 8 out of 12 jurors vote in favor. But sev­er­al death row defen­dants who were sched­uled to be resen­tenced object­ed that the new law unfair­ly made their chances of being sen­tenced to death more like­ly. The…