Entries tagged with “Non-unanimity

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Intellectual Disability

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Race

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Sep 13, 2022

Alabama Court Upholds Fifth Non-Unanimous Death Sentence Imposed on Intellectually Impaired Man Over the Course of Six Penalty Trials for the Same Crime

An Alabama appeals court has upheld a fifth non-unan­i­mous death sen­tence imposed on a death-row pris­on­er who has faced six cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing tri­als for the same offense and was once found to be inel­i­gi­ble for the death penal­ty because of intel­lec­tu­al disability.

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…

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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New Voices

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Jun 02, 2023

Conservative Commentator Warns of Dangers of Non-Unanimous Death Sentences

Florida’s recent deci­sion to allow death sen­tences with­out a unan­i­mous jury rec­om­men­da­tion increas­es the risk of exe­cut­ing an inno­cent per­son, accord­ing to con­ser­v­a­tive com­men­ta­tor Christian Schneider (pic­tured). In a May 25, 2023 col­umn for The National Review, Schneider argues that con­ser­v­a­tives should oppose the law that allows a death sen­tence to be imposed when only eight jurors agree.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Sentencing Alternatives

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DPIC Reports

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Mar 13, 2020

DPIC Analysis: Exoneration Data Suggests Non-Unanimous Death-Sentencing Statutes Heighten Risk of Wrongful Convictions

Capital sen­tenc­ing schemes that per­mit judges to impose a death sen­tence despite the votes of one or more jurors for life cre­ate a height­ened risk that an inno­cent per­son will be wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death, accord­ing to a new Death Penalty Information Center analy­sis of death-row exon­er­a­tion data.

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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Feb 06, 2023

Florida Governor Pushes To Remove Safeguards in Death Penalty Cases

At the urg­ing of Governor Ron DeSantis, bills have been intro­duced in the Florida House and Senate that would allow death sen­tences even when the jury can­not come to a unan­i­mous ver­dict on the prop­er penal­ty. The pro­posed leg­is­la­tion would also per­mit a pre­sid­ing judge to over­ride a jury’s rec­om­men­da­tion of life and impose a death sen­tence. Death sen­tences would be allowed if at least eight jurors agreed, cre­at­ing the low­est thresh­old in the nation for the impo­si­tion of a death sen­tence. Only Alabama cur­rent­ly allows death sen­tences when the…

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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Apr 18, 2023

Florida Legislature Rescinds Unanimous-Jury Requirement in Death Sentencing

Florida is poised to become the state with the nation’s low­est thresh­old for juries to rec­om­mend death sen­tences, after the state leg­is­la­ture passed a bill allow­ing a judge to impose death if at least eight out of twelve jurors agree. Most states, includ­ing Florida, have required a unan­i­mous jury ver­dict to rec­om­mend death. Governor Ron DeSantis (pic­tured) is expect­ed to sign the bill, fol­low­ing the House’s approval on April 13, 2023. Alabama requires at least 10 jurors to approve a death sen­tence. It is like­ly that the Florida leg­is­la­tion will…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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New Voices

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May 26, 2023

Former Republican and Democratic Governors from Alabama Critique State’s Death Penalty and Express Regret

“[W]e have come over time to see the flaws in our nation’s jus­tice sys­tem and to view the state’s death penal­ty laws in par­tic­u­lar as legal­ly and moral­ly trou­bling,” wrote two for­mer gov­er­nors of Alabama in an op-ed for the Washington Post. Republican Robert Bentley (pic­tured, right) and Democrat Don Siegelman (pic­tured, left) agree that the 146 peo­ple whose death sen­tences were imposed by non-unan­i­mous juries or judi­cial over­ride should have their sen­tences com­mut­ed. We missed our chance to con­front the death penal­ty and have lived to regret it,” they wrote,…

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Sentencing Data

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Apr 11, 2019

Missouri Supreme Court Grants New Sentencing Trial to Man Who Was Sentenced to Death Despite 11 Jurors’ Votes for Life

The Missouri Supreme Court has ordered a new sen­tenc­ing tri­al for Marvin D. Rice (pic­tured), a for­mer sheriff’s deputy whose tri­al judge sen­tenced him to death despite the votes of 11 of his 12 jurors to sen­tence him to life. On April 2, 2019, the court vacat­ed the death sen­tence imposed by St. Charles County Judge Kelly Wayne Parker in 2017 under the state’s con­tro­ver­sial hung jury” sen­tenc­ing pro­vi­sion. Under that law, the tri­al judge has author­i­ty to inde­pen­dent­ly eval­u­ate the evi­dence and deter­mine the sen­tence to be imposed whenever…

Policy Issues

Sentencing Alternatives

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Mar 19, 2020

News Brief — Florida Supreme Court Denies Relief in Two More Jury Non-Unanimity Cases

NEWS (3/​19/​20): Florida — The Florida Supreme Court has denied new sen­tenc­ing hear­ings to two more death-row pris­on­ers who were sen­tenced to death after non-unan­i­mous sen­tenc­ing rec­om­men­da­tions by their juries. Relying on the court’s January 23, 2020 deci­sion in State v. Poole that aban­doned its require­ment of unan­i­mous sen­tenc­ing rec­om­men­da­tions, the court upheld death sen­tences imposed on Grover Reed and Lucious Boyd.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Feb 15, 2023

Thirty-three Years After His Conviction, Former Death Row Prisoner Asks Supreme Court for Justice

Crosley Green was sen­tenced to death for mur­der in Florida in 1990 with an all-white non-unan­i­mous jury. He was removed from death row in 2009 and resen­tenced to life in prison. He has always main­tained his inno­cence and is now ask­ing the U.S. Supreme Court to over­turn his con­vic­tion because crit­i­cal evi­dence was with­held from his attorneys.

Policy Issues

United States Supreme Court

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Mar 11, 2020

Timothy Hurst, Whose Case Struck Down Florida’s Death-Penalty Statute, Is Resentenced to Life

Former Florida death-row pris­on­er Timothy Hurst (pic­tured), whose case led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Florida’s death-penal­ty statute in 2016 and spurred the elim­i­na­tion of non-unan­i­mous jury ver­dicts for death in Florida and Delaware, has been resen­tenced to life with­out parole. Hurst was offi­cial­ly removed from Florida’s death row after his cap­i­tal resen­tenc­ing jury did not reach a unan­i­mous sen­tenc­ing rec­om­men­da­tion on March 52020.