Quantcast
Connect with us

Supreme Court agrees to review Florida death sentence process

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider an appeal filed by a convicted murderer serving on Florida’s death row claiming the state’s sentencing process in capital cases violates the U.S. Constitution.

Timothy Hurst, who his lawyers say is mentally disabled, was sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of a manager at a Popeye’s Fried Chicken restaurant in Pensacola where he worked.

ADVERTISEMENT

Key findings that determined whether he received the death penalty were impermissibly made by a judge rather than a jury, Hurst’s lawyers say.

The Florida procedure violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed under the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment based on a 2001 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawyers argue. The high court said then that aggravating factors that can lead to an enhanced sentence must be determined by juries, not judges.

Hurst’s lawyers also say the jury had to be unanimous when imposing a death sentence. Hurst was sentenced on a 7-5 vote.

Hurst cut and stabbed colleague Cynthia Harrison with a box cutter, the jury found. He left her body, bound and gagged, in the freezer and stole about $1,000 from the restaurant.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Florida Supreme Court rejected Hurst’s challenge in a September 2014 ruling.

The justices will hear oral arguments and decide the case in their next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2016.

The case is Hurst v. Florida, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-7505.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Conspiracy, extortion and bribery’: Ex-prosecutor ticks off crimes Trump and Rudy may have committed with Ukraine gambit

Published

on

On MSNBC Saturday, former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah laid out all the ways that President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani could be breaking federal law with their apparent scheme to push Ukraine into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Extortion, conspiracy to engage in extortion, and violating federal election law," said host Alex Witt. "Do you agree with all those premises?"

"I do, Alex, and I would add one to that, which is federal bribery," said Rocah. "Here, Trump essentially was trying to get the Ukrainian president to bribe him, give him information about his political opponent in exchange for aid to the country. So, that is soliciting a bribe. And you know, look, we can get into this more. Obviously, this is my area of expertise, whether something violates federal criminal laws, but I do worry that we're going down a path that we went down with the Mueller investigation, because for the president of the United States, that is not the standard."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Giuliani’s public invitation to Ukraine to interfere in US elections opened the door for other countries to run to Trump

Published

on

President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani turned heads with his bizarre, unhinged rant on national television that effectively urged Ukraine to continue trying to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden — and for news outlets to take whatever they find seriously.

As Casey Michel wrote in The Daily Beast, even if this effort ultimately fails to turn up useful opposition research against Biden, this is a profoundly dangerous development for American democracy.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director

Published

on

Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."

He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image