death penalty

Prosecutor’s Stance On Death Penalty Stuns Legislators

Mar 17, 2017

Days after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law effectively putting the state's death penalty back on track, a newly elected Central Florida prosecutor stunned legislators Thursday by announcing she will not pursue death sentences for any capital cases during her time in office.

A former chief judge says the number of future death penalty recommendations will likely drop now that a unanimous jury recommendation is required.

Miami Herald

Death Row inmate Mike Lambrix has lost his appeal for a new sentence.

Lambrix was one of the subjects in the WLRN documentary Cell 1, where we looked at Florida’s death penalty and the limbo it was in for more than a year.

Florida Department of Corrections

UPDATED 3/10/2017 11:05 a.m. - This post has been updated with the most recent Senate vote, which means the new death penalty rules have passed the Florida legislature and will be sent to the governor's desk for signature.

One final piece of the puzzle that held up the death penalty in Florida for years is almost back in place.

The House's first full floor session Thursday is expected to include taking up bills that would abolish Enterprise Florida, overhaul Visit Florida and make a key change in the state's death-penalty sentencing laws.

Read More: Florida's Death Penalty Has Been On Limbo For More Than A Year

The 2017 legislative session will start Tuesday with a largely ceremonial session, and the House is slated to meet Thursday afternoon to begin taking up bills.

Death Penalty Sentencing Fix Ready For Full Senate Vote

Feb 23, 2017

The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday approved a bill (SB 280) that would require unanimous jury recommendations before defendants could be sentenced to death, setting the stage for the full Senate to act quickly on the issue next month.

Florida Supreme Court Allows Death Penalty Cases To Move Forward

Feb 21, 2017

In what was described as an "about-face" after a previous ruling, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday ordered that death penalty cases can proceed, even with an unconstitutional law still on the books.

A proposal that would require unanimous jury recommendations for death sentences to be imposed sailed through its first House vetting Wednesday, receiving unanimous approval from the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

The legislation (HB 527), and a similar Senate measure (SB 280), is the latest attempt to get the state's death penalty --- on hold for more than a year --- back on track in the wake of a series of court rulings.

Florida Department of Corrections

Florida keeps inching closer to having a working death penalty in the state.

This week, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee overwhelmingly approved a measure that would now require a unanimous jury to sentence someone to death. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee is slated to hear a similar bill on Feb. 15.

Florida Department of Corrections

Florida is one step closer to reinstating the death penalty.

After a year of turmoil for the state’s death penalty, one Florida legislator is trying to rein things in a bit. House Judiciary Chairman Chris Sprowls has proposed a bill that would bring the state’s death penalty in line with several state court and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have thrown the sentence into limbo.

See WLRN's documentary about Florida's death penalty in limbo here.

Miami Herald-Jennifer Smits

This week on The Florida Roundup...

The Obama administration repealed the "wet foot, dry foot" policy for Cubans. This ends a special privilege that allowed Cubans who make it to U.S. sand or soil to stay. 

Rehearing Sought In Asay’s Death Penalty Case

Jan 8, 2017

Lawyers for a Death Row inmate are asking the state's high court for a rehearing after a majority of justices ruled last month that a major U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down Florida's death-penalty sentencing system does not apply to defendants convicted before 2002.

Bill Proposes Unanimous Juries In Death Penalty Cases

Jan 8, 2017

After the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a new death-penalty law was unconstitutional, the chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice committee Friday proposed requiring unanimous jury recommendations before defendants could be sentenced to death.

Florida Changes Lethal Injection Drugs

Jan 6, 2017

In the midst of a major upheaval involving Florida's death-penalty laws, state corrections officials have adopted a new lethal-injection procedure that includes a drug never before used for executions and another used only by accident.

Florida Supreme Court Rescinds Death Penalty Ruling

Jan 5, 2017

In a highly unusual move that heightened confusion in an already-murky legal arena, the Florida Supreme Court quickly rescinded an order Wednesday that would have barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in capital cases.

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