Giving crime victims constitutional rights equal to those of defendants sets up a clash over the accused person’s Sixth Amendment right to due process and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The invalidation of 55% of death sentences affect those of two Flagler double-murderers–William Gregory, of Flagler Beach, David Snelgrove of Palm Coast–and Cornelius Baker, who killed a woman in Flagler.
There is a lack of funding for public defense in every state, and people charged with low-level misdemeanors, often poor minorities, suffer the most as public defender offices focus their few resources on felony cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Florida’s death-penalty sentencing scheme on Jan. 12, forcing the state to rewrite its law but also putting in question whether the new law must apply to all 489 death row inmates.
Florida is the only state in the nation where a simple jury majority is enough for a death penalty recommendation, one of several problems at odds with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida’s capital punishment system.
The United States Supreme Court, in an emphatic ruling Tuesday, declared Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme to be a violation of the Sixth Amendment.
Melissa Moore Stens, a candidate for Flagler County judge, has been unfairly criticized for defending Paul Miller, the Flagler Beach man who shot and killed his neighbor over barking dogs. But Paul Miller should be on trial, not his lawyers–or the Sixth Amendment.
Judge Jose Martinez, a George W. Bush appointee, relied on a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring judges from interpreting “aggravating factors” independent of juries’ explicit findings.
In Ring v. Arizona, Arizona’s capital sentencing system was found to violate the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a trail by jury by shifting the imposition of the death sentence to a judge.