The Supreme Court today ruled that a Florida state prisoner could only be sentenced to death if all twelve jurors unanimously recommend this penalty.
High Court judges refused to consider a lawsuit filed by Florida’s local authorities and thus upheld the decision of the Florida Supreme Court in October 2016 to have the death penalty on the unanimous recommendation of the jury.
The country’s Supreme Court thus rejected the legal modifications made in March 2016 by the governor, Republican Rick Scott, and the state Legislature, so that an inmate could be sentenced to death if at least 10 of the 12 jurors they agreed.
Rick Scott himself signed a law on March 13 this year to resume executions in his state and determined that the death penalty could only be imposed with the unanimity of the jury.
The death penalty in Florida was submerged for months in a legal “limbo” because, in January of 2016, the Supreme Court of the country determined that the way in which the state executed its prisoners was unconstitutional, because it gave too much power To the judge and did not allow the jury to decide the penalty.
In their verdict, the judges concluded that a new court case should be opened to try Timothy Lee Hurst, who was sentenced to death in 2000 for the murder of the manager of the restaurant where he worked in Pensacola, Florida.
The jury was then divided, with 7 votes in favor of recommending the death penalty and 5 against, while the judge opted for a death sentence against Hurst.
Florida, along with Alabama and Delaware, was one of the few states that did not require a unanimous jury verdict to sentence an inmate to death.
Since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the country as a whole has executed 1,453 prisoners, and Florida to 92, according to an updated report today from the Death Penalty Information Center.