South Florida and the Death Penalty – 32 Years on the Death Row

Florida has 406 inmates currently on death row, of which 28 have been there longer than Larry Mann. Larry Mann was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of a 10-year-old girl who was riding her bike to school. The crime occurred on November 4th, 1980.
Florida is one of the 33 states in the country that has death penalty. Since 1976, there have been 75 executions. In Florida, already 23 innocent people have been freed from death row and 6 clemencies were granted.
In capital cases in the State of Florida, the Judge may override a jury decision and the government has the authority to grant clemency on the advice of the Board of Executive Clemency.
Larry Mann’s latest appeal was denied by the US Supreme Court and more than one hour later, the death sentence was carried out.

An Eye For An Eye? Capital Punishment and Life Imprisonment in South Florida

There are cases that South Florida considers as “Capital felonies”. These cases are the ones punishable by life in prison or even death penalty. These cases mostly involve murders, capital drug trafficking, armed kidnapping and rape. The felony courts in Ft Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances when deciding whether a person must be sent to death sentence or sent to life in prison.

If you want to know what the different capital felonies in South Florida are and what could be the different mitigating factors to build a defense, you need to call a criminal attorney. In cases such as death sentences and life felonies, the choice of your attorney is crucial. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.

Cities in South Florida such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach deal with a high number of felony cases and appeals. In Florida, cases in the state criminal court and also in the United States Supreme Court have been handled by criminal defense attorneys.
If someone you know is being accused of a crime listed, under the Florida rules, as a capital felony, you need to make a call now. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.

Infamous Florida Child Predator Dies in Prison

John Couey, 51, died in prison according to a Florida Department of Corrections spokesman. He had been on death row for four years in the murder, abduction, and rape of Jessica Lunsford age 9. Couey had been ill for some time, according to prison officials. The murder of Jessica Lunsford was quite graphic and disturbing, even to some court officials and officers. She was lured to his trailor from her own, raped, and when he thought he was going to be caught, buried her alive in garbage bags which would suffocate her. Couey explicitly told all the events to police including every gory detail while saying in a nonchalant manner to the press "this kind of thing happens every day." "To me, death is sad," stated Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford. "But her death, Jessie's death, has been redeemed ... I'm relieved. I'm glad it's over with."

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EXECUTIONS IN 2007

470 CHINA
317 IRAN
143 SAUDI ARABIA
135 PAKISTAN
42 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
33 IRAQ
25 VIETNAM
15 YEMEN
15 AFGHANISTAN
9 JAPAN
9 LIBYA
7 SUDAN
7 SYRIA
6 BANGLADESH
5 SOMALIA
3 EQUATORIAL GUINEA
2 SINGAPORE
1 KUWAIT
1 BOTSWANA
1 ETHIOPIA
1 BELARUS
1 INDONESIA

FLORIDA RULES ON IMPOSING DEATH IN CAPITAL MURDER CASES

Florida has a death penalty process created by statute and court rule.

Florida criminal courts are divided into regions or jurisdictions, but they all follow the same rules. Different districts encompass Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Dade County or Palm Beach County, but they all follow the same process.

When a murder defendant is convicted of capital felony, the court will have a separate sentencing proceeding and have testimony before the jury determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

Aggivators and mitigators are heard. The jury hears about the character of the defendant and the manner of homicide.

The decision to impose a sentence of death or life imprisonment is made by the judge, not the jury. The judge does take into consideration the jury's vote.

The court makes the decision after weighing the aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

The Supreme Court must, within 60 days after certification by the sentencing court, review the decision or let it stand.

IT'S MURDER HERE IN FLORIDA , BUT BETTER THAN TEXAS!

Shakespeare wrote Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.

He never lived in Texas, or Florida for that matter.

Texas has executed 405 convicted murderers since 1976. Florida ranked number five in the US with a total of 64 executions. Utah ranked 20 with six.

Texas also boasts 34 DNA-based exonerations.

Do the math and you'll find the Texas execution rate has a higher probability of error than a Quija board.

The message is...

Add your voice to those who insist courts and judges in Florida do a better job. That means treating the judicial process like any consumer product: improve it. Insist on better quality trials to reduce the error kill rate.

Florida felony court circuit judges in Broward County, sitting in Fort Lauderdale, preside over more murder trials than are held in most states. Fort Lauderdale has a great number of “Death Qualified” capital homicide attorneys.

Criminal lawyers in Fort Lauderdale and Miami can tell you that prosecutors act too much like cartoonish government workers: get through the work, no accountability no tolerance for criticism, just finaility..that's good enough. It isn't.

Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Ralph Behr is one of the several criminal attorneys who are licensed by the Florida Supreme Court as “Death Qualified” for capital homicide trials.

CONGRESSMEN WRITE TO SUPREME COURT FOR DEATH PENALTY

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the death penalty for sexual battery (rape) of a child. Eighty-five Republican congressmen wrote to the Court to tell them they got it wrong.

The letter said the Supreme Court had inaccurate information and should re-consider the death penalty. The letter noted that the rationale of “evolving standards of decency” ignored the re-instatement of death for child rape in the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 2006.

Florida Death Penalty News

SPRING TERM 2008 U.S. SUPREME COURT NEWS

The lethal injection process of execution has been found by the US Supreme Court as not violative of the US constitution.

The most recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court permits Florida to continue to execute by lethal injection.

Broward County and Fort Lauderdale continue to lead the State of Florida in convictions for capital homicide and drug trafficking charges.
Capital homicide trials continue to bifurcate: that is after a finding of guilt on homicide charges, the jury then hears argument on punishment and makes a recommendation to the judge for life in prison or execution. It is the judge who makes the decision and is not bound by the jury's recommendation for execution or life in prison.

Fort most criminal lawyers in Fort Lauderdale the ruling was expected. Many Death Certified criminal lawyers, such as Attorney Ralph Behr, continue to preserve the issue for appelate courts by objecting at criminal trials of capital homicide cases to the death penalty.

Florida's drug trafficking laws F.S. 921.142 provide for the death penalty in drug trafficking cases in which certain "aggravators" appear. Those "aggravators" are listed in the drug trafficking statute.

The U.S. Supreme court has not heard any Florida criminal cases in which the death penalty has been sought for drug trafficking. Fort Lauderdale and Miami send more drug trafficking case appeals to appeals courts than any other Florida districts.