When sentencing a defendant following a conviction, the Florida courts will look at mitigating and aggravating factors to determine what constitutes an appropriate penalty. Typically, such analysis and sentencing occur shortly after a conviction. Merely because a significant amount of time has passed between a conviction and sentencing, however, does not mean that the sentence is patently cruel and unusual, as demonstrated in a recent Florida case in which the defendant appealed his sentence for murder and other crimes, which was delivered thirty years after his conviction. If you are accused of a violent crime, it is crucial to retain a Tampa violent crime defense attorney to assist you in fighting to protect your liberties.
History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant went to a substance abuse rehabilitation facility, where he provided the staff with a motel room number. The victim, a nurse the defendant knew, was subsequently found dead in the motel room. The defendant was charged and convicted of first-degree murder. The trial court imposed the death penalty in accordance with the jury’s recommendation. The trial court’s decision was affirmed in 1996.
It is reported that the defendant was granted two additional sentencing proceedings. In the first new sentencing proceeding, in 2005, it was found that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, but the death sentence was affirmed. In the second sentencing proceeding, the defendant waived the right to a penalty-phase jury and the right to present mitigating evidence. The trial court imposed a death sentence after considering the aggravating factors and mitigating circumstances, and he appealed. Continue Reading ›