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March 30, 2005

Wait -- they can do that?!?

From the Death Penalty Information Center:

The Florida Supreme Court has vacated James Floyd's 1985 conviction and death sentence, ruling that critical evidence was withheld by the prosecution and that the evidence might have been enough to change the verdict at trial. In its 4-2 decision, the Court ruled that the prosecutor's failure to inform Floyd's defense counsel that an eyewitness had seen two white men entering the victim's home on the day of the murder and saw them leave in a suspicious manner approximately one hour later "severely compromised Floyds' constitutional right to a fair trial." The ruling noted that the state's case against Floyd, who is black, was based mainly on circumstantial evidence, and included no eyewitness, fingerprint or DNA evidence linking him to the murder. "We conclude that our confidence in the defendant's murder conviction has clearly been shaken by the evidence that the State suppressed in this case. While there is not a 'smoking gun' in the suppressed evidence that would completely exonerate the defendant, there was also not a 'smoking gun' in the State's case against him," the court wrote. Bernie McCabe, the state attorney in Pinellas County, said he didn't know if the state would attempt to bring Floyd to trial again.

So while the Florida Supreme Court allows an innocent woman to be executed, in spite of very clear evidence that the trial judge is a complete moron -- they set free someone on death row because one bit of evidence “might” have produced a different verdict. And to top off the irony, they are both from Pinellas County.

Why in the world are those idiots still on that court? I mean wasn't their stupidity back in 2000 bad enough? What do these cretins have to do before the Florida people will act to remove them? Do they have to have a human sacrifice right there in the court room?

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 30, 2005 08:49 AM

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I am not quite sure i know what you mean.
Just because " one bit of evidence"?????

You don't think a person who has been convicted and sentenced to death has a right to a new trial when he was convicted on pure imagination - and the prosecution happened to "forget" to tell the defense and the court that 2 other people was actually seen at the scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed.
You don't think a man who spends 21 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit should have a chance to gain his life back?

what exactly do you suggest we do to people who has been in prison wrongfully convicted?
If not giving them a new trial?
had you read the article you would have seen that not only has this man spend 21 years on death row, he is still incarcerated waiting for a new trial. even though the state has known for 11 years that this man was most likely innocent.

Posted by: Hannah at July 15, 2005 09:24 PM

I'm pointing out the inconsistency in which th courts apply their reasoning. He's given a new trial because evidence might have been pertinent, but they don't know. Terry Schiavo was tortured to death in spite of an abundance of evidence that said A. her husband had ulterior motives and B. she was aware of her surroundings.

If the courts want to apply a strict rule of evidence for someone who A. was seen at the crime scene, B. tried to cash one of the murder victim's checks and C. was carrying a sock stained with the victim's blood, when he was arrested -- and let the guy go free, it seems odd that they be so thrilled at starving to death a woman who had committed no crime at all.

It's also interesting that in spite of the demand for a new trial, Floyd's attorney is also preparing to argue that he is mentally retarded, and therefore should not be executed for that reason. Prosecutors are getting DNA confirmation on evidence that had not been able to be tested at the time of the original trial, due to lack of technology. Sounds like the attorney knows exactly what that evidence will say.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at July 16, 2005 10:17 AM

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