Discussion: Supreme Court Rules Florida Death Penalty System Unconstitutional

Discussion for article #244555

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I doubt this will prevent a single death-sentence. America still loves capital punishment. Empower the jury and you’ll get the same result.

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Faster “Strip Search Sammy” Kill! Kill!


I’m in shock! The dissent wasn’t Scalia or Thomas. Wonders never cease.

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Justice Samuel Alito dissented, saying that the trial judge in Florida simply performs a reviewing function that duplicates what the jury has done.

Under Florida law, the state requires juries in capital sentencing hearings to weigh factors for and against imposing a death sentence. But the judge is not bound by those findings and can reach a different conclusion.

Gee, Justice Alito, what about this do you not understand?


He doesn’t understand why a mere fact should prevent him from writing whatever he wants in his dissent.


He was saying there was no need to overrule previous case law that said this was okay. I disagree with him on that.

He was also saying that this was harmless error and they should keep the death penalty in place. Not sure I disagree with him on this one. But the majority said they normally leave that to the state courts.

So it will go back down and either 1) the FL SC will determine whether there was harmless error; or 2) they will give him a new sentencing jury and the jury will almost certainly give him the death penalty again.

Edit: actually, I just reread this and it makes much more sense to send it back down to FL. Because the legislation was drafted only requiring a majority of the jurors to send a death penalty recommendation, there is a good chance the FL SC would say that the legislation is insufficient to render a death penalty as the legislation never intended for a jury death penalty verdict, only a recommendation. Therefore, they might say it is void until the legislature reworks the law to determine if a majority of jurors (rather than unanimous or say 10-2) is enough to sentence to death.

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Of course Alito dissented…he never met a police state tactic or power he didn’t vote for…I don’t like to toss around fascist (I don’t actually think Trump is one) but Alito is a fascist.

I used to feel bad for Sandra Day O’Connor, because of what is happening to her legacy after she gave up her seat to this guy, and because she’s really going to be sorry about what happens to women when the court finishes gutting Casey. But I don’t feel sorry for her - I feel sorry for all of us and angry at her.


This case is pretty much demonstration proof that you wouldn’t get the same result - the jury has to be unanimous and this jury was not unanimous. There are actually only a handful of counties - and a few of them are in Florida - that love the death penalty - most of America doesn’t hand out death sentences.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that, in Florida, you can be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, and you can use that power to administer an immediate death penalty to somebody who frightens you.

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I’m not sure what informs your perception on America’s attitude towards the death penalty. My understanding (and polling as recently as 2014 seems to back this up) is that, outside of a brief lull in the 60s, the death penalty has had consistent broad support from the nation at-large every since they’ve been keeping track. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1606/death-penalty.aspx) In California, almost the entire State Supreme Court got thrown out of office in the 80’s when they began invalidating death-sentences. Texas and Virginia’s criminal court systems operate like execution factories. In fact, Texas has a separate Supreme Court entirely dedicated to death sentences since juries issue so many. As solicitor general, Ted Cruz argued a case all the way up to the US Supreme Court, arguing that the United States should be able to ignore obligations found in our international agreements, all so we could execute a Mexican national.

It may be that there are enough states that have abolished the death penalty that “most of American doesn’t hand out death sentences” can be considered a true statement, but the same cannot be said that “only a handful of counties… love the death penalty.”

I’m surprised that Scalia and Thomas didn’t join Alito in dissent, but now we know who the REAL Nazi on the Court is. Good ole “Strip Search Sammy”; he is a bigger disgrace to the bench than Thomas, and that’s saying a lot.