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FL Supremes Limit Retroactivity In Capital Cases, Lift Stay of Execution

Florida State Prison
Nick Evans

Settling months of speculation, the Florida Supreme Court has determined the death penalty ruling Hurst v. Florida won’t apply to almost half of those on death row.

When the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Hurst, it relied heavily on an earlier case from 2002.  Now the state’s high court is using that as its cut off.  In its Thursday ruling the Florida supreme court says its decision means about 45 percent of the death row population won’t be eligible for new hearings under Hurst.  The justices lifted their stay of execution for Mark Asay, likely clearing the path for executions in Florida to resume.

Clarification: an earlier version of this story carried a headline stating the Florida Supreme Court denied retroactivity.  Because the Hurst ruling will apply to cases stretching back to 2002 the phrasing was changed to limit instead.