US Supreme Court strikes down Florida death sentence process


The United States Supreme Court, Washington, DC. (Source: Reuters)

Reuters reports that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, siding with a man convicted of murdering a fried-chicken restaurant manager in Pensacola, that Florida’s death penalty sentencing process violates the constitutional rights of criminal defendants by granting judges powers that juries should wield. 

Conservative Justice Samuel Alito was the sole dissenter.

Florida has 390 people on death row, second most of any state, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The ruling could affect other pending Florida death penalty cases. Alabama, Montana and Delaware have similar sentencing schemes that also could be affected.

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