Florida Court: Jury must unanimously agree on death penalty

Florida Supreme Court. File photo
Florida Supreme Court. File photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a death sentence requires a unanimous jury.

The court on Friday struck down a newly enacted law allowing a defendant to be sentenced to death as long as 10 out of 12 jurors recommend it. The decision immediately puts Florida’s death penalty sentencing law in limbo.

Meanwhile, in another important decision Friday, the court opened the door to inmates already on death row getting their sentences reduced.

Justices concluded that Timothy Lee Hurst – convicted of a 1998 murder at a Pensacola Popeye’s restaurant- deserves a new sentencing hearing.

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Florida’s death penalty sentencing law unconstitutional. State legislators responded by overhauling the law.

As of Friday, there were 385 inmates on Florida’s death row.

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