Florida Supreme Court
FLORIDA – Carlie Brucia’s killer appeals death sentence – Joseph Smith
february 5, 2014 (mysuncoast.com)
SARASOTA, Fla. – The man convicted of killing 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in 2004 is appealing his death sentence to Florida’s Supreme Court.
Joseph Smith was found guilty of the 2004 kidnapping, sexual battery and murder of the young girl in Sarasota County. Smith’s attorney claims a number of errors in his trial led to his death sentence.
Florida’s Supreme Court judges will hear the argument Wednesday. Smith’s appeal requests a new trial or penalty phase.
This is the second appeal for Smith, who is currently on death row in a Tallahassee prison
With 132 Death Row Inmates Readied for Execution, Lawyers Contest Fast-Track Law Before Florida Justices
February 4, 2014 (flaglerlive.com)
A new law intended to speed up executions did little to change the status quo, an attorney representing the state told the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday.
But a lawyer representing Death Row inmates argued that the “Timely Justice Act” is premised on a faulty list that violates the constitutionally protected separation of powers as well as inmates’ rights to due process.
More than 150 lawyers and Death Row inmates are challenging the law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in June.
The law requires the Supreme Court clerk to give the governor a certified list of Death Row inmates whose initial state and federal appeals have been exhausted. The law orders the governor to sign death warrants for the condemned on the list within 30 days and to direct the warden to schedule their executions within 180 days — but only once the executive clemency process has been completed. Scott and his lawyers maintain that the clemency process ends when the governor signs a warrant.
In October, then-Supreme Court Clerk Tom Hall certified to Scott an initial list of 132 inmates who are at least partially “warrant ready” under the requirements of the law.
Scott has signed four death warrants since the law went into effect. Prior to that, Scott ordered nine executions since taking office in 2011.
Marty McClain, who represented the lawyers and inmates during oral arguments before the court on Tuesday morning, said the “warrant ready” list was flawed and included some Death Row convicts whose litigation was still pending.
But Assistant Attorney General Carol Dittmar told the justices that “the list is just to provide for information purposes” and did not change the process by which warrants are signed by the governor. Lawmakers who sponsored the legislation said it was intended to shorten the time between conviction and execution, which now is longer than two decades.
“It seems that the argument being made is that the Timely Justice Act was all for show and didn’t actually change anything,” McClain argued. “Certainly that was not what was expressed by the Legislature at the time. They meant to make changes.”
Some of the justices took issue with McClain’s argument that the Legislature had encroached on their power by forcing their administrator to generate the list.
Justice R. Fred Lewis said he found “difficult to understand why it’s unconstitutional for this court to give information” because that is “very natural and normal” within court operations.
Justice Barbara Pariente suggested that, although “we may not all agree that this is the best policy,” the court could add more information to the list and give lawyers representing Death Row inmates the chance to show why their clients should not be included on it before sending it to the governor.
And she pointed out that there is nothing in the new law that prohibits the court from issuing a stay once a warrant has been signed, pointing to the case of Ray Swafford, whose execution was halted by the court hours before he was scheduled to be put to death in 1990. Swafford, who was deemed “warrant ready” by Hall in October, has spent 28 years on Death Row for the abduction, rape and murder of a gas station attendant in Volusia County.
In November, the Florida high court vacated Swafford’s sentence and ordered a new trial based on new DNA evidence. But McClain said the Swafford case was a perfect example why the law is problematic.
Swafford had at least five appeals before the court ordered a new trial in the fall, McClain pointed out.
“Twenty-one years after the conviction, the information develops. He could have been executed in 1990,” McClain said.
FLORIDA – Convicted killer Emilia Carr’s lawyer argues appeal before Florida Supreme Court
february 3, 2014 (Ocala)
Counsel for a Marion County woman sentenced to death row argued for a sentence reversal before the Florida Supreme Court Monday morning, stating his client is less culpable in the crime than her co-defendant — who is serving life imprisonment for the same offense.
Standing before the panel in Tallahassee, Emilia Carr’s attorney, Christopher S. Quarles, argued the Supreme Court should rule on the issue instead of choosing another remedy: sending the case back to the trial court to deal with the sentence question, either in a separate hearing or through a post-conviction relief proceeding.
“I think the evidence is very clear Joshua Fulgham is more culpable,” argued Quarles, referring to Carr’s co-defendant. “He had the motive, he hatched the plan, he brought the victim to the scene of the crime, and it’s very unfair…he is serving a life sentence when she is sentenced to death.”
According to trial testimony, Fulgham, who was Carr’s lover, lured his estranged wife, Heather Strong, 26, to a trailer in Boardman, which is in north Marion County near McIntosh. There, the pair duct taped her to a chair, suffocated her and then buried the body.
The co-defendants were tried in separate trials, and the state sought the death penalty for both. They both were found guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping.
In the first trial, a jury recommended death for Carr in a 7-5 vote in December 2010. The judge in that case followed the recommendation and put her on death row.
The jury in the second trial returned a recommendation of life imprisonment for Fulgham in April 2012. Again, the judge followed the recommendation.
“They had different judges, they had different juries, they had different legal teams,” said Quarles.
He argued that during each trial the state painted that defendant as the mastermind, even though evidence shows Fulgham had been manipulating both Strong and Carr in the time period leading up to the crime.
Justice Charles Canady pointed out that Carr, 29, has an IQ of 125, while Fulgham, 32, is intellectually challenged.
“In the actual commission of the crime Ms. Carr was heavily involved in what was going on,” countered Assistant Attorney General Sara Macks.
She pointed to several factors motivating Carr including the fact that Carr wanted to raise a family with Fulgham.
Carr gave birth to Fulgham’s child during her time inside the Marion County jail pending trial. Macks also pointed to threats Carr had made of hiring someone to kill Strong.
Justice Jorge Labarga wondered why the two trial court judges didn’t wait and sentence the co-defendants around the same time after receiving the respective jury recommendations.
As part of her explanation, Macks said Fulgham’s trial had been delayed more than one year when counsel from Miami had become involved.
She urged the high court to resolve the direct appeal before redirecting the case back to the trial court. Macks said if the issue is addressed at the trial court level during post-conviction relief, Carr’s defense would also be able to bring up any issues connected with mitigation.
“This is not a death case,” Quarles argued in rebuttal before the panel adjourned.
A ruling is expected at a later date.
Carr is currently housed at Lowell Correctional Institution with the other five women on Florida’s death row. Fulgham is currently housed at Florida State Prison in Raiford, according to state prison records.
In August, Fulgham sent a hand-written letter to the Marion County Jail through his mother intended for convicted murderer Michael Bargo. Inmates are not granted the same privacy as the general public and therefore their mail is public record except for medical records and legal correspondence.
In the letter, Fulgham offered Bargo advice about prison. “A lot of people will tell you a life sentence is the same as death row,” he wrote, adding that such advice is wrong.
“If you do end up in prison at all, it isn’t that bad,” Fulgham wrote, describing his access to an MP3 player, television and Playboy magazine.
Florida Supreme Court hears argument of Longwood killer who asked for death penalty – William Roger Davis III
february 3. 2014 (orlandosentinel)
From the witness stand, the man who kidnapped, raped and strangled a Longwood used car lot receptionist asked jurors to give him the death penalty, and they did.
Today a government lawyer who defends death row inmates asked the Florida Supreme Court to go against his wishes and throw out his death sentence.
William Roger Davis III, 35, killed Fabiana Malave, Oct. 29, 2009. According to evidence at his trial, he abducted her at knifepoint from Super Sport Auto, the small car lot on U.S. Highway 17-92 in Longwood where she worked, drove her to the Orlando house where he lived, raped her then ordered her to get dressed and to get back on his bed, where he strangled her.
He then loaded her body into his SUV and drove around for hours before parking a few dozen feet from where he had abducted her, where Seminole County deputies spotted his vehicle then arrested him. Today, Davis was not on trial before the Florida Supreme Court. The judge who gave him the death penalty, Circuit Judge John Galluzzo of Sanford, was.
Nancy J. Ryan, a Daytona Beach assistant public defender, argued that Galluzzo made three technical errors in imposing the death sentence, reason enough to send the case back to Seminole County for a new hearing.
One of the biggest was that he didn’t give enough weight to Davis’ mental state at the time of the homicide, she said.
Davis and four mental health experts testified that he suffers from bipolar disorder and that he had been off his medication for a year and a half when he killed Malave.
His testimony about why he killed Malave was chilling.
“I don’t really have an answer for that,” he told a Seminole County Sheriff’s detective a few hours after the homicide. He went on to add that killing someone felt “pretty interesting. … squeeze the life out of somebody. … I feel liberated.”
And when asked if he’d do it again, his answer, “Oh, yeah.”
Galluzzo gave great weight to Davis’ testimony that if given the opportunity, he’d again go off his medication and would likely do violence to someone else, Ryan pointed out.
He focused too much on that and not enough on the fact that Davis suffered from an extreme emotional disturbance at the time, Ryan argued.
But Assistant Attorney General Stacey Kircher today told justices that Davis was not in an extreme emotional state.
“He does not appear to suffer from hallucinations,” she said. “He was very calm, reflective.”
After killing Malave, he put her body in his SUV and drove to a restaurant, to a music store to play with instruments, to a park to smoke, Kircher argued.
What he was doing, she said, was killing time until it got dark, when he planned to put Malave’s body back in her car at the car lot.
Justices made no decision today but asked questions of both attorneys.
Justice Barbara Pariente suggested that even if Galluzzo did not give enough weight to Davis’ mental state, there were many other valid legal reasons, carefully spelled out in the judge’s sentencing order, why the death penalty was the right sentence.
A Seminole County jury voted 7-5 to recommend death two years ago. The same jury had earlier rejected Davis’ argument that he was innocent because he was insane.
Death Row Prisoner William Van Poyck’s Final Farewell
June 26, 2013 truthdig.com
On June 12, the state of Florida executed William Van Poyck. Van Poyck was convicted of killing a corrections officer during a failed attempt to free a prisoner in 1987. He spent 26 years on death row. From 2005 on, he recorded his observations and reflections from inside America’s system of capital punishment in a blog called Death Row Diary.
In a May article, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges wrote that Van Poyck “spent years exposing the cruelty of our system of mass incarceration.” He “was one of the few inside the system to doggedly bear witness to the abuse and murder of prisoners on death row.”
On June 25, Van Poyck’s sister published his final two letters, addressed to her. We reprint them here in full.
June 3, 2013
Ten days ‘till departure time. You already know that they killed my neighbor, Elmer, 5 days ago. Then they moved me into his cell. After they execute someone they move the rest of us down one cell, working our way to cell#1, the launching pad to the gurney next door. This is a bad luck cell; very few of us get out of here alive! In two days I’ll go onto Phase II and they’ll move all my property from my cell, and post a guard in front of my cell 24/7 to record everything I do. These will be hectic days, freighted with emotion, all the final letters, all the final phone calls, final visits, final goodbyes. Things have become even more regimented as “established procedures” increasingly take over. More cell front visits from high ranking administration and DOC officials asking if everything is O.K., forms to fill out (cremation or burial?). I declined the offer of a “last meal”. I’m not interested in participating in that time-worn ritual, to feed some reporter’s breathless post-execution account. Besides, material gratification will be the last thing on my mind as I prepare to cross over to the non-material planes. Watching Elmer go through his final days really drove home how ritualized this whole process has become; the ritual aspect perhaps brings some numbing comfort – or sense of purpose – to those not really comfortable with this whole killing people scheme. This is akin to participating in a play where the participants step to a rote cadence, acting out their parts in the script, with nobody pausing to question the underlying premise. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where you want to grab someone, shake them hard, and yell “Hey, wake up! Don’t you know what’s going on here?!!!”
My very accelerated appeal is before the Florida Supreme Court; my brief is due today, (Monday), the state’s brief tomorrow and oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday June 6th (D-Day Anniversary). I expect an immediate ruling, or perhaps on Friday. By the time you read this you’ll already know the result and since there’s no higher court to go to on this you’ll know if I live or die on June 12th. I am not optimistic, Sis. Although I have some substantial, compelling issues, as you know (e.g., my appointed direct appeal attorney who turned out to be a mentally ill, oft-hospitalized, crack head, convicted of cocaine possession and subsequently disbarred whose incompetence sabotaged my appeal) the law provides the courts with countless ways to deny a prisoner any appellate review of even the most meritorious claims. I won’t turn this into a discourse on legal procedures; but many years of observation has taught me that once a death warrant is signed it’s near impossible to stop the momentum of that train. Issues that would normally offer you some relief, absent a warrant, suddenly become “meritless” under the tension of a looming execution date. Nobody wants to be the one to stop an execution, it’s almost sacrilegious.
So many people are praying and fighting to save my life that I am loathe to express any pessimism, as if that’s a betrayal of those supporting me. And, there is some hope, at least for a stay of execution. But honestly my worst fear is a temporary stay of 20, 30 days. Unless a stay results in my lawyers digging up some new, previously undiscovered substantial claim that will get me a new sentencing hearing, a stay simply postpones the inevitable. What I don’t want is to be back here in the same position in 30 days, forcing you and all my loved ones to endure another heart-breaking cycle of final goodbyes. I cannot ask that of them. I’d rather just go on June 12th and get this over with. This may be disappointing to those who are trying so hard to extend my life, even for a few days, but there it is.
Time – that surprisingly subjective, abstract concept – is becoming increasingly compressed for me. I’m staying rooted in the here and now, not dwelling on the past or anxiously peering into the future, but inhabiting each unfolding moment as it arrives in my consciousness (F.Y.I., I highly recommend The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, for anyone facing imminent execution!) I’m still able to see the beauty of this world, and value the kindness of the many beautiful souls who work tirelessly to make this a better place. I am calm and very much at peace, Sis, so don’t worry about my welfare down here on death watch. I will endure this without fear, and with as much grace as I can summon. Whatever happens, it’s all good, it’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
* * *
June 12, 2013
If you are reading this, I have gone the way of the earth, my atonement fulfilled. When your tears have dried—as they will—and you look up at the sky, allow yourself to smile when you think of me, free at last. Though I have departed my physical vehicle, know that my soul—timeless, boundless and eternal—soars joyfully among the stars.
Despite my many flaws on earth, I was blessed to be loved by so many special souls who saw past my feet of clay and into my heart. Know that in my final hours, it was that love which sustained my spirit and brought me peace. Love, like our souls, is eternal and forever binds us, and in due time it will surely draw us all back together again. Until then, Godspeed to you and all who have loved me!
Light & Love,
FLORIDA – Oyola’s death sentence overturned by court
September 21, 2012 http://www.tallahassee.com
Florida’s Supreme Court on Thursday sent convicted murderer Miguel Oyola back to circuit court for resentencing.
A majority of justices upheld his conviction for the 2007 murder of Michael Lee Gerrard, but said the lower court’s handling of the sentencing phase of Oyola’s case was in error.
In 2010, Oyola was found guilty of first-degree murder in the murder of his employer, Gerrard.
He was sentenced to death by a 9-3 jury vote and the case was appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.
Justices R. Fred Lewis, Peggy A. Quince, Jorge Labarga and James E.C. Perry concurred in the majority opinion while Justice Barbara J. Pariente concurred in the result.
According to the majority, the lower court did not properly account for mental health factors when Oyola was sentenced in October 2010.
A dissenting opinion by Chief Justice Ricky Polston, and joined by Justice Charles T. Canady, states that the errors of the trial court were harmless.
The pair supported the lower court’s opinion that the aggravating circumstances far outweigh the mitigating factors.
Oyola’s defense argued that Oyola was raised in an abusive home as a child, suffered from mental illness, and had a family history of mental illness, according to court documents.
According to the majority opinion, a trial court must “expressly evaluate” mitigating circumstances and nonstatutory mitigators, like the mental health factors raised by the defense, when handing down sentences.
Court records say Oyola went on a spending spree at Tallahassee area Wal-Mart stores on December 3, 2007, with a debit card assigned to Gerrard’s outdoor landscaping business. Gerrard was alerted of the charges by his bank and confronted Oyola.
Oyola attacked him and struck him multiple times in the head with a shovel, along with stabbing him 10 times.
Gerrard’s body was found on Tram Road in Jefferson County on December 4, 2007.
Florida justices refuse to stay Gore’s execution
update april 10 source : http://www.wpbf.com
Gore’s lawyers asked for a stay and filed an appeal on Tuesday, just two days before he is scheduled to die.
The appeal is based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said federal courts must hear a convict’s claim of receiving ineffective legal assistance – or none at all – for appeals alleging the inmate’s trial lawyers also had been ineffective.
The Florida Supreme Court rejected a similar appeal Monday.
april 9, 2012, source :http://www.miamiherald.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court has refused to stay serial killer David Gore’s execution. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday.
The justices on Monday unanimously rejected several arguments by Gore’s lawyers.
That includes their contention a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision dealing with ineffective counsel applies to his case.
The state justices ruled that opinion appears to apply only to federal rather than state court proceedings.
One of Gore’s lawyers, Martin McClain, says the ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and that other federal court options also are being considered.
Gore is to be executed for murdering a 17-year-old girl in Indian River County nearly 30 years ago. He also is serving life terms for killing five other girls or women.
Gore’s attorneys file appeal with state Supreme Court
update april 6, source : http://news.smh.com.au
Serial killer’s letters speed up execution
Serial killer David Alan Gore is set to be executed sooner than he expected, in part because he could not stop bragging about raping and murdering four teenagers and two women in Florida three decades ago.
An author published the inmate’s grotesque letters, and a newspaper columnist and editorial board brought the case to the attention of Florida Governor Rick Scott. The Republican promptly signed the death warrant, even though more than 40 other men have been on death row longer.
Gore is set to die on April 12.
“Those letters are so disturbing and so insightful into who this person is,” said Pete Earley, who recently published some of the letters in his book Serial Killer Whisperer. “Gore, actually, he talked his way into the death chamber.”
Tony Ciaglia wrote to Gore and other serial killers on a whim after suffering a severe head injury as teenager, in an effort to better understand them.
He began exchanging letters with Gore about five years ago and received about 200 pages in all. Most in the book are too graphic to quote. In one, Gore described step-by-step how he and his cousin abducted two 14-year-old friends and sexually assaulted them.
“I drug both bodies into the woods where I disposed of them. Oh and you can believe, I collected hair. It took a couple days to recover from that. It was a perfect experience,” Gore wrote.
In another letter, Gore described his uncontrollable desire to kill.
“It’s sort of along the lines as being horny. You start getting horny and it just keeps building until you have to get some relief,” Gore wrote. “That is the same with the URGE to kill. It usually starts out slow and builds and you will take whatever chances necessary to satisfy it. And believe me, you constantly think about getting caught, but the rush is worth the risk.”
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers columnist Russ Lemmon, who has written about the Gore case, published a column for a few Florida newspapers on the day the editorial board had an interview with the governor. They talked about the book.
The board asked Scott if he had considered signing Gore’s death warrant. The governor promised to look into it.
Meanwhile, letters poured into Scott’s office, many of them mentioning the prison correspondence.
“Pete Earley provides compelling evidence that David Gore relishes every detail of his heinous murders,” wrote Ralph Sexton, whose nephew was married to one of the women killed.
About a month after the editorial board meeting, Scott signed Gore’s death warrant.
Gore’s lawyers are now appealing, arguing in part that the governor’s decision to sign the warrant was unfairly influenced by the editorial board.
A spokeswoman for Scott said he had not read the book.
Ciaglia said Gore blamed him after the death warrant was signed. Ciaglia said he is opposed to the death penalty.
“I told him that I did not actively pursue it. That there’s a lot of people – because you did some really, really bad things – there’s a lot of people that hate you and they want to see you executed and they used these letters to get people’s attention as to the horrible crimes that you committed,” Ciaglia said.
“The only person you can blame is Gore himself,” Earley said. “His candour and his lack of compassion, empathy and remorse is stomach-churning.”
Update april 5, source : http://www.wptv.com
At 6 p.m., the 81-year-old plans to be sitting next to loved ones in a viewing area at Florida State Prison when a lethal cocktail is administered to the now 58-year-old serial killer who raped and killed Elliott’s 17-year-old daughter, Lynn, in Vero Beach in 1983. David Alan Gore, who picked up Lynn Elliott and a 14-year-old friend who were hitchhiking to the beach, later confessed to murdering five other women and received five life sentences.
“We’ve been patiently waiting for this after all these years. We miss her everyday,” Elliott said. “We’re ready to go up there and see it done.”
Whether Elliott and his family will finally see Gore die for murdering the teen now rests with the Florida Supreme Court.
And, thanks to a two-week-old U.S. Supreme Court decision, the options facing the state’s high court aren’t clear-cut. In arguments Wednesday, an attorney representing Gore urged justices not to make a snap judgment in his case.
“It effects not just Mr. Gore and not just Death Row inmates,” attorney Martin McClain said of the high court’s recent decision. It will impact hundreds of inmates who were convicted of far lesser crimes than murder, he said.
He urged the justices to stay Gore’s planned execution to give attorneys throughout the state the chance to weigh in on what one justice called a “troubling” ruling that allows inmates to return to court after their initial appeals to argue that their attorneys did a bad job. Since claims of ineffective assistance of counsel aren’t allowed until after a case goes through standard appeals, some claim the ruling could pave the way for court-appointed attorneys to represent prisoners after their initial appeals have been exhausted.
In Gore’s case, McClain argued, he had not just one bad attorney but two. Stuart attorney Robert Udell, who gained fame in Palm Beach County when he represented teacher-killer Nathaniel Brazill in 2001 and was subsequently disbarred for financial misdeeds, made numerous errors when he represented Gore in a 1992 resentencing hearing, McClain said. For instance, he failed to tell the jury about Gore’s alcohol, drug abuse and mental health problems or that chances were slim that he would ever be released if he received life in prison.
Another attorney, Andrew Graham, in 1999 argued that Udell’s incompetence caused a second jury to recommend Gore receive the death penalty instead of a life sentence. But Udell denied he was at fault. Udell blamed another attorney, Jerome Nickerson, who he claimed was the lead attorney during Gore’s resentencing. However, Graham never found Nickerson, who had moved out of state, which gave him little ammunition in the appeal that was rejected by the Florida Supreme Court in 2007.
As evidence of Graham’s incompetence, McClain said he was able to find Nickerson with a quick Google search. The discovery of Nickerson is new evidence that should, as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, give Gore another basis for appeal, he said.
Justices appeared less than enamored with McClain’s efforts to use the recent decision to spare Gore.
Justice Barbara Pariente said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Arizona case involving convicted sex offender Luis Mariano Martinez is aimed at federal courts.
“It has everything to do with the nightmare that’s going to be created in the federal system,” she said of the opportunity for inmates to flood courts with appeals. “It has nothing to do with what states are forced to look at.”
Further, she said, McClain has had years to find Nickerson and lodge an appeal. McClain countered that, until the Martinez decision, he had no way to challenge Graham’s incompetence.
Justice Peggy Quince said “the language of Martinez is really troubling” and it appears the ruling is far-reaching.
Assistant Florida attorney general Celia Terenzio said there is no reason to delay Gore’s execution. Even if Udell or Graham didn’t represent Gore well, the Florida Supreme Court in 2007 said their actions didn’t spur the jury to recommend that he be sentenced to death. “There was no prejudice,” she said.
Further, she said, the Martinez decision is very narrow, applying to people whose appeals were blocked on procedural grounds. Gore has had numerous appeals since he was first sent to Death Row in 1984, including one for ineffective assistance of counsel, which was rejected. Also, she said, the high court didn’t say people have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney in post-conviction appeals, only that in certain cases it may be necessary.
In death penalty cases, Florida always provides inmates with appellate lawyers for post-conviction appeals, she said.
Court-watchers said the decision facing the Florida Supreme Court’s is difficult.
“The Florida Supreme Court is going to have to look at this as a new ruling without any guidance for how it’s going
to be interpreted,” said attorney Michael Minerva, CEO of the Innocence Project of Florida. “The prudent thing to do would be to get additional time to figure out how it applies to Florida courts.”
Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, agreed. “It wouldn’t be the first time an execution has been stayed because the Supreme Court surprises people with a decision.
Read more: click here
Update march 29 source :http://www.tcpalm.com
The state Supreme Court on Thursday granted a request by David Alan Gore to hold oral arguments Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the condemned man’s appeal of a court ruling that recently denied him a hearing.
Gore’s lawyers on Monday appealed to the Florida Supreme Court an order issued by Circuit Judge Dan L. Vaughn that denied the serial killer’s request for a hearing to present evidence related to legal claims raised in an effort to stop his April 12 execution.
Gore, 58, is under a death warrant Gov. Rick Scott signed Feb. 28 for the July 16, 1983, first-degree murder of Lynn Elliott, 17, of Vero Beach.
Gore’s legal claims center on allegations of having inadequate legal counsel during his post-conviction relief proceedings. He’s further claimed his execution should be stopped in part because the clemency process in his case was applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner in violation of his U.S. constitutional rights. Another claim alleged that because of the 28 years Gore has spent on death row, adding his execution to that punishment would constitute cruel and unusual punishment
Update march 28, source : http://www.tcpalm.c
As gores’s execution nears, family of victim reflects on loss, changes
Mike and Nancy Byer left Florida in 1988 in search of a fresh start.
“I wanted to go where nobody knew me, and I didn’t know anybody,” Mike said.
Who could blame them?
Just five years earlier, their 14-year-old daughter, Barbara Ann, was killed by Fred Waterfield and David Alan Gore. Her friend, Angel LaVallee, also was killed.
Mike was the last person to see Barbie alive. She was standing outside a 7-Eleven in Orlando. (Mike was driving a service vehicle for his truck-repair business when he passed by the convenience store.)
Later, on the streets of Orlando, the teenage girls — who met while attending Howard Junior High School — would cross paths with Indian River County’s infamous serial killers.
“Gore and Waterfield were hunters,” Nancy said. “They went out for prey.”
Update march 21 source :http://www.tcpalm.com
Attorneys representing David Alan Gore on Wednesday filed papers with the state Supreme Court appealing a judge’s ruling denying the condemned serial killer a chance to present evidence in court in an effort to stop his execution April 12 at Florida State Prison.
Gore was condemned to death for the July 1983 shooting death of Vero Beach teenagerLynn Elliott. He also pleaded guilty in the murder of five other women in Indian River County between 1981 and 1983.
Appeal papers filed by defense attorneys John Abatecola and Linda McDermott ask the Florida Supreme Court to review Circuit Judge Dan L. Vaughn’s March 15 rulings, which rejected Gore’s request to hold an evidentiary hearing, and refused to set aside his sentence of death.
The Florida Supreme Court already has issued an expedited schedule in Gore’s case, setting a deadline of April 2 for legal briefs to be filed. Oral arguments, if required by the justices, will be held April 4 in Tallahassee.
read Gore’s case click here