[JURIST] Florida's Supreme Court [official website] on Friday denied a request [motion, pdf] from a death row inmate to delay his execution in light of the recent US Supreme Court [official website] ruling that Florida's capital sentencing scheme was unconstitutional [JURIST report] under the Sixth Amendment. Cary Michael Lambrix was sentenced to death in 1984 for two murders in Glades county and scheduled to be executed on February 11. Although denying the prisoner's motion, the court agreed to hear oral arguments [Tampa Bay Times report] on the issue of whether the recent US Supreme Court ruling can be applied to retroactively. The arguments are scheduled for February 2. State legislators will meet next week to review the death sentencing scheme and attempt to make changes that will comply with the US Supreme Court's ruling.
Use of the death penalty [JURIST news archive] has been a controversial issue throughout the US.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in December upheld [JURIST report] the authority of Governor Tom Wolf [official website] to postpone executions in the commonwealth. In October the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously granted [JURIST report] a request from Attorney General Scott Pruitt to halt all of the state's scheduled executions to allow for an investigation into why the prison received incorrect lethal injection drugs. In June the US Supreme Court held that the use of the drug midazolam may be used in executions [JURIST report] without violating the constitution. In April the Tennessee Supreme Court postponed the execution [JURIST report] of four inmates on death row while it determines whether current protocols are constitutional, effectively halting all executions in the state. Also in April the Delaware Senate voted to repeal [JURIST report] the death penalty, but the legislation included an exemption for the 15 inmates currently on death row.