By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider an appeal filed by a convicted murderer serving on Florida's death row claiming the state's sentencing process in capital cases violates the U.S. Constitution. Timothy Hurst, who his lawyers say is mentally disabled, was sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of a manager at a Popeye's Fried Chicken restaurant in Pensacola where he worked. Key findings that determined whether he received the death penalty were impermissibly made by a judge rather than a jury, Hurst's lawyers say. The Florida procedure violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed under the Constitution's Sixth Amendment based on a 2001 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawyers argue. The high court said then that aggravating factors that can lead to an enhanced sentence must be determined by juries, not judges. Hurst's lawyers also say the jury had to be unanimous when imposing a death sentence. Hurst was sentenced on a 7-5 vote. Hurst cut and stabbed colleague Cynthia Harrison with a box cutter, the jury found. He left her body, bound and gagged, in the freezer and stole about $1,000 from the restaurant. The Florida Supreme Court rejected Hurst's challenge in a September 2014 ruling. The justices will hear oral arguments and decide the case in their next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2016. The case is Hurst v. Florida, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-7505. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)
- The Daily Beast
Tennessee Department of CorrectionA woman who shared a kiss with a prisoner during a visitation in Tennessee has been charged with murder after the inmate died shortly after their exchange.Rachel Dollard was taken into custody over the weekend by special agents from the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department, the TDOC confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. She is accused of smuggling drugs into the Turney Center Industrial Complex.Dollard is facing ch
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyAt the risk of awarding the title prematurely, we think we’ve found the weirdest study published in 2022. Scientists strapped GoPro cameras to the bodies of six dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy, and recorded them hunting for food and consuming their prey in grisly detail. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; namely, to learn more about how the mammals hunted and ate.Scientists
Anne Heche died from “smoke inhalation and thermal injuries,” according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, People reported today. Her death was officially ruled an accident. The report cited a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” as another “significant condition” contributing to her passing. Heche sustained the injuries when her car jumped a curb […]
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