Hurst v. Florida, is a case that sprung forth in the State of Florida bringing with it ramifications for two other states … Alabama and Delaware. It’s a case that made its way up to the United States Supreme Court, so the highest court in the country could consider whether or not Florida’s capital sentencing scheme was constitutional, or stood in violation of the 6th amendment, in light of Ring v. Arizona. The United States Supreme Court decision was that, Florida’s capital sentencing scheme violates the 6th amendment, in light of Ring. And, without so much as saying so, or outright doing it, the court also ruled the capital sentencing schemes in Alabama, and Delaware to be unconstitutional, because both states use the practice of jury override as well. However, where Florida set out to pass legislation to try to correct their broken system, Alabama and Delaware decided to both fight the inevitable. Delaware has since been forced to face, and concede that tis capital sentencing scheme is unconstitutional, by its very own high court (the Delaware Supreme Court). Alabama, will fight on, until it too is forced to face the fact and concede that its capital sentencing scheme is unconstitutional, but it’ll have to eventually come from the United States Supreme Court, as Alabama’s good ole’ boy Supreme Court isn’t going to step on any of their golf buddies toes.
Now, with that said, in the past Alabama has went on record saying that, “their capital sentencing scheme is the same as Florida’s” in their efforts to dodge being effected when the ruling was handed down in Ring v. Arizona. The skated by, and they were just fine with that. Why? Because, during that time the country was still in love with the death penalty, and the cruel, heinous, atrocious, and illegal things states were doing to murder their own citizens under the guise of “getting justice” hadn’t come to light yet. So, in the meantime, Alabama did what Alabama does, it went on a killing spree. Now, with the ruling in Hurst v. Florida finding Florida’s capital sentencing scheme to be unconstitutional, in violation of the 6th amendment, Alabama is once again singing a different tune … “Our capital sentencing scheme is not like Florida’s.” Which is it, Alabama?
When the United States Supreme Court said in Hurst v. Florida: The role of the judge in the process of sentencing the defendant to death was what made Florida’s sentencing scheme unconstitutional, Alabama should have conceded, and started to save the taxpayers of Alabama their hard earned money. Money that could certainly be better used on education, and helping the less fortunate. Because, the U.S. Supreme Court was talking about jury override plain and simple in that ruling, and no matter how Alabama tries to use its smoke and mirrors, or good ole’ boys contacts they have jury override, just like Delaware, and just like Florida!
Please, stay tuned …
Jessie M.D.Y. Phillips
last update: 12/28/2016