Abstract

FLORIDA'S CAPITAL SENTENCING JURY OVERRIDE: WHOM SHOULD WE TRUST TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE ETHICAL JUDGMENT?

LATOUR REY LAFFERTY

1996 Florida State University Law Review

This article examines Florida's trifurcated capital sentencing scheme, specifically the jury override provision, from its origin to the present. Part II examines the enactment of the jury override in the context of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Furman v. Georgia. Part II also illustrates the procedural application of the jury override, reviewing its judicial interpretation by both the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Part III identifies and analyzes several criticisms of Florida's jury override provision. Part IV examines the potential impact of Florida Committee Substitute for House Bill 1319, which would have given the trial judge sole capital sentencing authority, and which Governor Chiles vetoed on June 14, 1995. Finally, this Article concludes that the Governor's veto was appropriate because Florida's jury override provision represents a valuable balance between the judge and the jury, thus ensuring substantial reliability in the state's capital sentencing scheme.


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