In a 5-4 decision Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court held that capital punishment can only be applied to murderers. The Court cited the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and found that “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” must be considered. The Supreme Court has also eliminated the death penalty for mentally retarded people, people who were under the age of 18 at the time of the murder, and for people who did not have a proper defense at trial.
There were 6 states that allowed the death penalty for rape. They are Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. Treason, aggravated kidnapping, drug trafficking, aircraft hijacking, and espionage are also other crimes eligible for execution. None of these crimes has been prosecuted as a death penalty case.
This ruling will effect the all cities in the State of Florida, including Jacksonville. There are currently 388 people on death row in Florida for murder. 32 come from Duval County. Since 1976, 64 people have been executed in the State of Florida.
If you have any questions about criminal charges, please contact our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys at (904) 634-0900.