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Hurst v. Florida

United States Supreme Court
136 S.Ct. 616 (2016)


Facts

Timothy Hurst (defendant) worked with Cynthia Harrison in a restaurant. Harrison was found dead in the restaurant’s freezer; her body had been stabbed over 60 times. The safe in the restaurant was also emptied out. The State of Florida (plaintiff) charged Hurst with Harrison’s murder. Hurst and Harrison were the only people scheduled to work on May 2, 1998. Witnesses testified that Hurst told them he planned to rob the restaurant. The state also introduced proof that Hurst disposed of blood-stained evidence and used stolen money to buy shoes and jewelry. A jury convicted Hurst of first-degree murder. In a separate penalty phase, the jury recommended the death penalty. Following Florida law, the trial court held an additional hearing and sentenced Hurst to death. On appeal, the Florida Supreme Court reversed, and the trial court held another sentencing hearing. The jury again recommended the death penalty. The judge again held the separate sentencing hearing and imposed the death penalty. Hurst appealed. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed. Hurst petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sotomayor, J.)

Dissent (Alito, J.)

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