December 30, 2008
Supreme Court overturns death penalty case
The Florida Supreme Court made an unusual decision on Monday and agreed to overturn the death sentence of Willie H. Nowell who was convicted for first-degree murder. They remanded the case back to the trial court with new directions for a new trial.
The Florida high court rarely overturns death penalty cases. In this Brevard County case, judges agreed that the trial court judge made a mistake by not not ruling that the prosecutor had made improper comments during his closing arguments in the trial's penalty phase, by arguing that Nowell didn't deserve "mercy." They also ruled that the prosecution made the mistake of trying to rule out a juror based on his race, Hispanic. Check it out here.