Florida Supreme Court Overturns First-Degree Murder Conviction

A month ago from tomorrow, on June 26, a man who was convicted of murder back in 1985 appealed his conviction from death row, and DNA evidence led the highest court in the state to overturn the conviction, void the death sentence, and call for a new trial. According to the Tampa Bay Times, faulty analysis of DNA evidence in the first trial led to the original conviction.

In the trial where the defendant was convicted, prosecutors brought up sweat and semen found at the scene of the crime, saying that it was probably the defendant's. The jury originally agreed. Now, with modern advances in forensics, it has been shown that this physical evidence does not belong to the defendant, but to a prior suspect in the case, the victim's boyfriend. This was the line of defense that the defendant had used in the first place, that the boyfriend was the real criminal (the victim's boyfriend is currently on a 20-year prison sentence for a child sex abuse conviction).

With the Florida Supreme Court ruling 5-2 to overturn the defendant's conviction, it is now up to prosecutors to make the call on whether or not to proceed with the new trial. The defendant could be acquitted, or never face a trial in this case again.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 24 inmates on Florida's death row have been exonerated since the 1970s, the most of any state in the country.

A criminal charge doesn't have to accuse someone of a capital offense in order to ruin a life. In Florida, if someone is convicted of certain felony offenses where someone else dies, this can automatically lead to a sentence of life in prison. Felony charges and accusations of violent crimes are incredibly serious in Florida.

If you or someone you know is faced with such grim charges, then you need to find powerful defense right away. Reach a high-caliber criminal defense attorney in Tampa when you contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. We have decades of experience to pour into your case!