Thompson v. State

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Justia Opinion Summary

The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court denying Appellant’s motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Hurst v. State, 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), did not apply retroactively to Appellant’s sentence of death.

Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The jury recommended death by a vote of seven to five. Appellant’s death sentence became final in 1993. In his postconviction motion, Appellant sought relief pursuant to Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and Hurst. The Supreme Court affirmed the postconviction court’s order denying relief, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief under Hurst.

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Supreme Court of Florida ____________ No. SC18-1435 ____________ WILLIAM LEE THOMPSON, Appellant, vs. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee. January 7, 2019 PER CURIAM. We have for review William Lee Thompson’s appeal of the postconviction court’s order denying Thompson’s motion filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. This Court has jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const. Thompson’s motion sought relief pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and our decision on remand in Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 2161 (2017). Thompson responded to this Court’s order to show cause arguing why Hitchcock v. State, 226 So. 3d 216 (Fla.), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 513 (2017), should not be dispositive in this case. After reviewing Thompson’s response to the order to show cause, as well as the State’s arguments in reply, we conclude that Thompson is not entitled to relief. Thompson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death following a jury’s recommendation for death by a vote of seven to five. Thompson v. State, 619 So. 2d 261, 264 (Fla. 1993). Thompson’s sentence of death became final in 1993. Thompson v. Florida, 510 U.S. 966 (1993). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Thompson’s sentence of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217; see also Foster v. State, No. SC18-860, 2018 WL 6379348, at *2-4 (Fla. Dec. 6, 2018) (explaining why the “elements of ‘capital first-degree murder’ ” argument derived from Hurst and the legislation implementing Hurst “has no merit”). Accordingly, we affirm the postconviction court’s order denying relief. It is so ordered. QUINCE, POLSTON, LABARGA, and LAWSON, JJ., concur. CANADY, C.J., and PARIENTE and LEWIS, JJ., concur in result. NO MOTION FOR REHEARING WILL BE ALLOWED. An Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Miami-Dade County, Marisa Tinkler-Mendez, Judge - Case No. 131976CF003350B000XX Neal Dupree, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer, Special Assistant Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, and Brittney Nicole Lacy, Staff Attorney, Southern Region, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, -2- for Appellant Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Melissa Roca Shaw, Assistant Attorney General, Miami, Florida, for Appellee -3-

Primary Holding

The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court denying Appellant’s motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Hurst v. State, 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), did not apply retroactively to Appellant’s sentence of death.

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