Bowles v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court summarily denying Gary Ray Bowles' successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 and denied Bowles' petition for a writ of habeas corpus and the motions to stay his execution, holding that Bowles was not entitled to relief.
Bowles pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to death. In 2017, Bowles filed a successive postconviction motion, raising an intellectual disability claim for the first time. Bowles filed the final version of this motion after the governor signed his death warrant in 2019. The postconviction court denied the intellectual disability claim as untimely. Bowles appealed and also filed a habeas petition alleging that his execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of postconviction relief and denied the habeas petition, holding (1) Bowles' intellectual disability claim was untimely; (2) the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in denying Bowles' request for certain public records; and (3) because the United States Supreme Court has made clear that capital punishment does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, this Court cannot invalidate Bowles' death sentence as cruel and unusual.