A raft of death penalty cases across the state of Florida are in limbo after a ruling last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The high court struck down Florida’s death penalty sentencing system, declaring that it violates defendants’ Sixth Amendment Rights to trial by jury. This means delays for the outcome of many cases, including several here in our area.
About 400 people currently sit on Florida’s Death Row, including the man charged with murdering Jacksonville resident Shelby Farah. Two years ago, defendant James Xavier Rhodes offered to plead guilty to the murder in exchange for life in prison without possibility of parole. Shelby’s mother, Darlene Farah, has urged the State Attorney’s Office to take the plea. However, State Attorney Angela Corey still intends to pursue the death penalty for Rhodes.
We discuss the latest in the case with Darlene Farah, and attorney and former prosecutor Dale Carson, co-counsel on the civil suit for the Farah family.
We also look at how the Supreme Court ruling affects the Florida death penalty as a whole with Ben Jones, campaign strategist for the criminal justice reform organization Equal Justice USA.