Attorneys for Death Row Inmate Seek Final Appeal

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Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Attorneys for a death row inmate scheduled for execution April 10 have asked the Florida Supreme Court for a final review of the case.

Larry Eugene Mann's lawyers filed several arguments with the court on Monday. One is that Florida's sentencing system "violates evolving standards of decency" because it lets jurors recommend a death sentence by a simple majority vote and does not require them to be unanimous.

The lawyers are asking for oral argument time before the court.

Mann was convicted of kidnapping a 10-year-old Pinellas County girl in 1980 and killing her by smashing her head with a steel pipe.

By: Mike Vasilinda
March 19, 2013

If government wants to take your land to build this new sidewalk and you disagree, everyone on a 12 person jury would have to have to say “yes” for the sidewalk to be built. But when it comes to death, the guilty can be sentenced with a 7 to 5 vote. Some lawmakers are trying to change that.

“We have capital punishment if we’re going to do that we need to be hundred percent sure that the jury is behind that type of decision.”, says Rep. Mark Pafford, D-Palm Beach.

Since the year 2000, only one in five Florida death sentences has had a unanimous jury recommendation.

Since 2005, in a strongly worded opinion, Florida Supreme Court has been telling state lawmakers that unless they require a unanimous jury verdict, Florida’s death penalty could be declared unconstitutional.

One case arguing just that is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Advocates for change say now is the time.

“The purpose is simple, but absolutely compelling. It’s to minimize the risk that the state of Florida might execute an innocent people or people that should not be subject to death penalty.”, says Mark Schlakman, FSU Center for Human Rights.

But opponents are quick point out infamous serial killer Ted Bundy would still be alive. That’s because his jury split 10 to 2 on death. Bundy was executed in 1989. Convicted killer, Larry Mann, is scheduled to die at Florida State Prison on April 10th. His jury split 9 -3.

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