U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Florida Death Row Inmate


The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a Florida death row inmate convicted in the 1998 murder of a fried-chicken restaurant manager, finding that the state’s sentencing process is unconstitutional.

The court’s 8-1 ruling means inmate Timothy Hurst will be re-sentenced.

Hurst, described by his lawyers as mentally disabled with “borderline intelligence” and an IQ between 70 and 78, was sentenced to death for the murder of Cynthia Harrison, a manager at a Popeyes restaurant in Pensacola where he worked. The court held that Florida’s sentencing process violated the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment because it allowed judges, rather than juries, to make key findings.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

SOURCE: Reuters