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Grim v. Florida

Petition for certiorari denied on November 13, 2018
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
18-5518 Fla. N/A N/A N/A N/A OT 2018

Issues: (1) Whether a violation of Hurst v. Florida can be ruled harmless beyond a reasonable doubt based solely on a pre-Hurst “advisory” jury’s unanimous vote to recommend the death penalty to the judge in a case in which the advisory jurors heard none of the available mitigating evidence; (2) whether the Florida Supreme Court’s per se harmless-error rule for Hurst claims violates the Eighth Amendment in light of Caldwell v. Mississippi by relying exclusively on the number of advisory jurors who recommended the death penalty to the judge, when those jurors were repeatedly instructed that the judge alone, notwithstanding the recommendation of the majority of jurors, would make the findings of fact required for a death sentence under state law and bear ultimate responsibility for a death sentence; (3) whether the Florida Supreme Court’s per se harmless-error rule for Hurst claims, which relies entirely on pre-Hurst advisory jury recommendations that did not fulfill Sixth Amendment requirements as to any element of a Florida death sentence, contradicts Sullivan v. Louisiana and Neder v. United States; and (4) whether, when a defendant proffers uncontested evidence and requests a hearing on whether a state could meet its burden of establishing that a Hurst violation was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, the Florida Supreme Court’s summary application of its per se harmless-error rule impermissibly shifts the burden of proof and contravenes the Supreme Court’s admonitions that harmless-error review cannot be “automatic or mechanical,” Barclay v. Florida; must include consideration of the whole record, Rose v. Clark; and must be accompanied by “a detailed explanation based on the record,” Clemons v. Mississippi.

DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding)
Aug 06 2018Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due September 7, 2018)
Sep 07 2018Brief of respondent State of Florida in opposition filed.
Sep 17 2018Reply of petitioner Norman Grim filed.
Sep 20 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 10/5/2018.
Oct 03 2018Rescheduled.
Oct 09 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 10/12/2018.
Oct 09 2018Rescheduled.
Oct 22 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 10/26/2018.
Oct 22 2018Rescheduled.
Oct 29 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 11/2/2018.
Nov 05 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 11/9/2018.
Nov 13 2018Petition DENIED. Justice Thomas, concurring in the denial of certiorari: I concur for the reasons set out in Reynolds v. Florida, 586 U. S. ___ (2018) (Thomas, J., concurring). Justice Sotomayor, dissenting from the denial of certiorari: I dissent for the reasons set out in Reynolds v. Florida, 586 U. S. ___ (2018) (Sotomayor, J., dissenting).