Supreme Court of Florida
IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA RULE OF APPELLATE
January 14, 2021
The Court, on its own motion,1 amends Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure
9.142(a) (Procedure in Death Penalty Appeals) to remove reference to comparative
proportionality review. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const.
In Lawrence v. State,
45 Fla. L
. Weekly S277 (Fla. Oct. 29, 2020), this
Court held that the Florida Constitution’s conformity clause “forbids this Court
from analyzing death sentences for comparative proportionality in the absence of a
statute establishing that review.”
S277. In so holding, we receded from
Yacob v. State,
136 So. 3d 539
(Fla. 2014), and “eliminate[d] comparative
1. See Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.140(d).
proportionality review from the scope of our appellate review set forth in rule
45 Fla. L
. Weekly at S279.
Accordingly, consistent with our decision in Lawrence, rule 9.142(a) is
amended as reflected in the appendix to this opinion. Deletions are indicated by
struck-through type. The amendment shall become effective immediately upon the
release of this opinion.
It is so ordered.
CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LAWSON, MUÑIZ, COURIEL, and
GROSSHANS, JJ., concur.
LABARGA, J., dissents with an opinion.
THE FILING OF A MOTION FOR REHEARING SHALL NOT ALTER THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS AMENDMENT.
LABARGA, J., dissenting.
For the reasons expressed in my dissent in Lawrence v. State,
45 Fla. L
Weekly S277 (Fla. Oct. 29, 2020), I dissent to the removal of proportionality
review from the rule governing our procedure in death penalty appeals.
Original Proceeding – Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure
RULE 9.142 PROCEDURE FOR REVIEW IN DEATH PENALTY
(a) Procedure in Death Penalty Appeals.
(1) – (4) [No Change]
(5) Scope of Review. On direct appeal in death penalty cases,
whether or not insufficiency of the evidence or proportionality is an issue
presented for review, the court shall review these issues and, if necessary, remand
for the appropriate relief.
(b) – (d) [No Change]