Reynolds v. State

The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s motion to vacate sentences of death under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851. The jury in Appellant’s case unanimously recommended death. In this successive postconviction motion, Appellant argued that his death sentences violated the Sixth Amendment in light of Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), and Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016) and that his death sentences violated the Eighth Amendment under Caldwell v. Mississippi, 472 U.S. 320 (1985), and must be vacated in light of Hurst, Hurst v. Florida, and Perry v. State, 210 So. 3d 630 (Fla. 2016). The circuit court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Hurst error in this case was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) Hurst-induced Caldwell claims against the standard jury instruction do not provide an avenue for Hurst relief; and (3) the circuit court properly denied Appellant’s Eighth Amendment Caldwell claim. View "Reynolds v. State" on Justia Law