[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
March 3-7, 2003

The following summaries are drawn from briefs and lower court judgments. They are meant to provide a general idea of facts and issues presented in cases, and should not be considered official court documents. Facts and issues presented in these summaries should be checked for accuracy against records and briefs, available from the Court, which provide more specific information.

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[ETCHING: SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, March 3, 2003
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
State of Florida v. Bennie Demps

SC01-1301 | SC02-302

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

9:00 Two attorneys, George Schaefer and William Salmon, represented Bennie Demps in his final appeal to this Court before his execution in June 2000. In separate proceedings, different trial court judges awarded attorney's fees to each attorney. The judge who heard Schaefer's claim declared the $100 per hour fee mandated by section 27.711, Florida Statutes, unconstitutional as to him. The judge who considered Salmon's claim ruled he was entitled to compensation although he is not listed in the Registry of attorneys qualified to be paid by the State for such representation. The state comptroller appeals both awards. Bradford County
State of Florida v. Tony A. Carwise

SC02-1670

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 9:40 Tony A. Carwise confessed to and was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. His conviction was reversed on appeal due to the government's failure to establish by evidence independent of the confession that the crime of conspiracy had occurred. In its decision reversing Carwise's conviction, the Fifth District Court of Appeal certified a question to the Supreme Court. It asked whether Florida courts should retain the current standard for corroborating confessions or employ the more flexible standard utilized by federal courts. Volusia County
Luis Caballero v. State of Florida

SC01-651

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:30 Caballero was tried and convicted for the July 1995 murder of Denise Rose O'Neill. At the penalty phase, a jury recommended death 8-to-4. The trial judge imposed the death penalty. This is Caballero's direct appeal. Broward County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Legislature Convenes - No Cases Scheduled

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Demetris Omarr Thomas v. State of Florida

SC00-1092| SC01-166 | SC01-837

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

9:00 The United States Supreme Court ruled that executing mentally retarded offenders constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. These cases were consolidated for discussion of the effect of that ruling in Florida and in these cases. Duval, Manatee, & Okaloosa Counties

Statewide impact

Thomas Dewey Pope v. State of Florida

SC02-1141| SC02-1833

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:00 Pope was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Kristine Walters. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Broward County
Lawrence Joey Smith v. State of Florida

SC01-2103

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:40 Smith was charged with the 1999 murder of Robert Crawford and attempted murder of Stephen Tuttle. He was found guilty on both counts and, at the penalty phase, a jury recommended death 8-to-4. The trial judge sentenced Smith to life imprisonment for the attempted murder conviction and imposed the death penalty for the murder conviction. This is Smith's direct appeal. Pasco County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, March 6, 2003
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
James Aren Duckett v. State of Florida

SC01-2149 | SC02-1300

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

9:00 Duckett was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the May 1987 murder of Teresa McAbee. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity and petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus.  Lake County
Duane Owen v. State of Florida

SC95,526

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

N/A Removed from calendar Palm Beach County
James Michael Hughes v. State of Florida

SC02-2247

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 9:40 In 1999 Hughes was tried and convicted of a third degree felony and sentenced under the guidelines, with points assessed for legal status and victim injury, in excess of the 60-month statutory maximum. After his conviction and sentence were final, Hughes filed a motion alleging that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey should be applied retroactively. The trial court denied the motion. The district court affirmed but certified the question of whether Apprendi applies retroactively. Washington County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, March 7, 2003
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
No cases scheduled



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