[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
August 25 to 29, 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, August 25, 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
Amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure & Rules of Appellate Procedure

SC03-685

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9:00 The Court will consider new procedural rules to provide guidelines for implementing a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting execution of the mentally retarded in certain circumstances.  Statewide impact
Robert Beeler Power, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC02-874| SC03-28

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Approx. 10:00 Power was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the October 1987 murder of Angeli Bare. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Orange County
Jose Pena v. State of Florida

SC02-2411

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Approx. 10:40 Pena was charged with the September 1999 murder of Mirranda Ferandes, allegedly by giving her drugs on which she overdosed. The jury found him guilty, and the judge sentenced him to life in prison. The Second District Court affirmed but certified a question to this Court regarding the jury instructions given at trial. Hillsborough County
Thomas B. Gibson v. Florida Dep't of Corrections

SC02-2362

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Approx. 11:20 Gibson was sentenced to prison for several offenses and placed on probation for several others. He completed the prison terms, but then violated the conditions of probation and received new prison sentences. The trial court granted him credit for time actually served on the completed sentences. The Department of Corrections revoked the gain time from the completed sentences and applied the forfeiture to the new sentences. Gibson challenged the Department's decision by seeking a writ in the circuit court and then in the district court. Both courts approved the gain-time forfeiture. Gibson challenges the First District decision. Leon County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, August 26, 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
Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC02-37

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9:00 Bolin was charged with the December 1986 murder of Teri Lynn Matthews. He was tried and then retried, but both of the resulting death sentences were reversed due to errors. In 2001, the jury in his third trial again found him guilty of first degree murder. Bolin waived his right to a penalty phase, and the trial judge sentenced him to death. This is Bolin's direct appeal.  Polk County
David Dionne v. State of Florida

SC02-1290

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Approx. 10:00 Dionne was charged with sexual battery on a person 12 years of age or older based on his confession to the crime. Before trial, he argued that his confession was not admissible unless the state could also show independent evidence that the crime occurred. The judge agreed, but the Fifth District Court reversed. Sumter County
Richard Eugene Hamilton v. State of Florida

SC02-1426| SC02-2409

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Approx. 10:40 Hamilton was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the April 1994 murder of Carmen Gayheart. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Hamilton County

Lake City connection

Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel, Inc. v. Samuel Easton, Jr.

SC02-2190

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Approx. 11:20 Easton sued for alleged environmental contamination that migrated to his property from property owned by Aramark. The trial court ruled in favor of Aramark, but the First District Court reversed. Duval County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, August 27, 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
Richard Henyard v. State of Florida

SC02-1105| SC02-2538

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9:00 Henyard was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1993 murders of Jasmine and Jamilya Lewis. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Lake County
Faunce Levon Pearce v. State of Florida

SC02-476

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Approx. 9:40 Pearce was charged with the September 1999 murder of Robert Crawford. The jury found him guilty and recommended the death penalty 10-to-2. The judge sentenced him to death. This is Pearce's direct appeal.  Pasco County
Florida Power Corp. v. City of Winter Park

SC02-2272

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Approx. 10:40 In 1913 Winter Park built the current electrical system that serves its residents. This system was sold in 1927 to a company later acquired by Florida Power. The original agreement provided that the purchaser would pay a percentage of its receipts to Winter Park and also allowed the city to buy back the electrical system when the agreement expired. Extensions of this agreement were made over the years on similar terms. When the agreement reached its most recent expiration date, Florida Power would not agree to any extension allowing the city to buy back the electrical system. Winter Park then sued to force Florida Power to sell the system under the terms of the now expired agreement. The city also moved to continue to collect its percentage of receipts. The trial court ruled that the city could continue to collect this percentage until the other legal issues were resolved, and the Fifth District Court affirmed. Orange County
Edward J. Zakrzewski, II v. State of Florida

SC02-1734

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Approx. 11:20 Zakrzewski pleaded guilty to the 1994 first-degree murders of his wife, Sylvia, and two children, Edward and Anna. After a penalty phase proceeding the trial judge imposed three death sentences, which were affirmed on appeal. Zakrzewski now challenges their validity.  Okaloosa County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, August 28, 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
Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Charles W. Cope

SC01-2670

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9:00 Judge Cope has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for ethical breaches. Pasco & Pinellas Counties
Eddie Wayne Davis v. State of Florida

SC02-1580| SC02-2472

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Approx. 9:10 Davis was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the March 1994 murder of Kimberly Waters. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Polk County
James Hitchcock v. State of Florida

SC02-2037

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Approx. 9:50 In 1977, Hitchcock was convicted for the murder of his step-niece, Cynthia Driggers. After numerous resentencing proceedings, his death sentence was affirmed on appeal in 2000. He now challenges the denial of his rule 3.853 motion for postconviction DNA testing. Orange County
R.J.L. v. State of Florida

SC02-1493

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Approx. 10:30 R.J.L. received a pardon for a 1953 kidnaping charge. He subsequently applied to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a certificate of eligibility to have his criminal history record expunged. His application was denied, and that denial was upheld by the First District. The decision of the First District is in apparent conflict with a decision of the Fifth District which held that a pardoned individual was entitled to a certificate of eligibility. Escambia County
Dennis Sochor v. State of Florida

SC01-885| SC02-1797

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Approx. 11:10 Sochor was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1981 New Year's eve murder of an 18-year-old woman he met at a bar. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Broward County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, August 29, 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. James Otte

SC03-330

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8:30 Otte and others were charged with a number of prostitution-related racketeering offenses associated with a business they operated, Elegant Encounters. The State obtained an order allowing it to place certain wiretaps to investigate. Otte later filed a motion to suppress the wiretap information, which the trial court granted on grounds that wiretaps were inappropriate for nonviolent prostitution-related offenses. The Fifth District Court affirmed.  Volusia County
Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar

SC03-705

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Approx. 9:10 The Florida Bar petitions the Court for revisions of the Rules regulating it, including rules related to fees for legal services. Statewide impact
Philip C. D'Angelo, M.D. v. John J. Fitzmaurice

SC03-33| SC03-97

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Approx. 9:40 Fitzmaurice sued Charlotte Regional Medical Center and Dr. D'Angelo for allegedly leaving a surgical pad in his abdomen during an appendectomy. Charlotte Regional settled for $200,000 plus payment of Fitzmaurice's outstanding medical bills. The claim against Dr. D'Angelo proceeded to trial, and the jury awarded Fitzmauirce nearly $400,000. The trial court reduced this sum by a percentage of the settlement already paid by Charlotte Regional. The Second District Court reversed. Charlotte County



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