[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]

Oral Argument Press Summaries
April 6-10, 1998
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.

Due in part to the number of death warrants last month, there will be arguments only on Monday and Tuesday this week

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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, April 6, 1998
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
Paul Anthony Brown v. State of Florida

No. 89,537

View briefs in PDF 1, 2, 3, 4 

Approx. 9:00 On Nov. 5, 1992, Brown and an accomplice -- Scott Jason McGuire -- allegedly murdered Roger Hensley in his apartment in Ormond Beach. McGuire pled guilty to second-degree murder and received a 40-year sentence in exchange for his testimony against Brown in a trial held in October 1996. Brown was convicted and sentenced to death. This is his direct appeal Volusia County

Ormond Beach

Revisions to Simplified Forms

No. 92,023

View briefs in PDF 1, 2, 3 

N/A REMOVED FROM CALENDAR Statewide impact
State of Florida v. J.B. Parker

No. 89,469

View briefs in PDF 1, 2, 3, 4 

Approx. 10:00 Parker and three others -- Alphonso Cave, John Earl Bush, and Terry Wayne Johnson -- were charged with robbery, kidnapping, and murder in the death of Frances Julia Slater in Martin County in April 1982. Each was tried separately. Parker, Cave, and Bush were sentenced to death, and Johnson to life in prison. In the trials of Parker, Cave, and Bush the state argued inconsistent positions that each of these men was the one who actually shot Slater. Parker later discovered undisclosed information about an incident involving Cave battering his prison cellmate. The cellmate told authorities that Cave confessed that he (Cave) was the one who actually shot Slater, and that Bush was the one who stabbed her. Parker filed a collateral attack on his death penalty, arguing that the state was required -- but failed -- to disclose this information to him. The trial court agreed and ordered a new sentencing proceeding. The State appeals. Martin County

 

Tuesday, April 7, 1998
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. Mompoint Voltaire

No. 92,352

View briefs in PDF 1, 2 

9:00 Voltaire, a Creole speaker, was arrested on cocaine charges. When questioned by police, Voltaire refused to speak to them in English, using Creole instead. Officers put Voltaire into a holding cell and summoned a police officer who spoke Creole. This officer (dressed in a tee-shirt, shorts, and sneakers) was placed in the cell with Voltaire. The officer did not disclose he worked for police and proceeded to ask Voltaire why he was in jail. Voltaire confessed to the crime, but later asked the trial court to suppress the confession because of police trickery. The trial court allowed the confession. The Fourth District reversed. Broward County
St. Mary's Hospital Inc. v. Alonzo Brinson

No. 89,889

Briefs not submitted in electronic format 

Approx. 9:40 On Aug. 14, 1992, 19-month-old Alonzette Brinson went into St. Mary's Hospital for surgery to correct a drooping eyelid. During the procedure she allegedly received too much anesthesia and went into cardiac arrest, dying ten days later. Her parents sued for negligence. During pretrial discovery, they learned that St. Mary's had let the device used to administer Alonzette's anesthesia be disassembled by the manufacturer. The parents then added a new claim to their suit alleging this action destroyed evidence (called "spoliation of evidence") that might have shown the manufacturer was liable. St. Mary's was found liable for $8.325 million in damages. The Supreme Court accepted the case to resolve conflicting opinions of the lower appellate courts about lawsuits for "spoliation of evidence." Palm Beach County
Norman Parker, Jr. v. State of Florida

No. 89,936

View briefs in PDF 1, 2, 3, 4 

Approx. 10:30 Parker was convicted and sentenced to death for the July 18, 1978, murder of Julio Chavez and the rape of Chavez's girlfriend in a Dade County drug deal. His penalty was affirmed on appeal. Parker now alleges that his death penalty must be reconsidered. Dade County
In re: Public Defender's Certification of Conflict & Motion to Withdraw Due to Excessive Case Load

Nos. 92,534 & 92,636

No briefs were filed in this case

Approx. 11:10 The 10th Judicial Public Defender, one of only five public defenders with appellate offices, had a backlog of 751 cases on June 30, 1997, that was growing at a rate of 25 a month. The Second District Court found that it was reviewing many cases in which defendants had served their full sentences before the Public Defender filed the appellate brief. The Second District ordered the Public Defender to stop taking new cases and eliminate its backlog. Fourteen county governments have complained that they now must pay for attorneys for indigent appellants, a situation caused by a backlog in the 10th Circuit (consisting of Hardee, Highlands, and Polk Counties). The Supreme Court will review the order. Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota

Wednesday, April 8, 1998
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

 

Thursday, April 9, 1998
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

 

Friday, April 10, 1998
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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