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Supreme Court of Florida.

JAMES BERNARD BELCHER, Petitioner, v. JULIE L. JONES, etc., Respondent.

No. SC17-1144

Decided: November 02, 2017

Christopher J. Anderson of Law Office of Christopher J. Anderson, Neptune Beach, Florida; and Billy H. Nolas, Chief, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioner Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Charmaine M. Millsaps, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Respondent

Petitioner James Bernard Belcher has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, challenging the constitutionality of his death sentence, which was based upon a nonunanimous jury recommendation. See Belcher v. State, 851 So. 2d 678 (Fla. 2003). We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(9), Fla. Const. Because Belcher's sentence became final after Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002), he is entitled to relief. See Mosley v. State, 209 So. 3d 1248 (Fla. 2016). Accordingly, we grant the petition, vacate the sentence of death, and remand this case for a new penalty phase proceeding.

It is so ordered.

See Okafor v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S639, S641, 2017 WL 2481266, at *6 (Fla. June 8, 2017) (Lawson, J., concurring specially).


LABARGA, C.J., and PARIENTE, LEWIS, and QUINCE, JJ., concur. LAWSON, J., concurs specially with an opinion. CANADY and POLSTON, JJ., dissent.

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