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Supreme Court of Florida.


No. SC17-809

Decided: January 24, 2018

Bjorn Brunvand and J. Jervis Wise, Brunvand Wise, P.A., Clearwater, Florida, for Appellant Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jennifer Ann Donahue, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellee

We have for review William Gregory Thomas's appeal of the circuit court's order denying Thomas's motion filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. This Court has jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const.

Thomas's motion sought relief pursuant to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and our decision on remand in Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 2161 (2017). This Court stayed Thomas's appeal pending the disposition of Hitchcock v. State, 226 So. 3d 216 (Fla. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 513 (2017). After this Court decided Hitchcock, Thomas responded to this Court's order to show cause arguing why Hitchcock should not be dispositive in this case.

After reviewing Thomas's response to the order to show cause, as well as the State's arguments in reply, we conclude that Thomas is not entitled to relief. Thomas was sentenced to death following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of eleven to one. Thomas v. State, 693 So. 2d 951, 951 (Fla. 1997). Thomas's sentence of death became final in 1997. Thomas v. Florida, 522 U.S. 985 (1997). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Thomas's sentence of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of Thomas's motion.

The Court having carefully considered all arguments raised by Thomas, we caution that any rehearing motion containing reargument will be stricken. It is so ordered.

I concur in result because I recognize that this Court's opinion in Hitchcock v. State, 226 So. 3d 216 (Fla. 2017), cert. denied, 2017 WL 4355572 (U.S. Dec. 4, 2017), is now final. However, I continue to adhere to the views expressed in my dissenting opinion in Hitchcock.


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

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