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Bruce Douglas PACE, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.

No. SC17–1021

Decided: January 30, 2018

Neal Dupree, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Bri Lacy, Staff Attorney, and Paul Kalil, Assistant Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Southern Region, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for Appellant Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Lisa A. Hopkins, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellee

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

Pace'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 Pace'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, Pace responded to this Court's order to show cause arguing why Hitchcock should not be dispositive in this case.

After reviewing Pace's response to the order to show cause, as well as the State's arguments in reply, we conclude that Pace is not entitled to relief. Pace was sentenced to death following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of seven to five. See Pace v. State, 596 So. 2d 1034, 1035 (Fla. 1992).1 His sentence of death became final in 1992. Pace v. Florida, 506 U.S. 885 (1992). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Pace's sentence of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of Pace's motion.

The Court having carefully considered all arguments raised by Pace, 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, 138 S. Ct. 513 (2017), is now final. However, I continue to adhere to the views expressed in my dissenting opinion in Hitchcock.


1.   While the jury's vote to recommend a sentence of death is not reflected in this Court's opinion on direct appeal, this Court's opinion addressing Pace's initial postconviction appeal and separate petition for a writ of habeas corpus states that the jury voted seven to five to recommend a sentence of death. Pace v. State, 854 So. 2d 167, 170 (Fla. 2003).


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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