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Supreme Court of Florida.


No. SC17-1715

Decided: February 02, 2018

James Vincent Viggiano, Jr., Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Julissa R. Fontán, Maria E. DeLiberato and Chelsea Shirley, Assistant Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Middle Region, Temple Terrace, Florida, for Appellant Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Scott A. Browne, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, Florida, for Appellee

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

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

After reviewing Morton's response to the order to show cause, as well as the State's arguments in reply, we conclude that Morton is not entitled to relief. Morton was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. Morton v. State, 789 So. 2d 324, 327 (Fla. 2001). Following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of eleven to one on both counts, the trial court sentenced Morton to death on both counts, and his sentences became final in 2001. Id. at 328. Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Morton's sentences of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of Morton's motion.

The Court having carefully considered all arguments raised by Morton, 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.


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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