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Supreme Court of Florida.

GARY LAWRENCE, Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

No. SC17-1442

Decided: February 02, 2018

Robert S. Friedman, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Stacy R. Biggart, Assistant Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Northern Region, Tallahassee, Florida; and Billy H. Nolas, Chief, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellant Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Charmaine M. Millsaps, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellee

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

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

After reviewing Lawrence's response to the order to show cause, as well as the State's arguments in reply, we conclude that Lawrence is not entitled to relief. Lawrence was sentenced to death following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of nine to three. Lawrence v. State, 698 So. 2d 1219, 1221 (Fla. 1997). His sentence of death became final in 1998. Lawrence v. Florida, 522 U.S. 1080 (1998). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Lawrence's sentence of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of Lawrence's motion.

The Court having carefully considered all arguments raised by Lawrence, 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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