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Supreme Court of Florida.


No. SC17-1499

Decided: March 23, 2018

Jeffrey Evan Feiler, Miami, Florida, for Appellant Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Melissa J. Roca, Assistant Attorney General, Miami, Florida, for Appellee

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

Gonzalez'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 Gonzalez's appeal pending the disposition of Hitchcock v. State, 226 So. 3d 216 (Fla.), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 513 (2017). After this Court decided Hitchcock, Gonzalez responded to this Court's order to show cause arguing why Hitchcock should not be dispositive in this case.

After reviewing Gonzalez's response to the order to show cause, as well as the State's arguments in reply, we conclude that Gonzalez is not entitled to relief. Gonzalez was sentenced to death following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of eight to four, and his sentence of death became final in 2001.1 Gonzalez v. State, 786 So. 2d 559, 563 (Fla. 2001). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Gonzalez's sentence of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of Gonzalez's motion.

The Court having carefully considered all arguments raised by Gonzalez, 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.   Although our decision affirming Gonzalez's death sentence does not specify the number of Gonzalez's jurors who voted to recommend death, our decision affirming the denial of his initial motion for postconviction relief does. See Gonzalez v. State, 990 So. 2d 1017, 1022 (Fla. 2008).


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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