RONNIE JOHNSON v. STATE OF FLORIDA

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Supreme Court of Florida.

RONNIE JOHNSON, Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

RONNIE JOHNSON, Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

No. SC17-1480

Decided: March 27, 2018

Charles G. White of Charles G. White, P.A., 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 Ronnie Johnson's appeals of the circuit court's orders denying Johnson's motions filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. This Court has jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const. Johnson's motions 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 Defendant's appeals pending the disposition of Hitchcock v. State, 226 So. 3d 216 (Fla.), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 513 (2017). After this Court decided Hitchcock, Johnson responded to this Court's orders to show cause arguing why Hitchcock should not be dispositive in these cases.

After reviewing Johnson's responses to the orders to show cause, as well as the State's arguments in reply, we conclude that Johnson is not entitled to relief. Johnson was sentenced to death for the murder of Lee Arthur Lawrence following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of seven to five. Johnson v. State, 696 So. 2d 317, 320 (Fla. 1997). Johnson was also sentenced to death for the murder of Tequila Larkins following a jury's recommendation for death by a vote of nine to three. Johnson v. State, 696 So. 2d 326, 329 (Fla. 1997). Both of Johnson's sentences of death became final in 1998. Johnson v. Florida, 522 U.S. 1120 (1998); Johnson v. Florida, 522 U.S. 1095 (1998). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Johnson's sentences of death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of Johnson's motions.

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

PER CURIAM.

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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