Death penalty cases backlogged after ruling

- Last January, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Florida's death penalty process unconstitutional because it gave judges the final say over a jury's recommendation.  Lawmakers quickly fixed that, but instead of making it a unanimous vote for the jury, they decided a 10-2 vote was enough to hand down a death sentence.

That brought a new flurry of challenges by defense attorneys, like Dwight Wells.

It's been two years since the nude body of Meaghan Casedy was found dumped behind a Riverview shopping center.  The man accused of her murder, Jose Gonzalez, has yet to go to trial.

In court Thursday, Wells began by attacking the evidence on behalf of Gonzalez, his client.

"It's one of the few death penalty cases I've done where there is a lack of specificity as to how the person died," explained Wells.

The defense is fighting to get all of Meaghan's medical records.  They want to prove she died of a drug overdose, not murder.

But Hillsborough state prosecutor Scott Harmon say it's nothing more than a fishing expedition. 

"It's a stretch of the imagination how this could be relevant to what was actually in her system," he said.

But the biggest hurdle for prosecutors in death penalty cases like this will be fighting to keep them as death penalty cases.

In the same courtroom, Hillsborough public defender Charles Traina is fighting it too.  His client, former WWE wrestler Brian McGhee, is accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death.

"I expressed that it wasn't likely that we would be going to trial then because of all the uncertainly with the death penalty issues that are still going on in the state Supreme Court," said Traina.

The Florida Supreme Court and the Second District Court of Appeals have yet to decide what to do.  Meanwhile, both of these cases are back in court this summer.

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