390 FL death row inmates could appeal after Supreme Court ruling
After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida's death penalty system as unconstitutional,
Florida's 390 death row inmates prepare to test the seismic ruling.
Attorney Anthony Rickman explained, "it could open up a whole bunch of cases and a slough of litigation."
On February 2, the Florida Supreme Court will hear the case of death row inmate Cary Michael Lambrix.
He was convicted of a double murder in Glades County.
As he sits just 30 feet away from the death chamber, his attorneys fighting to keep him out of it.
Rickman explained what Lambrix's legal argument might be.
"I want this new law to apply to me and it's applied to me even though I was sentenced to death 20 years ago," said Rickman.
Jurors unanamously agreed Lambrix was guilty of first degree murder, but did not vote unanamously on whether he should received the death penalty.
The nation's high court said the way Florida hands down death sentences is a violation of the Sixth Amendment, which Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, requires a jury, not a judge, to find each fact necessary to impose a sentence of death."
While the ruling could affect Florida's 390 death row inmates, it is unclear how far it will go.
"If they apply it retroactively across the board then every single inmate sitting on death row that has been sentenced under this sentencing scheme may be entitled to a new sentencing hearing," Rickman explained.
If they don't, only death row inmates like cop-killer Dontae Morris, who have just started their appeal process, can be re-sentenced under this landmark ruling.
In the Lambrix case, his attorneys want the high court to spare his life. The state wants the execution to go forward.
Whatever they decide could set the trend for the rest of the state's condemned.
Lambrix is set to be executed on February 11.