As national attention focuses on the extensive imposition of the death penalty in Florida, the author questions the legitimacy of the composition of capital juries in the state. Florida courts permit the removal for cause of jurors who are so opposed to the death penalty that they could not vote to recommend it even though they could be fair and impartial in assessing guilt. The author criticizes this practice as inconsistent with the essential role of the advisory jury in the Florida capital sentencing scheme, unconstitutional, and without statutory basis. Suggesting that the removal of these jurors results in capital juries that may not be impartial in assessing guilt and do not represent a fair cross-section of the community, the author calls for a reexamination of the practice.
Bruce J. Winick,
Witherspoon in Florida: Reflections on the Challenge for Cause of Jurors in Capital Cases in a State in Which the Judge Makes the Sentencing Decision,
37 U. Miami L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umlr/vol37/iss3/16