State Seeks Death Penalty for Man Accused of Fatal Shooting at Riviera Beach Sweet 16 Party: Palm Beach County State Attorney Peter Antonacci is seeking the death penalty against 20-year-old Rijkard Jean-Baptiste, who was arrested in early September in connection with the Sweet 16 shooting in Riviera Beach in which two teens were killed.
Possible New Florida Death Sentence: Jury Recommends Death for Joel Lebron: On Sept. 28, a jury found Joel Lebron, one of five men accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering Ana Maria Angel in 2002, guilty on all charges he was facing, including first-degree murder. On Friday, a Miami-Dade County jury voted 9-3 in favor of the death penalty. The final decision on death or life in prison is up to a judge, who set a Nov. 9 hearing date.
Florida Death Row Inmate Found Guilty of 2 More Murders: A Central Florida man already on death row for murdering two women has now also been convicted of killing two gas station workers. A judge found Leon Davis Jr., 34, guilty Thursday of two counts of first-degree murder and several other charges. Davis had waived his right to a jury trial. Davis’s attorneys questioned whether state witnesses correctly identified him as the assailant. The two cases are linked by a handgun that’s never been found.
Florida Supreme Court Throws out Death Sentence: The Florida Supreme Court is throwing out the death sentence of a north Florida man convicted of fatally stabbing his father’s girlfriend. The court on Thursday ruled that Leo L. Kaczmar III is guilty of murdering Maria Ruiz in late 2008 and burning down a house in Green Cove Springs in an effort to conceal the crime.
But a majority of justices also ruled that Kaczmar should have been acquitted of attempted sexual battery. The ruling also states that it appears Kaczmar killed Ruiz because she rebuffed his advances and that the murder was not cold, calculated and premeditated.
Justice Department Sues Florida Over Lack of Kosher Meals for Prison Inmates: The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s prison system, saying it violates the rights of Jewish inmates by refusing to provide kosher meals. “The Florida Department of Corrections forces hundreds of its prisoners to violate their core religious beliefs on a daily basis,” the suit claims.
Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker said kosher meals were limited because the agency is struggling to control its food costs.
US Supreme Court Denials for Florida Death Row Inmates: These updates come from a capital punishment forum site called Crime and Capital Punishment. It’s a generally pro-death penalty site, but regardless of whether you’re pro or anti, the forum provides incredibly detailed, up-to-date information about all inmates and cases.