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Death penalty decision could mean major changes in Florida

Six deaths, reportedly cold and calculated. Five children and their mother, the confessed killer's wife. If you have watched the news routinely in the past six years, you are probably familiar with hearing about the atrocity. It is almost impossible to wrap your mind around it, if what is reported has a semblance of truth behind it. Now, in one of many pretrial motions before the trial date is even set, prosecutors and the defense struggle to determine the best course of action given the likely preconception of guilt, largely as a result of media coverage.

In addition to high-volume jury screenings, the prosecutor and defense are getting their ducks in a row knowing a ruling coming down from the Supreme Court may soon seriously impact the death penalty sentence the prosecutors are pushing for. This could mean a major downgrade in the sentence for the man on trial, accused of the murder of his family.

In the next few months, a ruling is expected after a determination in the Supreme Court about whether or not aspects of Florida's death penalty are unconstitutional. For now, the circuit judge has placed the case on hold until the Supreme Court makes its ruling. If the Supreme Court were to deem the death penalty in Florida as unconstitutional or some aspect of the procedure or laws around it unconstitutional, it would likely open the door to a valid reason for an appeal. That could be a lengthy process and in most cases, nobody, from the victim's family to the defendant and his family, wants a lengthy trial. By waiting for the Supreme Court ruling, the parties involved can potentially avoid exhaustive appeals revolving around the death penalty, should the man be proven guilty.

This could mean the difference between life and death if you are convicted of a felony as serious as murder. Consulting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Florida may help your chances of receiving the lightest sentence possible or even potentially getting the charges dropped.

Source: Naples Daily News, "Mesac Damas case creeps forward as lawyers argue first set of motions," Jacob Carpenter, Jan. 11, 2016

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