Melanie Kalmanson Featured in American Bar Association Blog Post About Florida’s Expansion of the Death Penalty and How it Could Create Constitutional Issues
Quarles & Brady attorney Melanie Kalmanson, a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Tampa, was featured in a blog post by the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project that discusses Florida’s recent expansion of the death penalty and how it could create constitutional issues.
On April 20, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law allowing for the imposition of the death penalty when the jury recommends death by a vote of 8-4, lowering the state’s prior unanimity standard. On May 1, DeSantis also signed a bill expanding the crimes for which capital punishment can apply in the state.
In an excerpt from the article, Kalmanson explained concerns about the state’s new laws:
Regarding the impact of the bills, Melanie Kalmanson, who serves on the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project Steering Committee, said, “This new legislation erases important procedural safeguards that were implemented in Florida in 2017 after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Hurst v. Florida, where the Court held that Florida’s capital sentencing scheme violated capital defendants’ right to trial by jury under the Sixth Amendment. With this new legislation, Florida runs the haunting risk of sentencing more innocent people to death. In addition, the state will impose sentences of death that are almost certainly unconstitutional.”