Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Preston: No habeas relief for 1978 murder

In Preston v. Sec., Fla. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 12-14706 (April 29, 2015), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Florida inmate sentenced to death for a 1978 murder. The Court found that Preston was procedurally barred from raising his federal sufficiency of the evidence claim, because he failed to raise that claim before the Florida Supreme Court. The Court found that Preston merely claimed that the evidence was insufficient under Florida law, which has a different sufficiency standard than federal law. The Court added that the sufficiency claim would not have merit, because premeditated murder could be inferred from the victim’s brutal wounds, and other evidence.