Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jones: No habeas relief for 1991 murder

In Jones v. Sec., Fla. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 13-15053 (Aug. 25, 2016), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a death row inmate sentenced to death for a 1991 murder. The Court rejected the argument that counsel at the penalty phase was ineffective for failing to present mental health mitigation evidence. The Court deferred to the Florida Supreme Court’s determination that mitigating evidence would have been undercut by other mental health evidence that indicated that Jones was not suffering from any mental illness. The Court also found that Jones had not carried his burden of showing that he was prejudiced by trial counsel’s failure to object to his alleged shackling at trial. “The evidence establishing Jones’s guilt was overwhelming.”