Florida Killer’s Stay of Execution Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 7, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a stay of execution granted by a federal appeals court to John Errol Ferguson, aged 64.
Ferguson is on Florida's death row for eight killings near Miami in the late 1970s. His lawyers argue that he is mentally ill and should not be executed.
“In cases like this, people might feel like justice is being delayed,” Polk County criminal defense attorney Thomas Grajek said in a statement, “but it is important that every defendant's rights be protected.”
The stay of execution came just hours before Ferguson was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. The appeals court scheduled motions that apparently will delay the execution for at least two weeks. Ferguson was first sentenced to death 34 years ago.
Ferguson is convicted of shooting eight people execution-style in a botched robbery attempt at a Carol City, Fla. home in late 1977. It was the the worst mass killing in Miami-Dade County history up to that point. He is also convicted of killing a teenage couple in Hialeah, Fla. in 1978.
Ferguson's lawyers say he is a paranoid schizophrenic who believes he is the “Prince of God.” He was sentenced to die in both of his murder trials, with defense attorneys unsuccessfully arguing his insanity as a defense in the teens' murders.
A panel of mental health experts appointed by Gov. Rick Scott convinced a court that Ferguson was mentally competent to face execution. The Florida Supreme Court upheld that ruling, saying that Ferguson understands his situation, and officials then scheduled the execution. However, the latest federal appeals court ruling said that the Florida Supreme Court may have made an “unreasonable determination of the facts” regarding Ferguson's mental health and delayed the execution.
“Our justice system protects those who do not know the difference between right and wrong,” added Mr. Grajek, “and any questions of a defendant's sanity must be thoroughly addressed.”
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
View Larger Map
A criminal charge involves a criminal complaint, or an “accusatory instrument,” which is the papers filed that accuse someone of committing a crime. There are two delineating criteria factored into considering if a criminal complaint is to be used in a case. One factor looks at whether state or federal laws were broken, which usually determines what court a trial may be held in. Another depends on the nature of the crime and whether it constitutes a serious felony or a less serious misdemeanor. Since different jurisdictions with differing rules and regulations may be involved, it is vitally important to […]
- How to get a hardship license after you have been arrested for DUI.
Today, I was at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Administrative Reviews for a Formal Review. Polk County DUI arrests now conduct these hearings telephonically. While there, a person who was just arrested for DUI was trying to “waive” their right to a Formal Review and apply for a hardship license for the entire period of suspension. In a breath test refusal case, this suspension is one (1) year. In an unlawful breath (driver blew over 0.08 legal limit) case, the suspension is six (6) months. This allows a 1st time DUI driver to keep some […]
- Florida sex crime attorney Thomas Grajek on the "sex on the beach" case sentencing
Today the infamous couple convicted of having “Sex on the Beach” are scheduled to be sentenced today. I have previously posted about this case explaining how serious this charge can be at: http://www.flcrimedefense.com/2015/05/florida-couple-found-guilty-of-sex-on-the-beach-and-now-will-be-classified-as-sexual-offenders-and-face-prison-time/ Bay News 9 is reporting that the prosecutor is only seeking 2 1/2 years in prison for the male involved in the case. If the judge agrees to mitigate Jose Caballero’s sentence to that prison sentence, it will be a hug break for him as he is facing a mandatory 15 years in prison. The State can agree to mitigate the sentence which is one of the few […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: Lakeland criminal defense attorney, Lakeland criminal defense lawyer, Polk County criminal defense attorney, Polk County criminal defense lawyer, Polk County DUI attorney, Polk County DUI lawyer