Case Dealing With Imposing a Death Sentence to a Co-Defendant

In Larzelere v. State, 676 So. 2d 394 (Fla. 1996), the Court noted that disparate treatment of a codefendant, including the imposition of the death penalty, is warranted when that codefendant is a more culpable participant in the criminal activity. See id. at 407. The appellant in Larzelere presented an argument that he was not the "hands-on" killer. The court nevertheless affirmed the death penalty, stating: The appellant's participation was not relatively minor. Rather she instigated and was the mastermind of and was the dominant force behind the planning and execution of this murder and behind the involvement and actions of the co-participants before and after the murder. Her primary motive for the murder was financial gain, which motive was in her full control. Id. In Knight v. State, 746 So. 2d 423 (Fla. 1998), the defendant was sentenced to death for two murders after the jury recommended sentences of death by votes of nine to three.