Case Sealing With the ''Common Pocket Knife'' Exception

In Bunkley v. State, 833 So. 2d 739 (Fla. 2002), the Supreme Court of Florida refused to apply the decision in L.B. retroactively to reverse Bunkley's conviction for armed burglary on the basis that the knife he carried during the burglary of a closed, unoccupied restaurant, which had a blade of 2 1/3 to 3 inches in length, fell within the "common pocket knife" exception. See Bunkley I, 833 So. at 746. The court applied what can only be called a hybridization of the State v. Klayman and Witt v. State standards, determining that the decision in L.B. was not a "jurisprudential upheaval" requiring retroactive application, but an "evolutionary refinement," as evidenced by the fact that the statute ceded discretion to the courts to determine the meanings of "dangerous weapon" and "common pocketknife" in the burglary and weapon statutes since such terms would require judicial construction to provide a meaningful basis for sanction. See id. at 745. With regard to the impact of Fiore on the analysis, the Court in Bunkley simply stated that the body of precedent regarding "clarifications" and the decision in Fiore itself had no application in Florida law. See id. at 744 & n.12.