Court's Proportionality Review to Prevent ''Unusual'' Punishments

In Simmons v. State, 934 So. 2d 1100, 1122 (Fla. 2006), the court explained proportionality review as follows: The Court performs a proportionality review to prevent the imposition of "unusual" punishments contrary to article I, section 17 of the Florida Constitution. See Tillman v. State, 591 So. 2d 167, 169 (Fla. 1991). "The death penalty is reserved for 'the most aggravated and unmitigated of most serious crimes.'" Clark v. State, 609 So. 2d 513, 516 (Fla. 1992) (quoting State v. Dixon, 283 So. 2d 1, 7 (Fla. 1973)). In deciding whether death is a proportionate penalty, we consider the totality of the circumstances of the case and compare the case with other capital cases. See Urbin v. State, 714 So. 2d 411, 417 (Fla. 1998). However, this proportionality review "is not a comparison between the number of aggravating and mitigating circumstances." Sexton v. State, 775 So. 2d 923, 935 (Fla. 2000) (quoting Porter v. State, 564 So. 2d 1060, 1064 (Fla. 1990)).