Death Penalty for Stabbing Wife to Death In Florida

In Spencer v. State, 691 So.2d 1062 (Fla. 1996), the defendant bludgeoned and stabbed his wife to death. See Spencer v. State, 645 So.2d 377, 379-80 (Fla. 1994). Consistent with the jury's recommendation, the trial court sentenced Spencer to death, determining that the two aggravating circumstances in the case--prior violent felony and heinous atrocious and cruel (HAC)-outweighed the two statutory mental mitigating circumstances and numerous nonstatutory mitigators, including drug and alcohol abuse, paranoid personality disorder, sexual abuse by defendant's father, honorable military record, good employment record, and ability to function in structured environment. See Spencer, 691 So.2d at 1063. On appeal, the court rejected the defendant's proportionality challenge and affirmed the imposition of the death penalty. See 691 So.2d at 1064-65.