Death Sentence for Stabbing a Woman During Home Burglary

In Johnson v. State, 660 So. 2d 637 (Fla. 1995), the Supreme Court of Florida found the death penalty proportionate where the defendant fatally stabbed a 73-year-old woman inside her home during a burglary. There, the trial court found three aggravating circumstances: (1) prior violent felony; (2) commission of a murder for financial gain; (3) heinous atrocious and cruel (HAC)--and fifteen mitigating circumstances. See id. at 641; See also Morrison v. State, 818 So. 2d 432 (Fla. 2002) (fatal stabbing of 82-year-old man in his home, with four weighted aggravators: (1) prior violent felonies; (2) the murder was committed during a robbery and burglary with assault; (3) HAC; (4) the victim was particularly vulnerable due to advanced age and disability--no statutory mitigating circumstances, and eight nonstatutory mitigating circumstances).