Death Sentence Was Affirmed As Court Found Four Aggravators and No Statutory Mitigating Circumstances

In Morrison v. State, 818 So. 2d 432 (Fla. 2002), this Court affirmed a death sentence for a murder by stabbing during a robbery. The trial court found four aggravators: that the defendant had previously been convicted of a violent felony, that the capital crime was committed during an armed robbery or burglary with an assault, that the killing was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, and that the victim was particularly vulnerable due to age. See id. at 457. The court found no statutory mitigating circumstances, but gave great weight to Morrison's low intellectual ability combined with drug and alcohol abuse, and "some weight" to seven other mitigators. See id. The court rejected an argument that death was disproportionate because Morrison did not enter the dwelling with the premeditated design to kill the victim and the killing resulted from a robbery gone awry. As noted in Morrison, see id., this Court rejected a similar argument and affirmed a death sentence based on the aggravators of prior violent felony conviction and a murder committed during a robbery in Mendoza v. State, 700 So. 2d 670 (Fla. 1997). In Carter v. State, 576 So. 2d 1291, 1293 (Fla. 1989), this Court rejected the defendant's proportionality argument based on a "robbery gone bad" where the trial court found three aggravating circumstances which far outweighed the nonstatutory mitigation.