Does the Trial Court Have to Expressly Evaluate Each Mitigating Circumstance Before Imposing Death Sentence ?
In Jackson v. State, 704 So. 2d 500 (Fla. 1997), the Court again vacated the death sentence after finding that the trial court failed to expressly evaluate each mitigating factor as mandated by Campbell v. State, 571 So. 2d 415 (Fla. 1990).
In Campbell v. State, 571 So. 2d 415, 419-20 (Fla. 1990), we held that in its sentencing order, the trial court must "expressly evaluate" and "expressly consider" each mitigating circumstance, and weigh the established mitigators against the aggravators to determine whether death is the appropriate punishment.
In Reese v. State, 728 So. 2d 727 (Fla. 1999), this Court held that when a trial court receives a case that was remanded based upon a Campbell error "the court is to conduct a new hearing, giving both parties an opportunity to present argument and submit sentencing memoranda before determining an appropriate sentence.
No new evidence shall be introduced at the hearing." Id. at 728.
In Reese, "this Court accepted responsibility for any confusion" in cases involving Campbell errors because "we have been less than specific in outlining the exact procedure to be followed in a Campbell error case like this." Id.