Murder Conviction Reversed Because of Exclusion of Black Population from Jury Pool

In Spencer v. State, 545 So. 2d 1352 (Fla. 1989), the defendant's conviction for first-degree murder was reversed because this Court found that an administrative order that created special districts for jury selection caused an unconstitutional exclusion of a large portion of the black population from the jury pool of the district from which the jury for the trial of the defendant, a black man, was drawn. Subsequently, in Moreland v. State, 582 So. 2d 618 (Fla. 1991), the Court stated that Spencer did not constitute a fundamental change in law. The court held that the decision should be applied retroactively because it would be fundamentally unfair to deny the defendant relief where other convicted defendants had obtained relief based upon a systematic exclusion of blacks from a jury pool. See id. at 620. However, we noted that had Moreland failed to raise the issue of the constitutionality of the jury pool, he would not be entitled to relief. See id. at 620 n.3.