Proportionality Review in Florida

In Scott v. State, 66 So. 3d 923 (Fla. 2011), the Court described its obligation with regard to a proportionality review: "Due to the uniqueness and finality of death, this Court addresses the propriety of all death sentences in a proportionality review." Hurst v. State, 819 So. 2d 689, 700 (Fla. 2002). In determining whether death is a proportionate penalty in a given case, we have explained our standard of review as follows: "We make a comprehensive analysis in order to determine whether the crime falls within the category of both the most aggravated and the least mitigated of murders, thereby assuring uniformity in the application of the sentence." The Court consider the totality of the circumstances of the case and compare the case to other capital cases. This entails "a qualitative review by the Court of the underlying basis for each aggravator and mitigator rather than a quantitative analysis." In other words, proportionality review "is not a comparison between the number of aggravating and mitigating circumstances." Williams v. State, 37 So. 3d 187, 205 (Fla. 2010) (quoting Offord v. State, 959 So. 2d 187, 191 (Fla. 2007)). Thus, our proportionality review requires that we discretely analyze the nature and weight of the underlying facts; we do not engage in a "'mere tabulation' of the aggravating and mitigating factors." Terry v. State, 668 So. 2d 954, 965 (Fla. 1996) (quoting Francis v. Dugger, 908 F.2d 696, 705 (11th Cir. 1990)). (Id. at 934-35.)