Prospective Procedures on Resentencing If Defendant Does Not Challenge Death Penalty and Refuses to Present Mitigation Evidence
In Muhammad v. State, 782 So. 2d 343, 363 (Fla. 2001), the defendant discharged his penalty phase counsel during jury selection and subsequently refused to present any mitigating evidence during the penalty phase.
The jury, after hearing only the State's evidence, recommended death.
The trial judge followed the jury's recommendation. See Muhammad, 782 So. 2d at 350-51.
On direct appeal, we vacated Muhammad's death sentence and remanded for resentencing.
However, concerned that Muhammad might again refuse to present mitigation evidence during the new sentencing proceedings, we considered "what prospective procedures should apply on resentencing." Id. at 363.
The court stated as follows:
In the past, we have encouraged trial courts to order the preparation of a PSI to determine the existence of mitigating circumstances "in at least those cases in which the defendant essentially is not challenging the imposition of the death penalty." Farr v. State, 656 So. 2d 448, 450 (Fla. 1995) ("Farr II"); see Allen v. State, 662 So. 2d 323, 330 (Fla. 1995).
Having continued to struggle with how to ensure reliability, fairness, and uniformity in the imposition of the death penalty in these rare cases where the defendant waives mitigation, we have now concluded that the better policy will be to require the preparation of a PSI in every case where the defendant is not challenging the imposition of the death penalty and refuses to present mitigation evidence. Id.